Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Stairway To Heaven

The stairway leading up to the 2nd floor in our house is a prominent feature, considering it is open to the main floor (so you see the entire stairway and the upstairs hall due to two-story-high ceilings), and it is directly inside the front door.  So it's transformation is pretty important, especially considering it started like this:

Ignore the painters tape (I remembered to get a before shot, but not before we started taping everything, obviously. Progress.) The entire house was the color you see there - which is an off-white-pinkish-peachy color.  And all of the trim is that shiny golden oak color.  Never for a second did we consider leaving it like this (well, Phil grappled with the concept of leaving the trim as is, but there was no way I was having that).  I knew right away I wanted that trim WHITE. I love the crisp look of white trim with dark walls. The main floor got a warm, chocolate-milk color, and the stairway was slated to get that same color. But Phil and I together came up with the idea to have a fun accent color on the stairway.  So a couple weeks later we had this:

 The lighting in that room is tough, so this picture doesn't quite do it justice, but you get the idea.  You can see the chocolate-milk color on the wall to the right and in the upstairs hallway. And then as you can see we went with an eggplanty purple for the accent wall. And I pretty much am in love with it. I just adore the deep, warm colors with the bright white stair railing.

However, if I think back to the process of getting it like this, I want to punch things.  That shiny golden oak trim? Covered in some sort of heavy duty shellac. We used a liquid de-glosser on all the trim in the house, and it was just not enough to get through whatever industrial grade shellac they used. We really should have sanded the trim.  The trim ended up taking 3-4 coats total, and has already peeled/chipped off in places... so it clearly just did not adhere to the trim well enough. Oh well, ya live, ya learn!

Lesson(s) Learned: When it comes to heavy-duty stripping, liquid deglosser is a no-no! It might be more laborious and messier, but SANDING is the only way to get things fully prepped for painting, assuming you want it to really last.

Has anyone else learned a similar lesson, or had more success with liquid de-glosser than I have? Any tricks of the trade to make de-glosser work better?

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