So, the main level is now about, oh, 70% finished. At least 70% of the renovation work is finished … we still need to get some new furniture, hangs some pictures on the walls, and a bunch of other smaller stuff … details … but I think that this was the last of the major “renovation” work on the main level. So, woo hoo!
I’ve been putting off the second half of the foyer because hanging that beadboard wallpaper on that REALLY long wall and around the corner was just going to be such a drag. I knew it needed to be done, but I just didn’t want to deal with it. But, my desire to not look at that stupid, ugly wall with glue and wallpaper fiber stuck to it finally trumped my laziness and I just did it.
It was as horrible as I thought it was going to be … but I got it done in an afternoon. And, although it may need some trim work hung at some point, the wallpaper is finished.
Next came painting. I wanted to skip the primer this time. I just didn’t want to do the extra step. But, I knew that this wallpaper soaks up the paint … and the trim and stairs fronts would not look great if I skipped the step … so I did it. I primed the walls and ceiling, and the stairwell trim and stair fronts, and the railings.
The railings … It’s a temporary fix because we plan to replace the entire thing down the line with something more modern. And, well, after a coat of primer … well, I was skeptical that this was a good idea. It did not look good.
But, after a second coat of primer, and a couple of coats of actual paint, well, it doesn’t look bad. I don’t love it. I think it looks a little country. But, it does look better than the original, dark, not-so-great-looking wood. And it kind of just blends in at this point, so it works for now.
Add in a single coat of paint on the walls, ceilings, and trim … well, we had a finished foyer.
Then I had one last task of installing trim on the stair fronts. I wanted the stair fronts sanded & finished when they did our floors, but after seeing the not-so-great shape they were in, we had a couple choices – to replace them all (at a pretty hefty cost), or to just paint them later. We opted to paint them white like the rest of the trim. This is totally normal, and some people prefer the look – I just really wanted them all finished in the oak. Oh well. These stairs are not exactly in the best shape, and the corner where the stair tread meets the stair front just wasn’t looking the best. Patrick did a great job sanding and patching all of the holes and cracks … or as best as could be done with what he was working with. So, I could have painted the entire stair front, all the way down to the tread, and called it a day; but I didn’t want them to look old and painted with big cracks in between each step. So, I looked through pictures and trim types … and settled on just adding a red oak 2”x¼” board at the bottom of each step front. I cut the trim pieces and applied poly to the each, so that they would match the stair treads and carry the wood finish up to the next step.
I think they turned out really well, considering how bad of shape our stairs were in when we started this whole process.
So, now we have just a couple of things to finish up on the main level … like painting the doors (which really stand out now that everything else is painted!), installing new hardware, and painting the fireplace … and well, the main floor renovation/construction work will be mostly done*. (The same CANNOT be said for upstairs. 😉) But, we’ve decided to hire someone to paint the stairwell area; so once that is finished, from the front door, you won’t even know parts of our house are still a mess.
(*Also, we still need to build & paint a box for around the doorbell mechanics. Seriously, it’s never actually finished. So many details to take care of … )