Monday, January 26, 2015

A brand new coat (of paint)

We moved into our current house a little over 5 years ago. Time sure has flown by! The house was built sometime between 1889 and 1895 (I haven't been able to pinpoint the exact year yet). Basically, it's a really old house! Luckily all of the previous owners (or at least the ones in the last four or five decades) took really good care of it. It's bones are still sturdy and it has a lot of unique features. 

One of the things I fell in love with when we first looked at the home was the front entry & stairway. It's tall, airy and has a cool arch over part of it. I had never seen an arch like this in a home before: 

I also fell in love with staircase (three sets of stairs w/two landings) and the old windows & window seat. Here are some photos I took of the stairway the very first time we looked at the house:

The wallpaper was beige with cream stripes running vertically. It was 'fine' but was getting kind of grungy & starting to peel in lots of places. When we bought the house we knew that someday we'd want to remove it.

The wallpaper also carried into the upstairs hallway: 

So.....five years later we had the wallpaper removed! Although we like to attempt doing home-y things ourselves, we decided to hire a painting contractor to do it for us. It cost a bit more money to hire it out BUT it saved us our sanity, which made it worth it :) With the kids keeping me 100% occupied during the week and with us wanting to enjoy our weekends as a family, it would have taken us forever just to remove the wallpaper! Plus, with the paper being 2 1/2 stories high, I'm pretty sure Matt or I would have ended up in the hospital at some point it time...

It took two weeks for two guys to removed the wallpaper, remove the layer of paste (which turned out to be an old clay-type paste), fix the plaster wherever it needed fixing, prime the ceilings and walls, and then add two layers of paint.

It was a bit frustrating at times whenever I wanted to go upstairs with the kiddos during the day (with drop cloths & paints & stuff everywhere). And we had to skip naps for a few days because I didn't want the kids in their bedrooms along with paint fumes. But we made do.

Also -- picking out the paint colors was so hard! I wanted to do some funky colors (that's my artist brain talking) but I promised Matt I wouldn't go too crazy. Also, since the carpeting is a dark navy blue (not our style, but we're keeping it for a while yet) we had to pick some colors that 'go' with the carpeting.

Why are we keeping the dark navy carpeting you ask? a) Liam is up and down the stairs all day long, and Chloe is attempting to crawl up them now, so we feel the carpeting is much safer. If we remove the carpet and the wood's exposed, we're afraid the kids will be slipping and sliding all over the place. b) Our crazy annoying and spoiled cats are not declawed and pretty much destroy anything soft in our house. I cannot imagine putting new carpeting in and having the cats decimate the carpets the first day we have it. So....the carpet stays for now. It's not our style, but it's fine for now :)

Or maybe we should get rid of the cats instead...
Oops, did I say that out loud?

Here are some before and after photos of the project. The "befores" are actually during the wallpaper/paste removal process and the "afters" are the finished product:

Landing at the top of the stairs

On the left side -- this is the original wall color. If it had not been patched over the years we would have seriously
considered keeping it the raw color. But there was just too much patchwork over the years.

Part of our front entry.

Tons of wall space.



The local painting contractor we used was Schoen's Painting and Decorating. We would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a painter. They were friendly, professional, tidy and reasonable. Thanks Phil, Jake and Chris for helping us restore part of our home for years to come!

And here are the paint colors we used:

Bottom half of chair rail and front entry: Sherwin-Williams Balanced Beige
Upper walls and hallway walls: Sherwin-Williams Pewter Tray (at 75%)
Ceiling: Sherwin-Williams Extra White in Matte
Crown, base and trim: Sherwin-Williams Extra White in Semi Gloss


  1. This looks so good!! I am dying to repaint the whole house. One day I'm going to bite the bullet and do it.

    1. Thank you! And the best of luck to you painting your whole house :)