Sometimes there is so much I want to tackle, I can’t decide what to do next. My solution: I do whatever is free. And since Chris is working late every night, lately I have been picking projects that I can do easily by myself. In steps the stairway railing and her little sister, this divider between the dining room and family room:
The free-ness is thanks to Benjamin Moore giving out free pints to everyone and anyone until June 30th. You just have to “like” them on facebook and print off your coupon and take it into any store that sells ol’ Ben. (Hint: we printed off, like, five.) For the railings, I knew I didn’t want black and white. Albeit traditional, we have quite a bit of black and white accents already and I wanted something that would compliment that, as well as, mesh with the dark wood floors we are dreaming of eventually getting. We agreed almost instantly on Ben Moore’s Steel Wool. I decided to start on the smaller railing (the divider) because I wanted to make sure we would like the look before tackling the larger staircase. It took WAY longer than I expected. Sanding, cleaning, and painting and then a light sand and a second coat on this took 3.5 hours.
But it looks exactly as I hoped it would, so I can’t complain too much. What a difference! It feels calm and coordinated (ugh, try not to look wreck-of-a-kitchen cabinets).
As far as the process, it wasn’t hard, just tedious. The spindles and hand rail weren’t very glossy, so I just gave them a quick sanding and then cleaned off all the dust and washed it down really well. Benjamin Moore is one of the best paints out there, so I was confident skipping priming once the wood was roughed up a bit by sanding. So, once the wash-down dried, I started painting in the following order:
This order really helped me stay organized, not go crazy, and not get in my own way. There were so many times I instinctually grabbed for the center spindles and I was so grateful they weren’t painted yet. After the first coat dried, I sanded it with a very fine grit paper and then gave it a second coat just as The Bachelorette was starting last night (oh my, Bentley!). I opted out of a sealer top-coat because they tend to yellow over time and I didn’t want this to look super shiny, either. The end result is completely charming, even up close:
Chris and I are both glad that the grain is still coming through the paint. It makes it feel extra special. Yesterday, once I was finished and admiring it, I decided I needed a break before I started round two: the big sister staircase. But this morning, I started sanding without giving it a second thought…although, I am positive it will be more than a one-day project. Something to look forward to!