Over Christmas break, Danny decided to attack the upstairs hall, which was in desperate need of some love. Back in June the walls were a peachy orange, had cracks and grooves in the plaster, and occasionally there was a little mustiness in the air.
We crossed our fingers that the smell was probably coming from the old wallpaper and not a more serious problem. Once we began, we discovered that the walls were covered with years and years of wallpaper so there was more than just one layer to remove (I think it was 5 with an additional extra 2 layers on the stairs). Thankfully, most of the wallpaper came off fairly easily. and since my mom enjoys ripping off wallpaper, the hall was attacked in a matter of days. Unfortunately, this meant the hallway was getting a lot worse before it got better.
Our plan was to plank the walls with boards so we didn’t need to get every scrap off, we just needed the mustiness gone. We had trails of wallpaper down the stairs for days and I still vacuum up the occasional loose piece that flutters down every now and then. Having a shop vac really saved us here, and we could push everything to the stairs, throw all the major pieces in the trash, and then vacuum any smaller pieces and dust with the shop vac. Needless to say, the hall really had the construction feel. When we showed people around the house they never really got the complete understanding of what we had been doing until we opened the door to the stairs. Then, all they seemed to be able to mutter was a shocked “Oh wow.”
Danny worked in planking the stairs a few months ago using plywood he had cut into 6-inch boards. Once the stairs were finished we went back to work and everything stopped.
We got to the point where we were able to look past the walls while other projects were going on, but when Danny’s dad offered to help over break on a project, we decided it was time to get back to the hall. They were able to get 3 of the 4 walls finished and I can’t believe how much better it looks!
Danny has been working on the final wall on his own and the hall is already getting a fresh new feel. Everything now smells like fresh cut wood and the old wallpaper scraps are going to be completely hidden.
I now have the tedious job of puttying all the nail holes and giving everything the final few coats of paint. I finally found my putty crayons so now I can work a little each night not without have a big mess. We still have a ways to go, but the end is in sight! We aren’t sure what were doing with the ceiling, but I don’t even care right now. It already looks so much better.
I keep going back and fourth on the stairs. Originally we were going to paint them red, but then we were going to have to dye a precious gallon of oil-based white paint so I began to lean towards white.
I also like the rustic look as well, so it probably will be on hold for a while until I can commit.
To paint the stairs will require us painting every other step and carrying the dogs up and down through the process so the paint can cure. Danny weighed little chunk this weekend and he is coming in right now at a whopping 81 lbs.
At 7 months old he could still put on weight, making waiting much harder on Danny, but it still seems the best choice is to wait and do the whole puppy shuffle process in the summer when we aren’t rushing around in the morning to get to work. It was a lot easier to carry them around when they were this tiny.
I think we should’ve taken advantage of this when we had the opportunity.