Stairway spindles get the Midas Touch


By Elle

After a tumultuous two years, during which Arkady and I cared for and lost three of our parents, and during which I lost my dear brother, we’re hopeful that the dark skies above us look, and sail, yonder. He and I both have good days and bad days, but we’re trying to return to our “normal” life, which, particularly during the pandemic, means tearing apart our house and putting it back together again. If nothing else, it’s a healthy, though oftentimes messy, distraction.

My first “remodeling” project was the staircase. I’d been pondering what to do with our white staircase spindles for a few years, and I’d even sanded them a couple of years ago in preparation for painting. I knew I wanted to paint them with a metallic paint — I’d been thinking pewter — but during a recent trip to Lowe’s, I loaded up on paint samples and settled on gold, which surprised me because I’m generally not a gold person. (Side note: We’re planning to build an addition to our house in the spring, and I’ve already chosen the interior color scheme: teal and gold. What the hell? Must be an age thing.)

Stairway spindles when they were white.

I began by painting all the spindles in a color that closely matched the oak, using this miraculous “slap brush” technique that worked like a charm.

staircase spindles painted to match the oak

Here the spindles are painted to match the oak.

  staircase spindles painted to match oak

This treatment didn’t look half bad, but I really wanted the spindles to pop, so I gave them a coat (or two or three) of  794 Gold Dur-Ex  metallic paint, chosen for its rich color and low VOC qualities, from a local company, Sheffield Products.

staircase spindles painted gold Ooh, looking lovely now, yes?

staircase spindles painted gold I’m totally infatuated with these gold spindles. They’re both gleamy and dreamy….

staircase spindles painted gold

I’d originally painted the columns gold to match the spindles but realized it looked unnatural and awkward, so I repainted them to match the oak.

staircase with gold spindlesLet me just say that painting spindles, even using the nifty slap brush technique, takes a ton of time. I spent several evenings and weekends working on this project, typically in four-hour blocks or until I could no longer unclench my hand from the brush.

gold staircase spindles After the spindles were painted gold, I wanted something new to hang in the foyer, a mirror preferably. Voila! In short order, Craigslist coughed up this intriguing gold peacock mirror, which, for $35 and a short road trip, is now ensconced in our front foyer.

gold peacock mirror

gold peacock mirror Peacocks like to roost in high places, but this lovely soul is stuck at the bottom of the stairs, guarding the front entrance. Still, he seems happy.

gold peacock mirror  I’m hopeful you’ll hear more often from us since we have a lot going on. We replaced the carpet in my office with cork flooring, we’re replacing the carpet in the spare bedroom (soon to be Arkady’s office) with our former kitchen flooring — an engineered hickory — and we’re replacing the carpet in our downstairs hallway with a beautiful patterned porcelain tile. We’re installing a new kitchen floor using porcelain tile that looks like slate and starting the kitchen renovation, finally! We’re waiting for the architect to deliver some sketches for the room addition, which I’m over the moon about because we won’t be doing the work for a change — yahoo! In any case, we’ll have lots of photos to share, and I hope you’ll join us for the next episode of “We Should Have Just Torn This House Down.”  Until next time!

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