Sunday, August 18, 2013

Surprise Project Revealed - Staircase Ceiling Done & Light Fixture!

I vaguely hinted at this project "wanting to get the restored light fixture installed soon" but I didn't expect that I'd finish this project so soon.

My boss let me borrow his folding ladder, so this helped quite a bit. I thought I could get the ladder to fold in a different configuration, but it wasn't working out, so I ended up using it in combination with a chair and a 2x4 "bridge".

These 2 photos are a bit blurry since I wasn't using my tripod.

This tiny little ceiling was in AWFUL shape. It had several badly patched screws, defects, and a horrible seam job on all 4 sides. I normally don't post too many drywall photos, but these will give you an idea of how much patching and sanding I had to do.

Popped screws/nails in the centre 2x4 on the narrow wall:

Round 1:

Note semi-finished door casing (I had done all of it except the top crown since I couldn't get to it.

Casing/crown installed and painted (this was the first coat, but I didn't re-photograph it after). Also note: the hallway always looks green in photos due to the lighting, but it's light brown/taupe.

Round 2 was more mud along the ceiling portion of the drywall tape (didn't photograph this). This was after the ceiling got freshly painted with spot touch-ups in primer, and 2 coats of flat white ceiling paint. What a huge difference!

Also, luckily the electrical here didn't really need any work other than adding another screw to anchor the box more securely.

Restored fixture. This is the best I can do for a "natural lighting" photo since this staircase gets no direct sunlight from any direction.

I was going to go for "40w" CFL bulbs in here, but I've had problems with them in places that get frequent "on/off" situations, like bathroom lights. They seem to burn out quite quickly, and I just didn't seem to want to pay 13$ for 4 bulbs that might not last, so I went with 4 incandescent 25w bulbs. It gives a more historic look, isn't too bright, won't look stupid from below, and will likely last a very long time. They only set me back 2.50$ and I don't think I'll be losing too much in energy savings here either.

View from the bathroom:

View from the main floor looking up.

I couldn't be happier with it. The height is great, and it's just long enough to reach the globes to change the bulbs or clean the shades, and it's far enough away to be well out of the way of your head (at least a foot).


  1. It looks great.
    You must be so pleased with the results.
    Look forward to your next project.

  2. I saw a potted plant on a oak dresser bad idea unless it a imitation
    but its shaping up and glad you got something accomplish now whats next
    may the clock:)

  3. You must be almost done with the house! Haha! It looks fantastic.

  4. Congrats! Another great job!

    I think the hall paint looks green because of the CFL lighting. Some fluorescents do that to pictures. To make matters worse, CFLs don't really have a labeling system with colour temperature and CRI (I think tht stands for colour rendering index) like the standard fluorescent tubes, so you really have to buy the cat in the bag.

    I don't use CFLs at all because I can't stand the light but I also calculated that unless you use dirt cheap CFLs the price of the lamps usually eats up the energy savings. One reason for that discrepancy is that CFLs rarely last anywhere as long as advertised, even with continuous operation they're often shot after only 5-6000 hours as opposed to the advertised 15000.

  5. Wow, looks good! Way to go on the projekt list! We have been avoiding our staircase ceiling because of these kind of scarry work configurations! Gives me the creeps standing on some lose boards and a ladder!
    Can't be much more left to do on the upstairs... loking forward to the painted L-room!


  6. Hola JC, sigo tu blog desde España, estas realizando una labor fantástica en tú casa, de lo que era a lo que es ha cambiado notablememte, asi como la revalorización que está teniendo la propiedad. Yo te aconsejaría que en esta subida pusieras una moldura como has puesto he otras partes de la casa, sea en el despacho o la sala de estar.
    Saludos Valentín

  7. Nice job! Like that scaffold. Oh,..and light too!