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A Coat (or two) of Paint

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parkcrest_stairsWhat a difference a coat of paint can make! The original knotty pine paneling made for a dreary non-descript stairway (see below). All we did was paint the paneling, the stair risers and freshen up the paint on the wrought iron railing. The result is a dramatic, architectural statement in the foyer. Adding to the drama, the plaster in the entry foyer and stairwell were painted a dark brown for high contrast against the white paneling.

“Before”

All images courtesy of Braitman
Design/Build

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About the Author

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I'm the owner and principal of Braitman Design/Build. We remodel older homes within the urban and close-in suburban areas of Washington, DC. In addition to our full service Design/Build Practice We welcome small design projects and small home improvement projects. And consult with homeowners across the country who want to design and manage the remodeling process themselves. Finally, my work is informed by my experience as an exhibiting sculptor and designer. I truly work at the intersection of art, architecture and design. Please see for yourself the extraordinary result when architecture, design and art are seamless parts of the whole. Please also visit my sculpture website: www.jackiebraitman.com

9 Responses to “A Coat (or two) of Paint”

  1. avatar

    I love this work. Using just paint changed the entire feeling and look. I want to do something similar in my house.

    After searching the web trying to find out exactly what primer to use on the panelling, I am not sure what to use. If possible I would prefer a primer without strong chemical smells because it is too cold to open a lot of windows for good ventilation. I would also like to use a latex paint for the final coat. Please let me know what type and brands of primer and paint you would use in this situation.

    Thanks for your help

  2. avatar

    Nancy, the most important step in painting wood paneling is a very thorough sanding to remove the finish and all the oils that build up on wood. You’ll also need to selectively caulk and putty areas that require it. The prep work will take the longest and be the hardest on you. My painter tells me that the best primer to use (2 coats) is an oil-based primer called Cover Stain by Zinsser. You can get it at Home Depot or any paint store (Benjamin Moore, Duron, etc). The oil-base pretty much kills your notion of low-odor; but for this task it is far superior to a latex primer. The paint (also 2 coats) is Benjamin Moore Latex – Semi-gloss. For the job in the photos, I used a cool white: Distant Grey OC-68. But of course, you should choose the white based on the rest of the color palette.

    Good luck with your project!

  3. avatar

    [...] mix painted and stained wood in a home.  As discussed in the previous article about this stairway (link), I also frequently paint the risers of a stairway as an inexpensive way to increase their [...]

  4. avatar

    I have found that Zinsser B.I.N. which is a shellac based primer is meant especially to seal knots in the wood I have tried them all , and this one is the best and it dries super fast.
    Chris
    Just Beachy

  5. avatar

    For the past two years I have abandoned the shellac-based Zinsser B.I.N primer I had been using for years and instead I am using the MOST AWESOME primer called XIM! We have literally painted formica cabinets (can you say Brady Bunch) and PVC with it. XIM is used by professional painters but it’s available at places like Sherwin Williams. The best thing about XIM is that you do not have to sand shiny surfaces in order to give them “tooth” because XIM bonds to those smooth surfaces! It’s smelly, yes, but the results are beautiful!

  6. avatar

    Thanks everyone! I’ve been agonizing whether to make the plunge and paint the knotty pine bedroom and this photo totally decided it for me!

  7. avatar

    I see this post is pretty old but I love it! If there’s any chance of my comment being read still, can you tell me… Did you also paint the steps themselves? They look darker brown in the after photo, but I can’t imagine painting a surface that you walk all over is the best idea. So, is it just an illusion? It’s gorgeous now, regardless : )

  8. avatar

    Nichole – Good eye. You’re right the treads are darker — but not with paint. When we refinished the hardwood floor and stairs we used a darker stain.

  9. avatar

    I love the look of these painted paneled walls. Is their a technique to get this shabby chic look?

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