A Cellarway Makeover
A Cellarway Makeover

A Cellarway Makeover

Frankly, I’ve never thought about our cellarway.  It’s always just been “the cellarway”.  A way to get from the kitchen down to the basement.  But last month as I was coming back up from the basement it finally occurred to me “hey, there’s no reason these walls have to remain dirty, white, matte crap – I bet they’d look really good the same shiny blue as the bedroom accent wall!”  An idea was sparked, quickly followed by action a few days later:

I started cleaning off the wrap-around shelf before taking a BEFORE pic.  Duh.  So here’s mostly before:


I decided to paint both the walls AND the ceiling the same color:  Benjamin Moore Bluenose in semi-gloss.  I couldn’t reach the ceiling in some places so I used my Little Giant ladder, which is excellent on stairs, because articulating:

After edging the walls & ceiling:


After 2 coats of Bluenose:

When I shone my halogen work light on it, it really displayed the shine.  I LOVE shiny paint!  Now the cellarway looks very castle-like:


After the walls and ceiling were done, I painted the shelf and shelf trim with our off-white Benjamin Moore semi-gloss trim paint.  Then moved on to the cinder blocks below the shelf:


I had painted them grey in 2018 with Drylok masonry waterproofer, but they definitely needed an upgrade.  After 2 coats of generic white paint they looked much better:


Then I sealed the wooden shelf and shelf trim with a coat of Polycrylic.  I’m hoping it will help protect the shelf from chips and dings:

After a few days I put everything back:


This time around I utilized hooks to make better use of the wall space.  Lots and lots of hooks!  Basically if it could hang on a hook, it now is:


I had some plain white hooks which I used first, then went to World Market last weekend and bought decorative metal bird hooks and a pretty ceramic tile hook – they really liven up the space:


Here’s the official BEFORE & AFTER:


So much better!

I’m contemplating adding a coat of stain to the stairs.  They’re unfinished wood.  I think a nice deep walnut would look very nice.

UPDATE 9/11/2020:

I forgot to mention I also used a whole canister of caulk to fill in the cracks above & below the wrap-around shelf before painting them.

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    And here I am, trying to work up the energy to finish painting my living room after four years! I’m so ashamed!! Your cellarway (never heard that term before) looks great! I love the curved ceiling … looks like a medieval castle! Please come paint my living room?

    1. Nine Dark Moons

      HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!! I remember following along on your living room journey! You had to do SO MUCH WORK just to GET to the point where you can paint, it’s no wonder you still haven’t! If I lived nearby, I’d come help 🙂 I am wondering if “cellarway” is a New England term. I had to look it up to make sure it was even a word. That’s just always what they’ve been called here.


        The work is not over. We moved the last piece of furniture out of the way, only to find I have to repair the finish coat on the last section of wall! Ugh … And I tend to conveniently forget that the foyer needs the same treatment. I’m a long ways from done! Out west, we call cellarways the basement stairs! 🙂

    1. Nine Dark Moons

      Blue & white is always a winning combination. Well, denim-ish blue and off-white especially 🙂 It’s made my many trips down to the basement and back up a much more pleasant experience 🙂

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