Did you think I forgot about this? You might have since I haven’t mentioned it since January. It’s looked like this for about as long as I can remember. Leave your kids at home.
But the panel on my stairway wall is very much still happening. Here’s the sketch I made way back when.
The whole point of doing this was to make the wall come out for access to the basement. I can’t remove it all though because there are switches and wires in that wall. The Craftsman-style long skinny panels are perfect though because the panel closest to the door can be fixed while the next 3 come off. On top of that, there was one aesthetic problem I wanted to solve. Not a huge one, but while I’m at it…
You see, the door to the basement used to be in the kitchen and someone filled it in (weirdly), moved the stairs toward the front of the house, cut the door down, and put it on the side of the stairwell. This was a big improvement in the kitchen, but I wasn’t fond of the weird wall where the door used to be or the way the casing around the new door jutted into the stairway woodwork. Plus, there was a triangular chunk of the wood hacked out and filled in with drywall and caulk. I think this happened in the 50’s. (And remember, the house didn’t look that bad when I bought it.)
I decided to use a wainscot cap to finish the paneling, which is now thicker than the edge of the stairs. And there is no casing at all around the door, just a little strip of sash bead. And the cap comes so close to the door that the bead doesn’t even go all the way around. The Irishman thought I was crazy for wanting to do it this way, but he said he’d build it. He sent me a photo of the opening with sash bead all the way around the door, which was wrong! So I quickly sketched it (not to scale) and texted him a photo. (Though this is a scan. It looks better.)
And then he built it and it’s perfect. Except that little hacked out triangle. He’s going to stick a piece of plywood in there and then fill the cracks with Bondo. As in auto body filler.
And remember how I was going trim inside the panels that looked like the sticking on the door? That didn’t quite work out. He hates wasting molding passionately, so he made custom panel sticking out of the scraps of my upstairs casing. It’s that small piece to the left. He says we’ll find a place to use the reeded part to the right, too.
So that’s where we are now. It was hard. And because I’m paying him by the hour, it was expensive. But I love it, and if I get my finances in order by 30 it’s all good, right? Stay tuned, finishing touches are coming together so there might be a big reveal in the near future!