This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dutch Boy. The opinions and text are all mine.
Our back entryway got a makeover from the back door all the way up to the second floor!
Paint from Dutch Boy went a long way here, but let’s start at the beginning so you can get a better sense of how things have changed.
I love that our house has a back stairway (so charming!), but it was kind of dismal. The house had been split into apartments before we owned it, and the back stairs likely saw a lot of use from tenants over the decades. The walls were textured and the stairs were carpeted.
We skim-coated and painted the walls and ceiling a couple of years ago when I thought I was going to include this area as part of my One Room Challenge. (I did the front entryway and third floor hall, but only partially worked on the back stairway.) In addition to smoothing things out, we ripped up the carpeting, laid new wooden flooring at the landing, and replaced a handful of steps that we discovered were too far gone to save.
Then we had a plumbing leak. After the first plumbing leak we thought we had fixed. (It’s all fixed now!)
We had to replace the cast iron plumbing stack from the basement to the third floor, which meant opening up the walls and ceilings of each bathroom and all along the back stairway.
There were dark smudges and dirty handprints all over from the plumbers (and knowing what part of the plumbing they were working on, I tried not to think too much about what might have been on the walls). We cleaned things up as best we could and patched the huge holes, but things weren’t looking great.
Those cabinets resting on the foundation ledge are new and not installed yet, but will be at some point soon. I’m trying to squeeze as much function into the back entryway as possible, so I’m thinking they’ll hold things like dog leashes, the kids’ outdoor toys like bubbles and chalk, and spare reusable bags. Stuff to grab before heading out the back door. The cabinets are from IKEA and I cut them down to be half the depth, but there’s going to be some custom work ahead to fill in the gaps along each side. We may also add heavy-duty brown/black carpet on the landing and stairs up from the back door in the future.
That rendering is to scale, and I played around with colors and wallpaper patterns in Photoshop before executing the design in real life. You can picture it with the cabinets from the before and after below.
Hello, Etched Arcadia wallpaper! The wall color (Antiquated Lace, 017W, from Dutch Boy Brand’s trending Homestead palette) is a great match for the background of the pattern, giving the whole thing a hand-drawn look.
I considered also painting the wood trim to match the walls, but decided against it for now as it makes sense with the kitchen and rest of the first floor’s unpainted woodwork.
My original plan was to add more detail to the runner. A border, and maybe hand-painted pom-poms or fringe? But as everything came together I felt like it would detract from the space rather than add. I do think that maybe a circle centered on the riser of each stair could be cool and unexpected, but again, not needed.
Tips on Painting Stairs and a Runner
First, do a lead check. Assuming you’re in the clear (we were), you’ll need to clean and sand the stairs. I like to use Dirtex to clean because it works well and doesn’t leave a residue that will interfere with your paint job. Sand with a random orbital sander to get most of the surface area and a mouse sander to get into corners. I do a rough (80-120) grit to start, then come in with a finer (180-220) grit to smooth things out. Clean the stairs again to get rid of the dust, and put a base coat down. Dutch Boy Porch & Floor paint has paint and primer, so no need for a separate step!
I used my lightest color (Antiquated Lace, 017W) for the base coat and then caulked all gaps before continuing on. I like to do that first coat before caulking because I find it’s easier to see the areas that need attention. Next, I put my second coat of paint in the same color on the risers, but used Authentic Black, 437-7DB for the treads. I left the center unpainted because I knew I’d be adding a third color for the painted runner effect.
Dutch Boy paint has the nicest containers for pouring paint! There’s a little spout inside so it’s easy to pour and the top screws back on, keeping it neat and making it easy to store. I used Fruity Pink, 105-2DB, from the same Homestead color palette that I pulled the wall, trim, and riser color (Antiquated Lace) from. The palette makes it easy to pull a cohesive color scheme together, and I also really liked Preppy Pink, North Haven, and their color of the year, Garden Patch, but you know I have a fondness for pale pinks.
I used painter’s tape on the runner’s first coat to get the layout right, then went freehand for the final coat. I used an angled Purdy paintbrush to get a nice line (and that goes for all of the painting — I prefer to paint without taping). I also used the same color in Dutch Boy Dura Clean paint on the back door. I’ve always wanted a pink door! When the weather warms, I’ll paint the other side too.
We make good use of the coat rack at the front door, but I wanted to add one back here too. I mounted a coat rack to the wall and added a boot tray and umbrella stand beneath. The family must now only hang outerwear in the designated blush, black, and white color palette. (Ha!)
The spacing of the runner on the curves was tricky, but I taped out the straight runs first (6″ in on each side) and then winged it for the rest. It worked!
The combination of black, white, wood, and pink is one that I’m always fond of. Add in some brass and wallpaper, and you have all of my favorites at once. A wonderful update to what was once a strictly utilitarian entry and stairway!