This beast of a project lovingly known as The Stair Hall is racing to the finish line and I’m so excited to share our new banisters with you. Actually, I’m not sure you can call them banisters. Maybe they’re just hand rails? In any case, I love these and they were super
cheap affordable to create.
The old banisters just had to go. The walls rails embodied everything I hate about builder-basic homes and the molding on the knee wall boring and broken in several places. Since we’re looking to make this space a gallery, I wanted something simple and clean, but with enough warmth to lighten up the newly painter crips white walls.
We purchased 2×6 pine beams and attached them to the wall using 2×4 braces that I cut to 3 1/2″. Yes, you can see the braces, but from most angles, it gives the illusion of a floating rail. The best part, we built these new handrails and re-finished the top of the knee-wall to match for about $14 (I used sandpaper, stain, and hardware that I already had on hand).
The hand rail on the bottom stair and on top of the knee-wall is cut to 8 feet, while the hand rail on the top stair is cut to 6 feet. The stair rails are both cut at a 45 degree angle. All pieces are stained with Minwax American Chestnut.
I was a little disappointed with the condition of the knee wall once we removed the original trim. It was a big mess and I wasn’t convinced I’d be able to patch it clean enough to be happy with the finished product. In fact, I bought flashing to cover it up, but HATED that look.
So, I got to work patching it. It was quite a process. I used a whole can of putty and buffed and polished 4 times over 3 days. The final step was to caulk and then I finished with a coat of paint. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it.
To think I almost left the original trim and then almost added flashing! Live and learn. It’s virtually seamless now.
This hallway is meant to be a gallery for our growing collection of prints, art and photography (including our kids artwork). You can see that I’ve started to play around with placement and have even hung a few things to there permanent home.
These drawing by my sweets girls are a favorite. Hadley is quite the minimalist, while Kayleigh tends to color in every inch of a paper.
Jeremiah won a big award last year during Charleston’s Food & Wine festival, so his “name in lights” are featured on the stair landing, which I framed with 1×4 wood boards.
We have a lot of things to frame, so this will definitely be a working gallery. Shoot, my gallery wall in the bedroom still isn’t complete 2 years later. Womp!
A little before and after…Isn’t it funny how the paint color looks almost identical between the before and after. It really depends on the time of day, but the warm wood and green ceiling really make those white walls look very greige.