Redecorating our hallway

Discussion in 'suburban75' started by Cloo, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. Cloo

    Cloo Surfeit of lampreys

    So, we have this hallway (now with more lights and sanded floorboards since this was taken):


    We're gonna get rid of that anaglypta, and (tricky bit) get the woodwork white again, because we've seen how much brighter our neighbour's hallways are with white woodwork. The plan is to probably have basically white paint one side of the dado rail, and paper the other, though not sure which way to go. Basically it is way too dingy and dark right now and we need to brighten it up.

    Being me, I rather like the idea of this paper one side or another, but there's not a chance in hell gsv will agree to it:


    Stripes may well be the answer, as gsv's and I are both quite keen on them. This one has the advantage of also being dead cheap, as we have a *lot* of wall to cover when you include upstairs. I find it a little tame, but it might be a good compromise.


    Any thought? Better to paper above or below the rail? Anything that might work well for the space?
  2. mx wcfc

    mx wcfc Well-Known Member

    Please tell me you're not going to paint that woodwork above the stairs white. That would be sacrilege. It's hard to see from the photo whether the staircase is wood or has been painted, but I spent a lot of money putting an oak bannister and stair rods in. Why would you paint it white? Or is it just painted brown?

    (sorry, my whole house would be wood if I could get away with it!)
    hash tag and Hellsbells like this.
  3. ice-is-forming

    ice-is-forming Well-Known Member

    Paper below the rail,
    Lupa likes this.
  4. Cloo

    Cloo Surfeit of lampreys

    That's my inclination.

    mx wcfc - the screen is painted white in a few other houses on this stretch, it looks fine and the dark wood makes the hall incredibly gloomy as these are deep, relatively narrowhouses, so white paint work does make the place so much brighter.

    I suppose one possibility is to keep some details, like the handrail and screen dark and the rest white. The side of the stairway is the biggest expanse of dark wood, so that's definitely got to go paler.
  5. Manter

    Manter Lunch Mob

    We have white stair rods and an oiled oak handrail and finials and (Of I say so myself!) it looks lovely.

    That brown gloopy varnish stuff is a bigger to get off though.
    Cloo likes this.
  6. purenarcotic

    purenarcotic Conveniently Pocket Sized

    I prefer the first paper, don’t usually
    Go for yellow but it’s fab. I’m not a fan of stripes at all though which may be influencing. I would say below the rail. And so agree on white wood, that dark varnish doesn’t work.
    Lupa and Cloo like this.
  7. spanglechick

    spanglechick High Empress of Dressing Up

    You can go really full on below a dado and it doesn't overwhelm. My hall has raspberry red paint below the rail, and white above and it looks really fab and not remotely intense.
  8. Cloo

    Cloo Surfeit of lampreys

    Actually paper below is also probably better for us as we do have pictures hung and then they'll be on the plain bit.
    Lupa likes this.
  9. MickiQ

    MickiQ Well-Known Member

    How about patterned paper below the rail and plain paper painted white or cream above it, will that make it light enough
    I'm with mx wcfc on the woodwork it looks beautiful as it is, white doesn't work for it.
  10. Lupa

    Lupa It's all about the butter

    That yellow floral paper is lovely. It would look so nice under the dado rail with a light yellow paint over the rail..or white. But if you could deal with yellow paint over it then all your woodwork, if painted white, would stand well with it.

    I like painted wood from that era. Wood was often painted in those original designs.
    Is it mahogany or oak?
    spanglechick likes this.
  11. Cloo

    Cloo Surfeit of lampreys

    I don't know what it was originally - it's been covered with a gloopy, I suspect 1970s brown varnish that's worn away a bit orangey in parts.

    Floated the idea of just painting stairs (expect for bannister top) white with gsv, and he was open to it in terms of saving everything having to be redone would be a bonus.
  12. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    getting varnish off is much, much easier than stripping paint. Brush on gel Nitromors and remove the resulting gunk with a scraper and wirewool. Unlike paint, it will usually lift with just one applicastion of stripper. Oil then wax the wood underneath and you are good to go.

    I fucking hate varnish (although I can actually do a creditable woodgraining effect with steel varnish combs).
  13. Poi E

    Poi E Pessimism: a valuable protection against quackery.

    Please don't paint it. I've just finished stripping decades of paint off my banisters to reveal the glorious wood beneath. For high traffic areas, wood with some sort of stain or varnish is preferable as it is easy to buff up when knocks happen. Strip the wood and use a neutral wax to keep it lighter. Or, if light is a concern, a high gloss varnish will brighten things up.

    Please don't paint it.:(
    izz and campanula like this.
  14. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    [QUOTE="Poi E, post: 15644645, member: 1551"

    Please don't paint it.:([/QUOTE]

    Or varnish it. I am evangelical about the virtues of oiling and waxing. For inside, any basic oil will do (I like to use a light almond oil) as linseed/Danish oil will darken the wood). For real durability, even outside, Tung oil is the very best. I have oiled my horsebox with this - needs re-applying every 3 years but this is in open woodland. As long as you oil then remove excess, allowing it to dry between coats (I do 3), oiling will give you a truly lovely, durable and easily maintained surface...and a stroke of beeswax is an extra. In centrally heated homes, I cannot recommend oiled wood enough.

    If you absolutely MUST consider a varnish, avoid polyurethane and have a look at some of the quick curing 2 part resins - Sadolin does a good one. Would definitely recommend for floorboards.
    Poi E and izz like this.
  15. Lupa

    Lupa It's all about the butter

    Have a look at these for ideas..


    I think this looks lovely. Painted woodwork keeps the hall airy and bright.

    08c456195a67858d26b64b3aefc83916--entrance-halls-grand-entrance.jpg download.jpeg

    images.jpeg 8a0e18a711467e127a14c6207d0adc35--timber-homes-queenslander.jpg

    The plus of painting is that it lightens the room/hall.

    But dark wood can look really lovely too.
    moonsi til likes this.
  16. Hellsbells

    Hellsbells World's best procrastinator

    That woodwork above the stairs is gorgeous. Personally I'd go for the yellow wallpaper, change the carpet to something lighter and maybe have the banisters white. I definitely wouldn't paint the woodwork above the stairs white, but that's just me, maybe just a lighter wood shade
    campanula likes this.
  17. Epona

    Epona Down with battered parsnips

    That hallway is fucking gorgeous, so much to like about it. I wouldn't put the wallpaper with a big pattern down the long walls of the hallway tbh, it will make it seem closed in, and you'd be better off making it look lighter and brighter (I'd paint the walls a pale cream myself, and leave the woodwork as is) - but I love the paper, is there anywhere else you could use it? Between the rail and skirting on the lower half of the wall would be reasonable, but hall walls may get scuffed/grubby.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  18. hash tag

    hash tag never too old

    Our flat was painted through out, strong yellow below the rail (very sunny) and off white above the rail. Our place in covered in pictures n bookshelves.
  19. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    Wood in its natural state only looks good if it was decent quality to start with - I spent hours stripping layers of varnish off the woodwork in my hallway only to discover that the wood was not that great. It also made the hallway (long and narrow) look very dark.

    It looked much better painted white. I used a silkwood paint rather than gloss.

    Cloo I really like the first print. I'm not a fan of yellow usually, but I think that pattern is lovely. I think the stripes will date really quickly, and they're a bit pale. That space needs something bold.
    Lupa likes this.
  20. Cloo

    Cloo Surfeit of lampreys

    We might leave the screen on the ceiling its existing colour. Decorator has been and said once we do the stairs, the hardest bit, the rest wouldn't take long so we might as well do the lot. In that case we may just buy new white doors, seeing as the existing ones are not original or especially nice. I'm gonna order a few wallpaper samples so we can try them out. I agree a stronger pattern might be best in terms of surviving wear and the space can take it, but my other half may be harder to convince.
  21. moonsi til

    moonsi til worked it out now!

    B599D317-CD29-4BD9-856B-7F3FB3958FEE.png It is a lovely decorative screen. Do you know how old it is?

    I have a narrow hall (terrace house) & have a dado rail. I’m set on some sort of mushroom print below & plain above as we have prints etc on the walls.

    Something like this from
    Cloo likes this.
  22. Cloo

    Cloo Surfeit of lampreys

    Love the mushrooms! I think our house dates from about 1910, most of the houses on the street do. I agree about print below rail because we do hang prints.

    I've ordered a sample of this, which I think might be quite a strong contender.


    The website has 30% off everything for the rest of the month, so I'm hoping we can make a decision in the next few weeks.
    Epona, equationgirl and Lupa like this.
  23. Cid

    Cid 慢慢走

    White above the dado will make vastly more difference than anything else. I'd do that and then think about whether you want to paint the woodwork.
  24. Cid

    Cid 慢慢走

    Mind you I'd just get rid of most of the woodwork. Doesn't look that great.

    Oh, and - like hellsbells said, change the carpet. I don't think it's so much that it's dark, just that it's that kind of somewhat dingy register.
  25. Manter

    Manter Lunch Mob

    Only thing I'd say about wallpaper below the dado in a hall is with kids it gets v scuffed. Paint you can scrub, add a top coat etc- torn or dented wallpaper is much harder.
  26. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    That's a good point.
  27. Cloo

    Cloo Surfeit of lampreys

    Oh fuck yeah we can't wait to get rid of that shite-coloured thing from the stairs - it's already off on the floor, but still on the stairs.
  28. Cloo

    Cloo Surfeit of lampreys

    Have finally discussed this with other half while he's paying attention (seeing as decorator is starting prep tomorrow)... he apparently has managed not to listen to any of the times I told him I was looking at wallpaper and has mooted painting the whole thing white because he thought that's what I meant by light colours and is declaring yellow 'dark' (he is *such* a cowardy-custard about wall colours!). I have brought him round to not white under the rail as it'lll just get dirty, so he can countenance a paper, but evidently not painting any colours, because anything that isn't white is 'dark', although he'll accept greyish-blue in a wallpaper. Annoyingly he's decided he doesn't want stripes for it, which is a shame, as it's the one type of pattern we can usually agree on, and is generally balking at a lot of larger patterns as 'would drive me nuts', so I think I'm gonna look at more small patterns. :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
  29. Cloo

    Cloo Surfeit of lampreys

    OK, thus far he has been:
    - 'Actually I don't want stripes' (after I order samples of mainly stripes knowing he likes them)

    - 'Yes that will work' after some different samples in the bluish colours he said he'd like, but when pressed the next day 'Actually, no, I think it will look a bit weird'; followed by

    - 'Actually I do want stripes, I think red ones.' :facepalm:

    Tonight he's engaged with actually looking at the website I've been trying to get him to look at for weeks and at least agreed with me that, by and large, papers with red stripes aren't very nice, and has ordered a bunch of samples that are mostly blue and striped, but not all. I am prepared to agree with any of them to get a sodding decision, I think.

    In the meantime, decorator has stripped almost all of downstairs and the stairway wall. Plaster is mostly not too bad, but does need sanding and a few little gouges filled, and one section is a bit crumbly and he needs to paint some PVA glue over it

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