It’s like I’m having a contest with myself to see how long I can go without posting.
I’m dealing with a gross cold so this post is coming to you whilst inebriated with NyQuil. Lots and lots of NyQuil. I’m dead serious. I’ve only gotten off of the couch about eight times today. Most of which was to crawl about ten feet over to the landing in an effort to finish staining and poly-ing the stairs.
I’ll try to make up for the last few weeks with one obnoxiously long post. You’re welcome.
One of the biggest and ugliest challenges with this whole-house reno has been the dreaded posts at the base of the stairs.
It’s beautiful, right? Don’t you want one, too? The scary-ish thing about these posts is that they’re primarily responsible for keeping the second floor on the second floor. It still boggles my mind that a handful of 2×4’s can transfer that much weight. Sure, there are other points within the house that help to transfer weight from the giant yellow LVL beams, but they’re hidden and I don’t see them every single day.
I knew I wanted to create stately, dramatic columns, but frankly, I’ve never really done it before. I’ve played with moldings and trim to come up with some pretty profiles before, but this was new territory for me. I pinned my heart out with images of columns and bases to get my brainz wrapped around how I was going to tackle them, but I was considerably freaked-out at this project and I let it sit. Until just a couple weeks ago. That’s almost five months. Five months of yelling “Don’t touch the posts!!! You’ll get a splinter!!!” every time the boys hung onto them like a firepole.
Enough was enough and it was time to just dive the heck in. But there was one step that needed to be completed before I could start: I needed to address the landing issue and the lack of flooring on said landing.
We were originally planning on carpeting the stairs and landing but I nixed that idea mid-stream, leaving me with a REALLY rough starting point. I didn’t want to lay the floating flooring down that I was doing on the rest of the house because I thought it would clash with the steps going up and look ridiculous. I thought about just painting the plywood and calling it a day (“You’re a DAY!”) but I knew that would look cheapo. So, I came up with a plan to lay some faux painted plank flooring. Although, I don’t know if it’s really faux. It’s wood. It’s cut in planks. It’s painted. It’s faux sho’ on the floor. So, technically, it’s the real deal. Right?
John ripped a sheet of 1/8th-inch plywood down to four-inch strips and I got to work gluing and nailing them down on the landing.
I used two dimes at either end for spacing because I wanted to keep a visible seam after I painted. I also added a piece of 1×2 mdf on either side of the landing as a sort of bullnose to mimic the profile of the steps.
And then I got to painting.
I like the idea of possibly doing a decorative paint treatment on the landing, but the rustic charm of the plank floor looks pretty sweet as-is.
Back to the columns. Did you forget about them? Are you still with me? …tap, tap, tap…. Is this thing on?
Now that the landing had flooring, I could get started on those damn posts. I started by sitting down and staring at them. For a long, long time. Then I dug through my mdf scraps and got to work putting together my column puzzle.
|Creepy, blue tint courtesy of my awesome camera skillz|
And in the almost-end, I have this:
|I added a funky ‘X’ detail to the outsides of each column.
They’ll tie in with another project I have in mind for the kitchen.
I still have a few bits of finish work to do before I call the landing complete:
- Caulk, caulk, caulk and add a final coat of paint
- Finish the risers for the bottom stairs
- Add a coat of poly to the landing
- Finish the trim for the outside of the landing
- Change out the almond-colored receptacle for a white one