Welcome To Our Little Big House On The Prairie

Friday, March 9, 2012

Progress: Wainscoting

This morning when I woke up, I wasn't feeling very motivated concerning the dining room.  I spent all day yesterday playing catch up on laundry, cleaning the kitchen, and trying to get all the other rooms "manageable".  This is what happens when you have five children and do nothing but paint.  Today I just wanted to veg out.  I dozed on and off on the couch until about noon while having an HGTV marathon.  How I was able to do that for four hours and not get motivated is beyond me.  Usually, that really gets my butt in gear.  Finally, I decided to tackle the pile on wainscoting that's been laying in the dining room floor for 3 weeks or better.

It was a process to say the least - and my arms feel it.

Each piece had 2-4 nails.  Large nails.  That have been there for over a hundred years.

I had to beat them each out with a hammer.

Then pull them out the top side.

Sometimes they were so bent that I had to do this:

What?  You don't wear dress socks when you're doing home improvement?  ;)  And, yes...  I knocked myself in the chin a few times doing this, but they came out!

I've never really given you a good close up of the peeling paint I'm going to be dealing with...

and the lovely nail holes that those ginormous nails left behind.

Here's where your advice comes in.  Again.  I like asking everyone what they think even though I usually have the direction I'm going in my head.  Hearing someone else's opinion sometimes reaffirms what I'm thinking and sometimes even changes my mind.

I have three directions I can go with this stuff.

1)  The obvious:  Strip all the paint and repaint them to match the trim.  The right way.  Will look new and more professional.

2)  Flake off all the chipping paint and go for the really, really distressed look.  Authentic.  Adds texture and character.  A lot less work.  But will it be too much of the chippy look I love?

All of the darker beige paint like is on the center one and part of the right one will be gone, leaving the glossy white, bits of green and wood peeking out. (Obviously I haven't painted the trim yet.  I'm going to do it all at once and depending on what I decide.)  I haven't touched it, except to take the nails out.  They need to be washed and all the flaking paint chipped off.  Fun times!  :P

3)  Flip the boards over, go with the wider, flatter plank, and then paint them the same white as the trim will be.  It achieves the same fresh, new look with less than half the work.  It also gives it more of a farmhouse look.  They'll have be sanded, but that's a heck of a lot better than stripping.

Keep in mind that there will be a wide base trim at the bottom and then it will be topped with a chair rail.

So, what do you think?  1, 2, or 3?

I'm pretty pleased with the progress I made today.  All the wainscoting is neatly stacked in the corner...

And now I have a somewhat organized space to work in.

Not too bad for an afternoon's work.  And the best part of all?  Finding the treasures of history that someone over a hundred years ago left behind...

The name of the very first owner and builder of the house, plus the location to which the boards were being shipped.  Way cool.  I think I'll be setting two of these aside and doing something with them in the dining room.  I love finding stuff like this in this house!

Next up:

Deciding what color to paint the risers of the stairs.  I'm really leaning toward a lighter green than what is on the walls, but I'm questioning whether or not I should go with a more classic white.  I'm afraid I'm getting caught up in the bright colors of spring fever and might regret it through the other months.  Any thoughts on that?


Please let me hear your thoughts on the wainscoting and the riser color.  I always love to hear what you're thinking!!!

Have a great weekend, y'all!


art is beauty said...

I am tired just thinking about all that work you do. Its going to look amazing when its done.!!! Have you seen the new Lowe's commercial with all the different colored risers....I think you should do that..:)
Have fun.

vsutton said...

Google images of painted stair risers....that will definitely clarify things! LOL! You r Superwoman!

Fox Hollow Cottage said...

Whew! You got it all organized though didn't you =) Hmm... maybe flip them. When you're done and everything is painted. Will you care? If not, go for the flip. On the risers, I am the last person to ask. I would do white, so it goes with everything and is easy to touch up. Plus, I like classic on the big stuff. You know I am a neutral girl. (or do them aqua) LOL!

A. Love said...

Flip the wainscoting and paint the risers white! Can't wait to see it all finished!

Natalie at Little Prairie Girl said...

chalkboard the risers....then let your creativity or your children's take hold whenever they get the urge to draw or doodle or write and inspirational message....OR their spelling words...hee hee!

sonia said...

Yep, I'm for flipping them and making it more a farmhouse feel.....way less work, and no one would blame you! And I know last night I agreed with the lighter green, but I actually think the white is growing on me, so maybe stick with that - I'm not sure you'll be happy with all that green come fall/winter!

Anonymous said...

I'm with Karin - different colors with one of them being the same color as the walls. But hey - I never do anything like this, so what do I know?

Gina :)

P.j. said...

Well, I'm late on adding my 2 cents to this post, but if it were my house I'd strip the top side. But remember that I'm into preserving as many original details of old houses as possible. The practical side says that you should do what makes you happy &/or is easiest to achieve. Flipping the boards won't look inappropriate for either the house or your decorating style.

Since you may not have decided about how to paint the risers yet, I might be able to persuade you to use a stencil design. I've seen some awesome photos on several websites (This Old House & others, just do a search on TOH's website). I'm planning to do the gold/black damask design I found there for the back staircase at Morgan Manor.

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