July 8, 2011

Decorating on a Budget

For me, the very best part of blogging is connecting with my readers.  The blog world is overflowing with positive energy and the people I've "met" have been kind, warm and generous.  This week I received an email from Wanda.  She's working within the constraints of a budget to replace some flooring in her home and she inspired me to share a budget re-do of my own.

When finishing our basement, we were faced with the dilemma of what to do with the staircase.  It was unfinished pine, the standard staircase installed by builders and usually covered with carpeting.  Our home has hardwood flooring throughout (because of that furry little creature you see above) so carpeting wasn't a logical choice.  Another option was to have an overlay of hardwood installed but the cost was more than we were willing to spend.  I decided to paint the staircase (hubby wasn't completely sold on the idea) and if we were unhappy with the results we'd move to plan B.

The first step was to apply two very thin layers of automotive putty over the visible knots. That was a tip from our flooring installer.  Next, a coat of primer over the entire staircase.    

The risers were painted with semi-gloss :: the same paint used on our baseboards and trim.  I like to do two coats just to be certain the end result is the best it can be.  The last step was to apply two coats of urethane reinforced alkyd enamel.  This product levels nicely and produces a lovely glossy finish.

It's been two years since I painted these steps and the finish is holding up beautifully. We are a shoe-free household so the staircase doesn't receive heavy traffic on a daily basis.  I do believe it can handle it though, as our guests are exempt from the no-shoe rule and many adorned feet have travelled up and down.

Because I can't bear to include photos without color, I've decorated the paint can with a string of lighted flowers.  These are from Martha Stewart and I own them simply because they make me smile.

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