Pushing Through with the Banister

A quick note: It’s been an exhausting couple of weeks. I should have published this about 2 weeks ago on April 8. I present it to you now as if I had.

It’s been a tedious month. We left off with the banister and the paneling below looking more or less like this.


The sequence was burn paint off, sand, wood filler, sand, prime, then see everything I missed (and the grain that the primer raised), wood filler again, sand again, prime again, rinse, repeat.  And because I was getting so fed up with this job, I did what any sane person would do and squeezed in the upstairs banister. I was going to focus on the downstairs part and let this go till later. But the job was so bad I thought getting it all done now made more sense.


So the dirty part was going on upstairs while my OCD got free reign downstairs.

wood filler.jpg

This work might seem pretty sedate compared to Phase 1, but I’ve also done it on top of working out 5 times a week and cooking myself heaps of meat and vegetables so I stop wanting bread. You see, I’m 30 now and to my great horror, my waistline has grown enough that for the first time in my adult life I’m wearing a pants size that American stores keep in stock.

And today I have a couple dear old high school friends coming for dinner, which was a bit of a problem because I was still working on the banister yesterday and I haven’t done a lick of house cleaning in a month. I just let the place look like this, plus a continuous accumulation of dust and clutter.


And so, my parents came down yesterday. My dad and I got another round of priming done and my mom cleaned the house. Maybe I should be ashamed that I let that happen but it was her way of helping. So where are we now? Well, just about all of it is primed (except for some difficult spots where the 2 banisters overlap). In this critical corner, there is no sign left of the hatchet job someone did moving the basement stairway door. The paneling has its sticking in place and the sticking matches the door perfectly. The only thing missing is the little piece of ogee trim under the cap above the door. With a compound miter cut that the Irishman said was not easy to do.


Upstairs I have a little bit more priming to do and then, sadly, there is more sanding to do there. And there are 8 balusters missing from around the volute downstairs, but I don’t want to install those until everything else is painted. Seriously, I don’t know how anyone would fit their hand in there except that they did a really terrible job painting this.



But anyways, I’m ready for a break again. And the house is spotless, so keeping it that way for a while would be a nice thing to do instead of messy, tedious projects.

Or, maybe not. On the morning of the 8th, a few hours before my company’s supposed to show up, there’s a crazy person cutting high density fiberboard on my sidewalk! Can you guess why?




10 thoughts on “Pushing Through with the Banister

  1. Jessica@CapeofDreams

    I am going to guess that fiberboard is going somewhere in your house. Am I right? What do I win? The bannister is looking impressive. It’s incredible the amount of work you’ve put in, but it seems worth it. Only you can say for sure if it is!


  2. Casey

    The stairs have really bcome a nice focal point. Looks great, excellent work. So for the fibreboard, I’ll guess cabinet doors?


  3. Mary Elizabeth

    Looking good! With everything primed, I’m curious as to what color the rail will be.

    I’m thinking the fiberboard is not a good choice for cabinet doors, so I wouldn’t guess that. But I don’t know where it is going.


  4. francetaste

    It looks fantastic. Bravo!!!
    Your parents are dying/itching/aching to help because it’s how they can say “I love you” without getting all gushy-gooey about it. Also, I suspect they are head-over-heels impressed and proud of you. Let them help. Thank them profusely, including with hugs. Kisses even. Call them for no reason, just to say hi.
    Shall we talk about the lamp in the foreground of photo 4? I am sure there is a story.


    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      I took the lamp shade off to maximize the light, so the story isn’t that exciting. I picked it up at a vintage shop near my hometown outside of Philly. It has a huge drum shade that my mom hates and complains about every time she visits.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nine Dark Moons

    I love this post!!! It made me chuckle and giggle and cackle. plus it’s full of great work! does eating a lot of meat & vegetables make you miss bread? i have not been able to do the low carb thing. i tried it once but i have low blood sugar issues & had too much trouble keeping my sugars up.



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