Tonight, I’m switching things up a little bit. You know, kind of like when Varitek (my recently retired favorite Red Sox player) switches from batting righty to lefty. I’m hopping over to the other side of the plate, taking a little DIY break to look back on what we’ve already done. I learned about the One Project Closer Before and After Contest via one of my favorite blogs, Ten June, and have since decided to enter. You can learn more about the contest and details by heading on over to Ten June here. Just be sure to tell Michelle I said hi!
I carefully considered my options….office space, parlor, dining room, bathroom…all these rooms have been seriously remodeled over the last year. But my all time favorite remodel this year, the hallway and staircase.
The impact that they’ve had on our house has been HUGE! We’re talking a deep impact kind of situation with all kinds of over the top movie cheesiness with Robert Duvall, Tea Leoni and Elijah Wood. Remember them? But back to baluster bliss….ahhhh.
Oh…and it also stands to mention that since taking all the great photographic genius shots (who am I kidding), we’ve since stained and refinished the hallway floor in a dark walnut shade.
Now back to the balusters.
Now back to me, now back at the balusters, now back to me. Look down, back up, where are you. I’m on a horse. Oh Old Spice…I couldn’t help myself. Now that we’ve seen where we are with our little hallway/baluster project, you truly can’t appreciate it until you’ve seen the shocking before. I’m gonna give you fair warning, what you’re about to see is not for the faint of heart or if you’re pregnant or nursing.
And another angle.
Hello seventies…so nice to see you…wait…NOT! The Colb-ster and I have spent some serious, SERIOUS time DIYing this old house of ours and it’s just recently started to take shape. We started this little hallway makeover about a year ago and the projects have included demo, sheet rocking, painting the hall, painting the old door, refinishing the door hardware, priming the staircase, installing bead board risers, trim installation and painting, painting the ombre balusters, and installing them which is no easy feat in a 100+ year old home without one square or level inch in the whole house. Good thing my boy toy is handy! It’s why I keep him around….kidding! Now back to the balusters.
One of the coolest features is how the blues in the balusters pick up on the blues in the ski map art wall on the other side of the hall. As hinted at, these balusters have really set the tone for the color scheme in the rest of the house. I always find myself pulling from the blues in the balusters for other projects, like the blue door in the dining room…same color as baluster number two.
So let’s just talk about how we did what we did with the baluster project. For those of you who have been with us awhile, feel free to fast forward through these next parts…it’s a rerun. For you newbies…read away.
I’m just going to throw this out there. This project was HARD! It wouldn’t have been so hard if it wasn’t for our 100+ year old, un-square, and un-level home. I know I sound like a broken record but old homes are difficult to renovate! In fact, read about some of our difficulties in our “how to install balusters” post here. I started this project by first picking the paint colors. And speaking of the painting, choosing the colors was also a hard step in the process.
So many blues! I’m addicted to the Valspar color options at Lowes, so I started the color selection process by selecting one section of the blues and bringing home ALL the chips in that section. I then chopped them up so I could “play paint chips”. And I played, and I played and I played some more. I originally thought I wanted to choose 16 different colors, one color for each of our balusters. But choosing 16 blues and putting them in ombre order proved way too difficult. Choosing 8 colors was hard enough. In the end, I chose two sets of three chips (you know…the paint chips come with 3 different colors on them with their own little ombre-ness to them). Then I just found two more colors, one really dark one and one really light one, to round out the field of 8.
I didn’t need much paint, so those little Valspar paint sample tubs were just the ticket. They only come in one finish, satin, which was ok by us. The $2.94 price tag per tub was all the convincing I needed. So home came the paint tubs and I bunkered down for a Saturday of baluster painting.
I didn’t want brush strokes to show up on the finish, so I decided to use some 1″ foam brushes to apply the paint. Those brushes worked like a dream and I’m extremely happy with the resulting finish! Since finding ombre spray paint would have been next to impossible, using the foam brush was the next best thing, even though it was a time consuming process. I was hoping to get away with only two coats but a third was a necessity.
So pretty! Next step was installation, which you can read about here. But I should mention why we chose to paint first and install second. The balusters did get a little scuffed up by the table saw and during installation, but it was far easier to touch up a little paint here and there afterwards than it would have been to paint them in their entirety after installing. So Colby, my amazingly awesome carpenter…I mean…boyfriend…I mean fiance (ick…I still don’t like that word…I can’t wait to just call him my husband…29 more days to go…woo hoo…but who’s counting), spent his Sunday afternoon installing the balusters.
The entire time he kept commenting, “these are so cool”, “man these look awesome”. I think he doubted my inner designer. He should know better by now! In reality, I just think he was frustrated that we’ve had the balusters for about six months before I got around to painting them. He’s such a good (patient) man!
If you want the details on how to install those bad boys go ahead and read about it here (sorry…I think I’ve mentioned that a gazillion and a half times). It’s just a super length, wordy post and this one is already pushing the length limit. Sorry!!! Are you still out there? Now back to me. This is the point of the post where I shameless beg plead my case for your judging mercy (pick me! pick me!).
Pssst…Now back to you. It’s audience participation time. If you were to pick one project in your house that you’re super proud of accomplishing, what would it be? Feel free to post your projects in the comment section below! And happy weekend everyone!