The light at the end of the tunnel

Our upstairs hallway is seriously like a tunnel. A long, dark, narrow, yucky tunnel.  The hallway wasn’t anywhere near the top of my priority list right now, but much like our Master Bedroom makeover, I knew that I could make it look 100% better with absolutely no money spent. So, since I had 3 days off in row I decided to tackle this project.

It took me over a week to get this tiny space painted out. Why? Because of all the dark trim. If you haven’t had the pleasure of painting dark trim white yet then let me sum it up for you. It’s just like pregnancy.  It’s long, exhausting, and you can’t wait for it to be over, but the end result is totally worth the physical output.  Oh, and it will take you a couple of months to forget how grueling it was and decide to take on another trim project. So without further ado, on to my labor of love (pun intended)……

Here is what I started with. The previous owners had already painted some of the doors white so that saved me on primer, but their kids also left behind a collection of hand prints, drawings, and stains that I’d rather not ask about all over the yellowing white paint.

painting trim white

The first thing I did was tackle all the trim. When painting a room, if at all possible you always want to do the trim first. It’s much easier to be messy with the trim paint then cut in with the wall paint than the other way around.  Turning the dark wood into a lovely bright white took 2 coats of primer then two coats of Olympic Bright White semi-gloss. It took roughly two hours per coat, so that 8 hours at a minimum I spent painting the trim work.

how to paint a hallway

So after a week of working my butt off I stepped back and looked at what I had accomplished…..which didn’t look like much. Honestly, I had spent so much time starting at white paint that I think I forgot how dark the hallway was before I started. Plus I still had that pesky problem of dirty walls.  I grabbed what I had left of the Olympic Grey Ghost (same color we used in the family room, kitchen, and master bedroom) and went to town painting the walls. Luckily, this only took one coat.

painting hallways

Yay! Clean walls! I went with Grey Ghost for a couple of reasons.

  1. I had leftovers in the garage, so it was free.
  2. It’s a nice neutral greige so it blends nicely with the colors in the bedrooms.
  3. It’s the same color used in the master bedroom, kitchen ,and family room so it created a smooth transition from down stairs to upstairs.

The last thing we had to do was hang up a bunch of pictures that have been sitting in boxes since we moved.

hanging pictures in a hallway

Surprisingly it was the hanging of the pictures that made the most dramatic impact. All of sudden it actually looks like people live in this house. We’re also in the process of replacing all the upstairs door knobs to these oil rubbed bronze egg shaped knobs from Weslock (affiliate). I really love how oil rubbed bronze pops against a white door.

Ooil rubbed bronze egg door knob

Here’s a couple of before and afters:

grey and white hallway

before and after hallway

That’s one more space in our house that feels a little more like us! Since we already had all the paint on hand and the pictures came over from our last house this makeover was completely free! I’m not ready to spend any money on this space yet, but when we get around to it, we’ll replace the rest of the door knobs and the 2 light fixtures.  The carpet is in really bad shape, but we haven’t decided what we want there yet. Ascetically I would love to install the same laminate flooring we have down stairs, but I’m worried about the noise the dogs would make walking on it in the morning. Anyone have any thoughts of flooring for an upstairs hallway?

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xoxo Stephanie

2 thoughts on “The light at the end of the tunnel”

  1. So fresh and bright! I too had the displeasure of painting every piece of molding, trim, including crown molding in every room of my last house! The reward is so great though. It’s a bonus that this cost you nothing! XO

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