Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Because it was raining

I decided to paint the basement stairwell, as part of my "little things" resolution. This is the last area of the house to be painted, except for the laundry room, which is unfinished cinderblock. I don't want to paint the laundry room because, ugh, what a pain in the butt. Also: spiders.

If we are being honest I will probably paint it at some point because, ugh, I'm compulsive like that.

The walls were a shiny off-white and they were filthy from dragging the old furnace out, moving furniture in and out, and all of the work we've done in the crawlspaces. There's cheap fake wood paneling at the base of the stairs that looks terrible. The carpet is going to come out, maybe this winter, which is why I wasn't very careful with drop cloths.

High five!

Right before I started painting

If I was smart I would have painted the walls the color of dirty hand smudges (maybe Sherwin Williams' You Have Sons, Your Bathroom Will Never Be Clean Again) but I didn't want to spend a lot of money on this project, so I bought a gallon of heavy duty primer and used the gallon of Benjamin Moore's Whirlpool I had leftover from painting the alcoves . BM paint costs more than my car, so I wanted to use it up. We're going to get it all dirty again in a second but for right now it looks bright and light. I asked Greg the other night if he put a stronger bulb in the light fixture and he thought I was fishing for a compliment on the paint.

It's not white, I swear. It's a very pale blue.

It's noticeably brighter coming down the stairs now. I used leftover white paint on the wood paneling but I might change that later, if it gets grimy quickly. In low-light situations I've heard you're supposed to use saturated paint colors. This one definitely doesn't qualify and it's difficult to photograph well. Stupid designers and their rules of thumb.

We hung the signed poster the Portlandia crew sent us as a thank you for volunteering our house. We have a lot of extra art floating around the house and I think I'm going to hang it in here. Because once you've made your basement stairwell light and bright the next logical step is to crowd it with artwork so you feel claustrophobic when fetching your laundry.

I also have to finish scraping the peeling latex paint that the previous owner applied to the oil-based paint on the door trim. Then prime, then paint in a bright white that we can immediately get dirty. Circle of life and all that.


  1. You didn't get rid of the "obey the pug" poster did you? I used to have a similar screen saver...

    Nice job on the paint! 7 years later and I still haven't painted our staircase, hell...haven't painted the kitchen either. Such a project, I'm sick of projects. Do you thrive on projects?

  2. Wish I would use the rainy days as productively. Your house is on its way to becoming a showcase.

  3. Oh yeah, we kept it! And yeah, ever since grad school I don't feel like I can relax until I've done something productive, hence all the painting and moving of things in the yard. And Greg loves coming home to the smell of paint! (Greg really hates coming home to the smell of paint.)