Now that I had made the upper staircase I felt more confident approaching grand stairs. Obviously, I glued on the steps, and glued on the rails (and had to trim them, just as the instructions promised I'd have to). Then I had this problem with the large steps. I did, as I considered in the previous post, stain the edges, but since I had been so clever before and primed the steps, the surface couldn't be stained. I tried various wood strips, but none matched so it was just getting worse and worse. Finally I cut two pieces of white card and stainted them. I was hugely dissatisfied with the result and put the whole project aside.
Then yesterday I happened to be near Poundland and went in to buy more tea lights, when I saw another roll of adhesive shelf lining. I didn't have the steps in mind at all, but it was a darker shade, and for a pound you can afford something you don't need immediately but may find useful some time in the future. However, when I got home and had a better look, the shade was just right for the steps. So I had to back on my solemn promise never to use shelf lining. This time, I was really pleased. Judge for yourself:
Possibly, the large steps are a but too shiny, but I can dull them with shoe polish.
But - just as I mentioned in the previous post, I now saw even more clearly that the floor was wrong. It distracted the attention from the stairs which I want to be the central feature of this room. Also the colour of the darker parquet bits was wrong. Just wrong all the way. First I thought I'd make another similar floor with darker bits, but it seemed a shame to throw away a good floor that simply didn't fit in this room so I tested it the drawing room where I wanted a better floor anyway. And see, in the drawing room it looked just right.
This just shows you that you shouldn't keep stubbornly to original plans. So that's decided - I just need to add a couple of rows in the back, since this room is deeper.
Back to the grand hall then. I tested to make a floor with the shelf lining, using a fancy-ish pattern.
It looked good in itself, but I don't think it works in the room. It's too dull. So the old floor was too bright, this is too dull, and I need something in between. Also, the two rooms on both sides of the hall have real hardwood floors. The music room to the right has herringbone parquet, and for the reception room I have started making a very elaborate floor that I haven't shown yet since it isn't finished, but here it is anyway:
Next to this, a shelf-lining floor, pretty as it is, doesn't look good enough. I will of course finish it and use elsewhere. But what shall I do with the hall floor? Come back soon!