Up To My Elbows In Paint

Hello, Friends. I think it’s safe to say that Spring is in the air. At the very least, the signs of spring are still here; complete with allergies, the beginning of baseball season, and everything feeling fresh and green again.

Is it just me, or is there something about the blooming trees and greening grass that calls for changing things up? Don’t get me wrong, I’ll always love Fall and Winter, but I’m not immune to the “Spring Cleaning” impulse everyone gets this time of year.

We’re coming up on five years of owning this house, and it’s still a work in progress. I’m not afraid to say that anymore, because I’ve come to the realization that it’ll never be “done”. And that’s okay. I don’t want to be finished with the house, because it is simultaneously a creative outlet and a personal badge that I feel should evolve just as we do. Our spaces should reflect who we are and how we live. Why should we limit it to to a certain point where we felt it was “done”? I’m certainly not done living, and since you’re reading this, I’ll wager a guess that you’re not either.

I found that the decisions I’ve made style-wise are best when I don’t second guess them. The more I second guess them, the more I tend to talk myself right out of them. As a result, I’m often much happier at the choices and the impact it has on the space. See my bold black and white striped guest room, or my indigo bedroom with its gold dots and edison bulbs. Both of those decisions were made right before going to the store for paint, and I didn’t spend a large amount of time debating them. So it should come as no surprise when walking into the kitchen last week, I had a thunderbolt of an idea to paint the stair railings black.

Yep. Black. Deep, inky, midnight black.

Why black? I say why not black? I think, if used thoughtfully, black lends a little edge and sophistication to any space. Not saying I’m the most edgy or sophisticated person out there. I’m certainly not. I just like what I like, and I saw a pattern emerge in the spaces I was drawn to. They all had somewhat industrial light fixtures, large scale artwork, and black trimming, whether they be window sills, baseboards, or railings. So when faced with my very brown staircase (which I had always felt was out of place), and the onset of spring-like change and renewal, I suddenly had the urge to paint it, and paint it in a bold way.

I shared my thoughts with Husband Face, and before I got it out of my mouth, he said, “Let’s do it!”. The next day we bought liquid deglosser, chemical splash goggles, painter’s tape, a gallon of black paint, and several sizes of paintbrush. Soon we were up to our elbows in black paint and spent most of the weekend that way. We methodically moved up and down the stairs to the tune of our creaking knees, the swish of paintbrushes, and Google Music blasting 90s Hip-Hop and R&B.  You really haven’t lived until you lean precariously over a railing brushing black paint onto yet another spindle while singing Shoop by Salt-N-Pepa. The painting seemed endless, but when I stood back to take in the full effect of our efforts, I knew we had made the right decision for our house and our space. And after all this blabbering, I’ll let you see the finished project. Although, I will warn you. If you have an aversion to painted wood and it pains your soul to see it happen, these pictures probably aren’t for you. You should go have a snack instead…may I suggest a delicious popcorn recipe? For the rest of you, here’s the before and after of the finished railing:

It’s dramatic and not something you’d see in most houses, and I think that’s why I like it. I’m still working on what pillows and accessories to bring in to add some color to the space, but for now, we’re plenty happy with the way this project turned out and would go through every paint drip and Tootsee Roll dance break again.





I’m not sure what’s going to be next on the house agenda, but I can assure you this: it’ll probably be decided approximately an hour before buying supplies and completed in a marathon-style session with my always-willing partner in crime, Husband Face. Gotta love a partner who is always down for dance breaks.



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