I painted the stairs when we first moved, and they’re definitely showing wear. Plus, I had a little…uhm…accident (Blackberry + paint = Sticky phone that doesn’t work) with some white paint which dripped all the way up the stairs. I have no excuse for the cranberry walls except that I thought it’d be a good idea to use leftover paint we had from the front door. Let’s just chalk it up to a bad pre-home-design-blog-obsession days, mmm k? I think it’s safe to say that it couldn’t really get any worse. I started by painting the risers white, then gathered my supplies for the paper bagging:
- Roll of brown paper (near the painters drop cloth)
- Gallon Elmer’s glue (bought at AC Moore with a 40% off coupon and barely made a dent in it)
- Gallon Water Based Floor Grade Polyurethane (about $40)
- A few cheapo sponge brushes for the poly
- Begin by tearing pieces of brown paper. Rip the straight edges off the roll and tear them into random pieces (I used about 4-6″ pieces for stairs…for a floor you’ll probably wan’t 8-10″ pieces).
- Tear the middle portion of the roll into similar pieces. I used two grocery bags to keep my pieces separates, crumpling each piece into a ball before it went in.
- Mix up a bowl of glue using a 3:1 ratio (3C water to 1C glue).
- Working on the perimeter first (straight edges), drop the paper balls into the glue and squeeze them gently like a sponge.
- Keep dipping and squeezing until the paper is saturated, then flatten it out and squeegee it with your hands. Lay your pieces down as if you were decoupaging, overlapping in areas.
- Be sure to smooth out wrinkles (although some will crop up during the drying process, they will likely disappear later) and air bubbles.
- I did every other stair so we could still use them.
- Once everything is done, allow 24-48 hours for it to dry completely.
- Apply at least 6 coats of water based polyurethane, lightly sanding between each coat if you want (I only sanded between the 5th and the 6th). Follow the guidelines on your poly for re-coating/drying time.
After the stairs were done, I repainted the stairwell with my fav color: Burnished Clay by Behr. It would have been easier to paint before I did the stairs (note to self), but I was able to get it done without too many issues. If this result isn’t a testimony to Behr’s Ultra paint/primer in one, I don’t know what is.