This weekend we had a visit from mom & dad, and tackled the chair rail and crown molding in the foyer, up the staircase, and around the upstairs landing. It was a tremendous amount of precise cutting and detail work to get all the corners right. Well done dad on that. As of Sunday night we’ve got everything installed and caulked, and have just started the painting.
The starting point was about as blank a slate as possible:
With the exception of the light, which we updated a couple years ago, it’s been pretty much untouched. It has sort of a “plain vanilla landlord vibe.” And even though we walk through it many times a day, it still had the feeling of being accidental square footage, just sort of a continuation of the kitchen and stairway wall color, and the kitchen floor. It certainly didn’t offer a gracious welcome at the front door. So we decided to give it some polish and make it feel more like a “room” unto itself.
First came the crown molding, starting by the kitchen.
and as Saturday progressed, we wrapped around the foyer
The wall that the front door and the garage door are on turned out to be bears, particularly the garage door wall. They weren’t even close to being true.
Once the crown molding was up, it was caulked to fill any gaps between the wall/molding and ceiling/molding, especially where the walls have some of the more glaring imperfections.
The caulk always makes it look so nice! Even without paint.
Then it was onward to the chair rail installation, which we started on Saturday and spanned into Sunday. The angles and joints between the first story level and the stairs, and the second story level and the stairs were the most time consuming.
We did all the installation work with the banister in place, so we could make sure they would be perfectly parallel. We took the banister down later to caulk the underside of the chair rail and start painting. Before it goes back up, I plan to spray paint the brass brackets with the same oil rubbed bronze spray paint that I’ve used on a few light fixtures so far.
Eventually, we got the molding wrapped all the way around the landing upstairs, and around the foyer downstairs.
Shortly before we finished, we put the piece of chair rail up on the wall that I’d painted earlier in the week, testing out a possible paint color. It would’ve been so nice if Sandbar worked out, because we have the better part of a gallon leftover from our bedroom.
But as I’d been concerned might be the case, with a white chair rail separating the two wall colors, they didn’t look clearly different enough. We settled on Stone Lion (SW 7507) instead (the middle chip in the picture), and off I went to Sherwin Williams before they closed.
Once all the chair rail was up, we took a break for some late lunch, picked up, and said goodbye to mom & dad as they headed home. We closed the day out by doing the caulking on the chair rail, and starting some of the Stone Lion paint below the chair rail. (We couldn’t paint any of the molding itself yet, because it all had some wet caulk still.)
I will need to take some pictures in better light once it’s all finished, but I was surprised by how dark the Stone Lion turned out. The chip didn’t look so very different from the rest.
These pictures make the Sandbar strip just under the chair rail look a lot darker than it seemed in real life. The Stone Lion also seems a little more gray in person than it looks here. I’ve learned my lesson in the past though about not judging a paint color until it’s completely finished, there are no edges visible of other colors, and it’s dry. So judgment is reserved.
Still ahead of us: 3 coats of Alabaster paint on all the trim, then re-edging the cream, the ceiling white, and the Stone Lion around the molding to cover the caulk, and rolling the Stone Lion below the chair rail. We are hoping to have finished pictures next weekend.
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