Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Staircase Progress & Picking a Stain Color

I am pleased to say that I am finally getting around to the finish work on the staircase.  It's amazing how with just a coat of primer, everything can start to come together!  I opted to install faux board and batten on two of the stair walls.


I was surprised at just how snazzy it is looking, especially for how cheap (less than $50!) and easy (less  than 2 hours of work!) it was.  I am working on a tutorial which I hope to post this week because I think I found some shortcuts that really simplify the installation process.  Also, since I was working with brand new drywall, I had the idea that if I brush the drywall like I would if it was actually board and batten, it might trick the eye into thinking that it was actually wood behind the battens, rather than rolling the drywall, leaving texture to the wall.  I gave it a shot, and I have to say that I think it worked!

This is just the primer coat and it only has a sheen because it was still wet.   However, I plan on painting the faux board and batten with the same paint as the rises, newels, balusters, etc.  so I am hoping that it will have a very convincing look to it when it's all done.  It took a few hours of painting on various contorted positions, but most of the staircase has been primed.  It's finally starting to look like what I had envisioned!

I am sure that I have at least 20+ hours of priming, sanding, filling, caulking and painting ahead of me, but I am already starting to think about the stain color for the treads, landing and handrail.  It's a big decision because this will also be the color that we use on the floors throughout the house when we refinish them.  Right now, I am torn between three very different directions:


Rich Chocolate

Weathered Oak
While I think that all three options could look great in this house, it's still a tough choice.  I love the espresso color, but I am worried that it might be too dark and also that it is an out-going trend that might look dated in 5 years.  The weathered oak look is definitely an emerging trend, but I think that it might lean too beachy and certainly would not be everyone's taste (which is an important consideration for resale).  A medium toned, rich chocolate color is certainly classic and universal, but I think it might be kind of boring?  Any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated!  Of course there is no stain color that will work for any of these wood tones straight out of the can.  So I bought about 7 different 4oz stain cans to mix and play around with.  I am going to see if I can come up with just the right stain color.  Wish me luck!



  1. I LOVE how this is coming along! It looks incredible!

  2. I second what Anne says! Now for your floor quandary - I think Espresso is going to show every bit of dust/dirt. I'm too lazy to deal with that on a daily basis. While I LOVE the weathered oak, it might be too beachy. So my vote is Rich Chocolate which is GORGEOUS.

    1. We have radiator heat instead of forced air, so that helps keep the dust to a minimum. However, we have two dogs that shed like it's their full time job, so dark floors seem like a bad choice for our lifestyle. Now it's just a matter of finding/mixing a stain color that matches the chocolate color I am looking for!

  3. I love the stairwell! The board and batten is gorgeous. My very favorite style home is a Craftsman Bungalow so I am super jealous! As for the floors, I am always a fan of super dark. I don't think it ever goes out of style, as those houses had dark trim when built. However, having had super dark wood floors, I will say I will never do it again. They are never clean! 1 dog and 2 humans was enough for us to clean them 3 times a day, and they were still dirty-looking. My vote is for a medium toned wood. I can't wait to see!

    1. Thanks, Teresa! Bungalows are my favorite, too. :-) With two dogs in our house and that fact that I am OCD about cleaning, I should probably avoid the dark floors to maintain my sanity!

  4. i love those stairs, gorgeous! we just put in our kitchen tile over the weekend, and we used wood looking tile. love it.

  5. What color will you choose??? I am so bad at making choices like that, so many variables!
    Can't wait to see your choice!
    Thanks for sharing at Something to Talk About!

  6. Wonderful blog and beautiful work! I just came across it. I LOVE the weathered oak!!! It's so stunning and can translate into so many beautiful and lighter styles - from farmhouse chic to something natural and organic. I loved the dark wood trend for the past ten years, and it definitely feels classic and polished, but in my heart of hearts I've always loved the lightness that light hardwoods have to offer, closer to their natural state with that warm/warn/distressed look. You're bungalow reno is stunning and if it helps at all, I think the lighter hardwood would give it more of a beautiful cottage feel. Not necessarily beachy, just enchanting, like you stumbled across this beautiful home in some enchanted fairy tale forest. I like visuals! :)