I’ve been working on a project over the past couple of weeks that involved a bunch of little projects and I finally got them all done this weekend. I LOVE IT.
Our basement stairway was kind of the pits after the basement finishing – the tools and drywall scuffed and dinged up the walls, the old carpet was just…well, GROSS. And I had been using the walls in on the stairs to “store” all of my extra frames that I’m saving for upcoming projects.
Here it was in all it’s glory a few weeks ago:
The guys had to tear out some of the old carpet to install the baseboard trim by the stairs, so this actually looks better than it had looked. Before there was no trim at all along the bottom.
The first project was painting that trim before the new carpet was installed. It got a coat of primer and two coats of gloss white paint, which wasn’t too bad because I didn’t have to cut in or be careful because I knew the walls were getting repainted and the carpet was out of there.
After the new carpet was installed I went ahead with the walls. I decided to wait and paint after the carpet was installed because I figured there would be a bunch of scuffs from it being taken downstairs and installed on the stairs. And I was right. :)
I am pretty good at cutting in now, after years and years of painting, but I even so I like to tape off the trim before I paint so it protects it from those little bitty annoying flecks of paint:
I used my FrogTape and it didn’t have to be perfect because it was just there to protect the newly painted white trim. You can see that I don’t stick the tape down onto the trim, I let it stick out from the wall so it’s like a little “umbrella” for the trim. Precious.
After the painting was done (I used the Marina Gray color from the basement that I told you about in this post), I was onto my the big idea I’ve had for the large wall in the stairway.
I had been dreaming this up for months and I was so excited to get it started. The basement bathroom still sits empty and unfinished, but I just had to focus on this instead because I was so psyched about it!
I bought five packages of these pine wood planks from Lowe’s:
They are about $9 each so this project was less than $50 total. I installed them on the wall, much like I do any beadboard project – I started at the top and went down from there, making sure each one fit into the next snugly.
This tongue and groove planking is SO easy to install! I just nailed it in with my nail gun as I went down the wall. When I was done I gave it a very light sanding (this stuff is already smooth to the touch) and then taped off my walls and ceiling:
My drop cloth was cut up trash bags:
I usually just use an old sheet for my drop cloth, but this time I was using stain, not paint. And stain is impossible to clean up – I wasn’t taking any chances with new carpet:
I used this dark walnut color and looove it. It’s close to the color of our wood floors and it’s nice and rich and lovely.
I gotta tell you, I was sweating while staining this wall – I’ve never stained anything this large or vertical and I had to work fast to keep a “wet edge.” I was also trying to watch drips and trying not to flick it everywhere as I was working.
After I was done wiping it down (I showed you how to stain here), I stood back and swooned:
I LOOOOVE it. Luuuuurve. Luuuuv. Whatever.
Obsessed with it.
Before we had a one bulb light fixture in this space that I installed years ago, but it didn’t give off enough light for my liking. Since this space was getting a redo anyway, I replaced it with a new track light:
I loved that I could aim a couple of the lights on the awesomesauce wall and the others off to the side.
Normally I wouldn’t be thrilled about track lighting, but they’ve come a long way. I’ve mentioned before that I’m going for a slightly industrial, but warm, look in the basement, and I think this light fits in SO well with the wood wall:
I had to use my jigsaw to cut the planks so they fit around that small ledge we have down there. It’s sooo not perfect but no one will ever notice it…as far as I know. ;) Oh, and the boards themselves aren’t exactly the same length. I was going to caulk the edges but after I stained I realized you can’t even tell.
I still have to paint that ledge white and then this space is DONE. Who knew a simple basement stairway would be so much work?
Here’s another quick look at the before:
And after trim, paint, new carpet, a wood planked wall, a new light and minus a cat:
OH, I also spray painted the brass hardware brushed nickel (after I took this picture last night) and cleaned up the railings really well. They were NAS. TY.
Here’s the bottom set of steps before:
(They had to take some of the stairs apart to install the trim, hence no carpet here).
And here’s the view from downstairs up to the wood wall:
LOVE IT!! It’s warm and unique and I would hug it if I could.
OK, I’ve tried.
One of the many things I love about the basement is all of the wall space – it has so much potential! We don’t have a lot of wall space upstairs because our home has an open floor plan, so I’m stoked about doing some fun things with all of it.
Even the stairs have a ton of wall space. I don’t know if I’ll hang anything on the wood wall or let it be the art. If I don’t, there's a large wall above the ledge that I want to do something fun with.
What do you think, add art to the wood wall or let it be? What would you do?
See all the other ways I've used these simple wood planks in our home here!
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