The entry, stairs, and upstairs hallway- what a mess!

Our 1911 Craftsman house in Colorado Springs was in pretty good shape when we bought it but one of the problems it had was wallpaper in every room that had been painted over. Normally this doesn’t really bother me (Mike can’t stand it). However, in some places the wallpaper was starting to come off the wall and looked terrible. If we were going to stay in the house we eventually would have stripped it all off. But that’s a major undertaking and not one we had the time and energy to do. In all the other rooms we scraped off the really bad parts and just patched over it then painted, which worked fine. But the stairway was another thing. We included the downstairs entry, the stairs, and the upstairs hallway in the same project because they were all connected so we needed to paint them all the same color, even though we did them all at different times. We knew we were not going to be able to do a great job on painting the stairway with it’s high high ceiling, so we chose a color that matched what was already there so that if it came out messy it wouldn’t show as bad. The color that matched the best happened to be one we had already used in the office, Old Prairie from Benjamin Moore. The trim is Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls. The light “fixture” is original, and they even sell new ones just like it for vintage homes, so we kept it.

The stair landing, before on the left and after on the right. If you look closely you can see the wallpaper had started to pucker and come off the wall in the corner. Also, the walls and the trim had all been painted the same beige color in semi-gloss paint. We removed the wallpaper, which I'll get into in a minute, and painted the walls and trim different colors.

The stair landing, before on the left and after on the right. If you look closely you can see the wallpaper had started to pucker and come off the wall in the corner. Also, the walls and the trim had all been painted the same beige color in semi-gloss paint. We removed the wallpaper, which I'll get into in a minute, and painted the walls and trim different colors.

The upstairs hallway wallpaper was missing in some spots, revealing this kind of original horsehair plaster (which I liked!) or was peeling off. We removed as much as we could, patched, primed, and painted.

The upstairs hallway wallpaper was missing in some spots, revealing this kind of original horsehair plaster (which I liked!) or was peeling off. We removed as much as we could, patched, primed, and painted.

 

An artistic shot of the original horsehair plaster wall.

An artistic shot of the original horsehair plaster wall.

This wall made a great backdrop for my photography.

This wall made a great backdrop for my photography.

This wall made a great backdrop for my photography.

This wall made a great backdrop for my photography.

One night, after a couple of drinks, we started picking at the stairway wall and were excited to see this neat old Titanic era wallpaper. So we continued picking and peeling till it was no longer fun. It stayed in this state for months.

One night, after a couple of drinks, we started picking at the stairway wall and were excited to see this neat old Titanic era wallpaper. So we continued picking and peeling till it was no longer fun. It stayed in this state for months.

Original 1911 wallpaper.

Original 1911 wallpaper.

We had lots of ideas for this wall,. but when we decided to sell the house, we sadly, decided it needed to just be a normal painted wall.

We had lots of ideas for this wall,. but when we decided to sell the house, we sadly, decided it needed to just be a normal painted wall.

We had hoped a skim coat and some paint would do it, but nope. Bruse the drywall guy to the rescue. He got up on his scaffold and removed all the wallpaper for us! Then he let us borrow the scaffolding so Mike could paint.

We had hoped a skim coat and some paint would do it, but nope. Bruce the drywall guy to the rescue. He got up on his scaffold and removed all the wallpaper for us! Then he let us borrow the scaffolding so Mike could paint.

We painted everything, including the trim, and considered it done. It was good that we used the same color that was already there (we even went so far as to use semi-gloss paint on one of the really bad walls) because it matched perfectly.

We painted everything, including the trim, and considered it done. It was good that we used the same color that was already there (we even went so far as to use semi-gloss paint on one of the really bad walls) because it matched perfectly.