The Hallway. The stairs.

This all started with the hallway. It’s a narrow space with 5 doorways, and built-in drawers. How much work can it be? This is when things spiraled out of control. Dude. I immediately regretted my decisions, shame spiraled, and started 12154411 other disastrous projects in the same vein.

It will be quick to remove the drywall!! – I said

Yeah, 8 months later and there’s still some drywall up.

That’s hardly any wallpaper, easy to remove! – I said

Yeah, there’s still some wallpaper up, too

Exposing this brick on the chimney is a breeze! – I said

Then why is only ONE side of two sides done?!


I don’t actually have a before photo, because it was pretty nondescript.

Here’s where we are at today: 034 Hallway 8/4/14

Yuckkkkkkk. The walls are actually blue, but the wallpaper glue is yellow nast.

You want a close up of the wallpaper, you say? Why, of course.

You jelly?

I did remove some of the drywall, and some of the wallpaper. It’s like they had to meet some sort of drywall screw quota, it’s so difficult in some spots to remove and shatters. It royally pisses me off.


  • Remove evil drywall
  • Remove screws
  • Remove all wallpaper
  • Scrub the gross glue
  • Patch holes (the existing texture of the walls is pretty smooth already)
  • Prime
  • Paint walls
  • Paint trim
  • 3rd coats of paint on doors
  • Expose brick

The stairs.

So, after I made the hallway ugly, I decided I NEEDED to make something pretty. A simple task to feel accomplished.

I stripped our dark/opaque stained baseboard and the honey oak treads with Citristrip, then sanded everything down with my little palm sander. Taking the poly off the treads and risers was no biggie, but the opaque varnish? Ick. Buy several rolls of thick paper towels to help clean up.

Here’s the clean slate:

Bare wood
strippedstairs Bare wood


Since the wood was stripped to bare, I primed with Behr Premium plus stain-blocker primer and top coated with Sherwin Williams Snowbound 7004 floor and porch enamel.

Primed and painted:primedstairs

I water popped the wood (with a spray bottle) and stained the treads with Dura Seal penetrating finish in Coffee Brown. I love, LOVE this color – it’s rich and warm without being too red. I don’t remember where I read it, but definitely a good trick to stain every other tread, so you have some to walk on mid project.

Of course there was a lot more involved, caulked seams, patched holes, sanded, sanded and sanded some more. It was all pre-idea for a blog, so none of it was photographed.

Now, I have stalled. I need to touch up the areas on the white where the stain leaked through the tape. Plus, I was thinking of some cove moulding where the tread and riser meet? Like dis?



Also, let’s ignore the walls in the stairwell. It’s the stuff nightmares are made of.