Late last year I took down the "boxes" I had on our staircase -- they were the first trim project I tried more than ten years ago and the newbie-ness showed. :) They weren't flush with the wall and were kind of a mess, but I was proud of them for all those years!
I usually decide to tear stuff up before big events like people coming over, a big party or major holidays. It's how I do. This one was no exception -- I took the trim down in December and it's looked like this since:
I used to have a darker color in the squares and the old wall color was behind that -- you can really see how pink those walls were!
I didn't think I had used glue on the trim but I was wrong. This is why I tell you all NOT to use glue on your trimwork unless you are 100 percent sure it will never come down. Use studs and caulk if you need to -- but glue leaves a mess when you take it down.
There were hundreds of little divots in the wall where the glue pulled drywall off:
I must have lathered the corner pieces with glue because they pulled entire chunks off the wall. Good times. That's why I put this off for so long! I loathe drywall work.
I used this filler to for all of those spots and then sanded and wiped it all down after it dried:
I had to do a few coats on the corner spots and it still isn't perfect by any stretch. This is a fix until my bigger plan for this staircase comes to fruition -- which will probably be next year. I just wanted to get rid of the mess on the wall for now.
The mirror looked sad and tiny on that big wall after I painted, so I grabbed some old window grids out of the garage. I've had these for six years easy (Goodwill find for $1.99 each!) and they've survived many garage clean outs -- I loved them and knew I'd use them one day:
They had some plastic doodads I pulled out of the sides and other than cleaning them up a bit that was it. They won't stay here forever but I love them until the upgrades happen!
I also painted the dark strip down by the baseboards. It has been a darker accent color for as long as I can remember and I wanted to brighten it up. It gives the illusion of thicker baseboards (which I will beef up later):
I've never been so happy to have a plain, painted wall! I was so tired of looking at that drywall mess all those months.
By the way, these walls are analytical gray by Sherwin Williams -- a great neutral! I love it with the contrast of black and white:
I'm so happy to have another one knocked off that list! I didn't spend anything to finish this up either, which is always a bonus. This staircase has been through many changes over the years, but this will be the last I do anything to it until I start the big project next year:
Here's a throwback to how it looked before I ripped the carpet off and started the transformation:
I know the quality is awful, but it's the only before pic I can find.
And here's how it looks today! The cat posed for you:
If you'd like all the info on how I transformed the stairs, check out these posts:
Removing carpet from stairs
The finishing process
Adding trim below the railing