Take th­ese steps to cre­ate a stun­ning stair­way

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - Front Page -

Ques­tion: I am a ner­vous dec­o­ra­tor. I don’t want to make any ex­pen­sive mis­takes, but I’ve seen some unique in­te­rior stair­cases and would love to go for it in our new home. What’s your ad­vice? An­swer: When you en­ter a home, one of the first el­e­ments to catch your eye is the stair­case. It is an in­te­gral part of the over­all de­sign. To­day we are en­joy­ing the free­dom of mix­ing styles and per­son­al­iz­ing our homes to suit our life­styles and what makes us happy. It sounds like you are on the look­out for some­thing other than the tra­di­tional wood stair­case, and there are many vari­a­tions that will sat­isfy your de­sire for a cus­tom look.

A good way to re­view your op­tions is to visit a rail­ing store near you or check them out on­line. Euro Forg­ings, www. eu­ro­forg­ings.com, has a gallery of ex­cit­ing in­te­rior and ex­te­rior stair­cases, which shows all the dis­tinct parts so you can ex­per­i­ment in their “De­sign Your Own Stair­case” sec­tion. Pick­ets are avail­able in a va­ri­ety of color fin­ishes de­pend­ing on the style and type of balus­ter, as are the ac­ces­sories.

A pop­u­lar style mixes wood and steel posts and balus­ters. Ac­ces­sories such as col­lars that fit on the balus­ters, and shoes for the base take the de­sign process fur­ther. Stain­less steel is a fa­vorite to­day, ac­cord­ing to Euro Forg­ings. Shown here is a mod­ern take on an open stair plan. Stain­less-steel posts con­nect with a gleam­ing wood handrail stained to match the steps. The home­own­ers opted for glass to take the place of pick­ets for a clean, min­i­mal out­line. An­other con­tem­po­rary op­tion would be to em­ploy CableRail: 1/8inch thick stain­less-steel cables that run hor­i­zon­tally be­tween wood posts.

As long as the ma­te­ri­als and style that com­prise the stair­case are con­nected in some way to your home’s over­all de­sign, you won’t go wrong with a cus­tom look. In fact, it will up the wow fac­tor.

Ques­tion: I was won­der­ing if wall­board (fancy printed dry­wall) can be painted. More than half of my home has it, and I am tired of the same pat­tern but can’t af­ford to re­place it with reg­u­lar dry­wall. What can I do?

An­swer: There are dif- fer­ent types of wall­board/ dry­wall. If the prod­uct in your home has a thin pa­per ve­neer that car­ries the pat­tern, then paint­ing could lift up the pa­per, mak­ing a mess that would be dif­fi­cult to fix. Ex­per­i­ment on a hid­den cor­ner. Ap­ply a coat of sealer/primer and al­low it to dry for 24 hours. If this is hold­ing nicely, then pro­ceed with paint. You could also try wall­pa­per, but the wall­pa­per glue will also lift thin pa­per ve­neer.

An­other op­tion is to ap­ply dry­wall mud to the en­tire wall. This will cover up seams and any tex­ture in the ex­ist­ing pa­per pat­tern. You will now have a com­pletely smooth sur­face over which you can prime and paint with ease.

Deb­bie Travis

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