Tag Archives: Home improvement

Stair Reno: Part Three

19 Jul

DIY in mid-July is not recommended.  Remember last week when I said doing things in high 80’s/low 90’s was bad, apparently I started complaining too early.

Today it’s going to feel like 110 degrees. I don’t live in Texas. This isn’t dry heat.  I gag every time I go outside. It’s disgusting. I’m pretty sure if my dog could lay on top of the air conditioner she would.



Anyway, this post is picture heavy and not about humidity, so I’m going to shut my mouth and get back to the stair renovation.

We left it with the treads stained.  I wanted to get the molding up before I painted so I could paint it all at once. So, last Friday the husband and I went to Home Depot in torrential rain, bought 12 ft. long molding that wouldn’t completely fit in the car, hung it out the passenger side window and drove home in the pouring rain. Not our finest, or driest, moment.

We removed the grate and taped up the stained treads.

We should buy stock in Frog Tape.

We used primed 3.5″ MDF  from Lowe’s for the board and batten. It was cheap and what we needed to create the look we liked.

We started with a piece of 12ft for the baseboard.  I take no credit in the cuts, that was all the husband, he’s 100% a numbers guy. He can figure out the exact angles when I would rather just wing it.   I’m good at thinking up the ideas, he’s good at figuring out what it takes to actually do them!

We put the baseboard on with limited issues and then went to figure out where we wanted the top piece.  We originally were going to put it the same height as the stair rail, but stepping back we realized the stair rail would be blocking the board and batten.  So we raised it about 4 inches.  When looking directly at it, the top piece of molding hovers right above the stair rail.   For numbers dorks, it’s 24.5″ from the steps.

We measured 21″  on an angle from the stairs all the way up (making sure the measuring tape was flush so we got an accurate measurement) and then used that line to keep our board level.

Then we figured out how we liked the middle pieces to be spaced.  I think it ended up being 16.75″ apart.  The husband went to work on the angles and would pass me the cut pieces through the still open hole on the base step. That thing came in handy!

I also drew a little picture on the back of one of the boards so if any future owners decide to take it off, there will be a little surprise for them.

We added a  little piece of molding we randomly stumbled upon at Lowe’s (I don’t know the exact name of it – sorry!) to finish off the top.  Then I spackled all the holes.

The next morning we added a piece of wood to cover up the stair hole and started painting.

After one coat of primer:

I caulked everything when the primer was dry.

After 1st coat of semi-gloss white:

After second coat of white paint:

After the second coat of white paint I declared the wall done.  I took off the tape.  The stairs weren’t.  There was still some patchy spots so I had to finish the next day.

But then I got a cold. Boo!

I put on my big girl pants, sucked it up, and put another coat on the stairs on Wednesday.

I gave it a bit of time and then removed all the tape and paper.  Some of the white paint did bleed through the tape, so I’ll have to touch up a few spots on the stairs, but overall I think they look great.

Photos galore!

White paint makes everything look so much better.

I still need to caulk a few places and touch up some paint.  Then I’m moving on to runner installation.

Before /After


That’s Pinteresting

24 Apr

See what I did there….

Pinterest is the root of half of the meals we eat and changes we make in our home.  It’s addicting. It makes you want to work out then eat “slutty brownies” (seriously – look it up. They’re SO good!).  It’s such a great platform to brainstorm – which in my case always leads to trouble.  The vacations I’m planning in my head because of Pinterest will be amazing!

I dabble in travel, food, and fashion on Pinterest – but I mainly like to search for home improvement ideas.  I love a good DIY board, so if I can do it myself – even better!

These are some of the ideas, found on Pinterest, floating around in my head to use in the blue house.

Board and batten up the stairway, painted a nice crisp white.

Built in’s in the living room for extra storage. Plus, getting that TV off a stand and on a wall!

Planks to cover up a popcorn ceiling.

It’s even great for outside ideas as well…

Raised garden beds along a side yard.

It’s not just for big projects though. I’ve found tons of small ideas that are lifechangers.

Rub a walnut on scratched wood to cover the damage!

Velcro on a kitchen towel so it doesn’t fall off.

Take Popsicle sticks and paint them the color of every wall in your house. Keep them with you when you shop for linens, decorations, etc.

I feel like a walking Pinterest salesman, but it has really helped me find inspiration for our home.  Sometimes I know something isn’t right with a space, but I can’t figure out what to do with it.  Taking twenty minutes to surf Pinterest really helps bring out ideas.

Everybody Pinterest! (and make slutty brownies – they are so damn good!)