DIY ombre stairs aka how to redo a disablled adapted staircase and not go insane

DIY ombre stairs

This is going to be a very long post - so i will go straight to the point here - deciding in the middle of the day that it be great to sand all the stairs and paint them ombre - is not a good idea! Hell a plastering job was not a good idea to start with . Sanding alone took days and days of blood sweat and tears - i cried many tears wile i was sanding the stairs so much that i think it actually helped to strip the paint off .
So this is a guide for those of you who are just starting or just want a quick update

1stairs 1.jpg

This is how our staircase evolved - first it was a carpeted mess with deeper than a bulldog wrinkles artexed walls that i eventually covered with art just so its not in your face
If you are like me removing the carpet - then there are 2 tools that you need |- a flat headed screwdriver and a claw hammer - you basically pry the carpet grippers and then spend rest of your month removing nails and what nots
As i am concerned about budget and the fact that removing paint from stairs will be a hell of a job i went with
- heat gun
- scraper ( including a corner scraper - its a small tool and its ideal for those hard to reach corners)
-mouse sander and coarse 40 grit sanding pads (only when and as required )
- and patience
-If you want to keep your stairs or steps natural - then there are few choices , stain ,varnish , osmo oil (which is a oil-wax formula and its what i went with )
it took me few good days of scraping sanding and crying - i wont lie to you here - i thought kitchen remodel was bad but the stairs have topped it all - but if you do keep at it you will soon see the difference - the images below are day 1 , day 3 and the final day when steps were treated with mat osmo oil to protect them - can you see the difference ? its huge - overall i removed at least 6 layers of paint and a lot of dark varnish or stain - God knows what was it but it was a pain in the backside

  • to use a heat gun - you have to keep it close enough to the paint until it starts to blister then just scrape it and keep doing it - for bits that are extra stubborn use the sander with a 40 grit sand paper - be very careful not to wreck the stairs - then sand the lot with at least 100 grit sand paper - i chose 100 grit as the stairs are smooth but not so much so they are not slippery .

  • protecting your stairs - the only natural part of the staircase here are my steps - after a lot of sanding i did not want for them to be just painted - i bleached my pine steps - you can use wood bleach formula - or (that's not advisable really ) mix equal parts of bleach and water and leave it on your steps for 10 minutes - and if you like the look of stairs being as natural as possible you can use osmo oil raw mat - it does not change the color of wood the way varnish do - as least i wanted was orange pine to be back . i applied 2 thin coats of osmo oil with a brush and the finish it perfect and stairs are washable


Lets be honest here - disabled adaptations are an eye sore , and in our case this much needed adaptation came in 2 options - dirty cream with not so classy pu leather or blue with a 80s carpet like fabric - we chose a dirty cream option 13 years ago - that looked even dirtier against white walls and staircase and ended up sticking like a sore thumb against dark walls - its a no win situation
Having dye-d the leather chair before (please look in the diy section ) - i knew that with a bit of hard work pu leather could be dyed/painted too so i decided to give it a go

  • for painting faux leather
    what you need
    Angelus Brand Acrylic leather paint in a colour of your choice i chose matt black - but you can use satin , or gloss you wont need a lot so buy small pack
    Angelus Acrylic finisher (in a choice of matt , satin or gloss )
    sponge i used random kitchen one
    nail polish remover - one without acetone ! so you wont peel the pu leather ;)
    how to :
    This is scary and easy at the same time clean the seat with nail polish remover making sure you didn't miss a thing - so the area is clean and free from oil and so on - it is important you do this so the paint will stick better
    Then once dry apply 2 -3 thin coats to the area making sure paint is dry in between coats
    then to finish it off and protect your newly painted seat - apply 2 thin coats of finisher with a sponge or brush - job done

  • To change the color of plastic and metal casing
    what you need
    plastic primer - i went with halfords own ;)
    spray paint - i highly recommend Montana gold in a color of your choice i went with black - its quick drying - and i mean quick plus there isnt much of an over spray -but it does stink|
    - open windows !
    - something to protect your walls and stairs - i used whatever i had at home

    how to
    As soon as the area is secured - make sure you clean the stair lift with something that removes dust and grease -coat the stair lift with a primer , and once dry start spraying - it took one coat to cover it but i recommend 2 allow it to dry and be gentle with the lift for few days - you can lacquer it if you like but i didn't bother as we are always delicate with it anyway


3 Painting the staircase
If you fancy changing the colour of your staircase then prep work is a key - depending on the state of your stairs - i would suggest sanding the paint a little ( you do not have to sand to bare wood) to even it and to key the surface for the new paint - i love a matte stair look - so i went with Downsing and Reynolds nearly Matt eggshell paint in a color all lights off - the best way i could describe this colour is a soft black - its gorge and it doesn't shine like dogs ... ok i got carried on here a little - just let me tell you that this paint is ace ! and a little goes a long way x

4 - creating ombre effect on the raisers
there are 2 ways of doing the stairs
1 - tester pot it
I love saving money - and this might sound unconventional but 6 valspar testerpots ( they are quite big ) cost less than buying a full tin of paint - for my stairs i used wall paint - yes you heard me right
what i did is went with 6 of my favorite shades of green - starting from dark  to light -and as i had 13 raisers i basically improvised
i spread my tester pot tins every second step (without counting the bottom one ) then for the steps that didnt have the tester pots i mixed some paint by combining 2 colors from the  neighboring steps
for the bottom 1 st raiser  i added some downsing and raynolds black paint , then i proceed with my plan raiser no 2 was the colour i have bought , raiser no 3 was created by mixing colour from raiser no 2 and 4 and so on - that created a perfectly blended ombre
2- buy a tin of paint and add white
If you have a tin of paint lying around or you just want to do it this way then this is very easy too
for raiser no 1 you use the paint as it was , then starting from raiser no 2 set some containers 1 for each raiser  and add roughly same amount of chosen color of paint to each container.
 After your containers are filled with color its time to add white paint start from raiser no 2 adding a little white paint and each step you add more and more amount - so  you get the gradual lightning effect does it make sense ?
you cant go right or wrong with ombre and you can adjust it if needed when paint dries
to protect your paint so it will withstand the family life - just use clear water based varnish - wilko £3 one in my opinion is the best - be gentle with it while varnish cures - few days should be ok x


And this my friends is my hell of a project done in a simple steps - the hardest part for me was the fact that whole staircase is disabled adapted and no matter how i dress it up it will still not be as show stopping as the ones without any adaptations - but saying that now my husband lift is blended in better i love my staircase and the smooth walls - for years i hid the artex (decorative plaster work - sounds posh but its really ugly 70s fad )under a full gallery wall so  for now i will just enjoy minimal gallery wall - a collection of amazing art by an artist called Art by H - i love his sense of humor that shines through his art , and i went with ornate frames by mimivartworks - great company and frames are of fantastic quality and i can recommend it -and no its not an advert heheh
I will probably sling all my other prints on the wall very soon - but seeing a smooth wall for the first time it made me appreciate all the hard work that went into making them smooth - they are not perfect by any means but they are not bad for my second go x