Tak­ing step by step ap­proach to paint­ing your stairs

Penticton Herald - - HOME GARDEN & - DEB­BIE TRAVIS

Dear Deb­bie; What are your thoughts about paint­ing stairs? We live in the coun­try, and don’t wear shoes in the house so I don’t think chip­ping is a con­cern. What’s the best way to go about it if the stairs have to re­main in use?

Dear Melanie; We con­nect painted stair­ways with the ca­sual dec­o­rat­ing style seen in coun­try and cot­tage liv­ing. Stained and var­nished stairs are the most prac­ti­cal, but paint will add tons of char­ac­ter.

Stain­ing the stair treads and paint­ing the risers of­fers max­i­mum vis­ual im­pact, and the risers get fewer scuff marks. If you choose to paint the stairs as well, se­lect some kind of pat­tern for the treads. With this type of de­sign, wear and tear will add to the look. I dec­o­rated the coun­try stair­case shown here us­ing a comb­ing tech­nique. You can buy combs for this pur­pose at your paint and craft store, but I cut a comb from foam core, mak­ing “teeth”. The comb fits twice into the height of the riser.

The stairs are first painted with two coats of cream-coloured la­tex paint and left to dry overnight. Mix a coloured glaze, 1 part mus­tard la­tex paint and 1 part wa­ter-based glaz­ing liq­uid.

Do the risers first. Ap­ply the mus­tard glaze and pull the comb through the glaze hor­i­zon­tally across the top of the riser. Move down the riser and re­peat. Wipe off any ex­cess paint on the comb onto a rag. Fin­ish all the risers.

Work­ing on one step at a time, ap­ply the glaze to the step and the lip. Pull the comb in straight hor­i­zon­tal lines across the step. For the tread, pull the comb in ver­ti­cal squig­gly lines down the cen­ter sec­tion of the step. Gen­tly stip­ple over the glazed lip to add some tex­ture. Ap­ply 3 or 4 coats of var­nish for pro­tec­tion. Matte var­nish is the least slip­pery, so a safer choice.

If the stairs must be used while you are paint­ing them, mask off and paint every other step. When the first group of steps is com­pletely dry, lay sheets of pa­per on them. Then paint the fi­nal group of steps.

Dear Deb­bie; I am mov­ing into a house soon that has small dec­o­ra­tive tiles around the tub and sink area. Th­ese are a com­bi­na­tion of blue and beige. Is there any way to paint those tiles to change the look of the bath­room with­out hav­ing to re­move the strip from the wall? Thank you so much. — Lisa

Dear Lisa; You don’t say whether the dec­o­ra­tive tiles are set amidst other plain tiles or have been set up on their own. One pop­u­lar tiling de­sign is to fill the wall or back­splash with flat tiles and then use a strip of dec­o­ra­tive tiles with a raised mo­tif as an ac­cent bor­der.

If this is your sce­nario, then you can paint over the dec­o­ra­tive tiles to hide the colour/s, but the raised de­sign will still be ob­vi­ous. This is not a bad thing. Look for paint that is meant to cover tiles or slip­pery sur­faces.

Clean the tiles first to get rid of any dirt and grease. Tape off the sur­round­ing tiles. Paint the dec­o­ra­tive tiles, in­clud­ing the grout. Paint the tiles the same colour as the sur­round­ing flat tiles or walls and you will have a very dif­fer­ent, more con­tem­po­rary look.

Deb­bie Travis’ House to Home col­umn is pro­duced by Deb­bie Travis and Bar­bara Din­gle. Please email your ques­tions to house­2home@deb­bi­etravis.com. Fol­low Deb­bie on Twit­ter at www.twit­ter.com/deb­bie_­travis and visit Deb­bie’s web­site, www.deb­bi­etravis.com.

Spe­cial to the Her­ald

A sim­ple wooden stair­case is trans­formed with paint and an easy comb­ing tech­nique.The stair treads are masked off, then glaze is ap­plied and dec­o­rated with hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cal mark­ings.

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