Looking for home makeover project ideas? Wait until you see the dramatic transformation of the front entry hall in our 1850 farmhouse!

Another week, another room makeover.

There is so much to do before the spring gardening season kicks into gear in my gardening zone 6a garden.

Since moving into our new-to-us 1850 farmhouse, we’ve been bringing several rooms to a more neutral color palette on the first floor.

Truth be told, there are three full floors to tackle, but our goal for winter 2022 was to get a few of the rooms lightened up on the main floor.

To see what our home looked like before all the renovations started, CLICK HERE.

So far, we cleaned up and painted the following rooms:

And today, we are wrapping up the indoor room makeover projects so I can focus on the outdoor living spaces and gardens.

Cause you know how much I love my gardens and there is ALOT here to work with that I need to get started on.

But I digress.

Wait until you see how much better the front entry hall looks!!!!

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The Front Entry Hall Makeover Project

That red walls and heavy faux finish design on the stair railing was a lot to take in.

Since we lightened up the adjacent dining room, the front entry hall needed a makeover – and it got one.

Wait until you see how AMAZING it looks now!

And all we did was paint it!

Arched doorway in vintage farmhouse home tour

The Stair Railing

Before painting the walls in the front entry halls, I knew we needed to tackle the stair railing first.

Ultimately, we want to install a different stair railing, but that is not in the budget right now.

So instead, we opted to paint over the red and remove the faux finish designs.

There was so much going on in this room with the painted inlays on the wood floor, the red walls, and the faux finish.

It felt really dark in here.

Since we weren’t sure whether oil-based or latex paint was used, we did a quick test on the railings.

Do you know how to tell the difference?

vintage farmhouse home tour front entry with stair railing

Grab some rubbing alcohol on a clean paper towel and rub it on a spot.

If the paint color comes off, it is latex.

And if the cloth comes out clean, it was oil-based.

Luckily, these railings were all painted with latex.

There was a high gloss finish on the newel post but each ballister in the upstairs floors was done with a semi-gloss finish.

ling front staircase before photo

So we chose the same finishes but toned down the colors.

For the spindles, we went with Benjamin Moore Linen White in a semi-gloss finish. Linen White is a warm white that pulls a little more yellow and beige.

And for the newel posts, we used Benjamin Moore Carbon Copy in a high gloss finish. Carbon Copy is a soft black that pulls a more gray tone.

In order to update the stair railing, we lightly sanded the existing finish so the new paint would have a better grip.

Since the red and faux finish was so dark, we primed the stair railings first and then painted 2 coats of color after.

The railing looks so much better now doesn’t it?

front entry hall with painted piano and vintage window in vintage farmhouse home tour

The Red Walls

Although the red was really dark, I actually like the color.

I used to have it in my former dining room before I lightened that room up with Benjamin Moore’s Manchester Tan.

But just because I like the color, doesn’t mean it should stay.

This home has lots of character with great big windows to bring the outdoor gardens inside.

front entry hall makeover project
front entry hall makeover project
front entry hall makeover project

Having rooms that are weighed down with dark colors or designs distracts the eye from looking beyond the windows.

Not to mention, less light reflects off the walls.

So much like the dining room and family room makeover projects, we painted the walls in the front entry hall with Benjamin Moore Linen White in a matte finish.

The walls needed two coats of paint too. We used a primer and that covered a lot with just two coats of paint. But there were a few spots that needed a third coat, so we just did a full third coat.

And holy wow does the room look SO GOOD now!

the front entry hall makeover project after

After the Makeover Project

Now that the entire room is painted, I appreciate the floors so much more than before.

That red did nothing for the painted floor inlays.

The front entry hall feels larger, brighter, and more spacious.

As far as decor goes, this room is not done and will take a while to furnish because we are going to thrift the whole room.

front entry hall makeover project

I am looking for storage pieces that can hold my table decor and want to find the right wall decor.

All good things take time – but for now?

It looks better than I imagined it would!

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

front entry hall makeover project
front entry hall makeover project
My dog wanted attention while I was photographing this room LOL
the front entry hall makeover project

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ling front entry before photo

Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling

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  1. I can not get over what a difference!! Amazing how bright everything looks now. The arched little hallway area is a showstopper.

  2. I loved the red color, however, you are so right, it was just too strong for you and your family. The area is young looking and the floor makes such a wonderful statement.
    The beauty is you have purchased a home with beautiful bones and now it needs your makeup to make it yours.
    It’s always so exciting to see all the progress you have made.
    Many blessings to you and your family this Easter season.

      1. It looks sooo good! Great job, I did not like the red at all. This is beautiful cant wait to see how things progress, its beautiful now!

  3. Wow! What a transformation! Paint is an amazing tool. Do you think you’ll leave the floors with the painted insets or are you planning to have them refinished? The insets are pretty cool and look so much better with the white backdrop!

    1. Thank you! I think we’ll leave them for a while – it doesn’t clash as much with the walls like it did with the red. Every time we walk through I can’t believe how much better the space feels.

  4. Wow, what a difference! Those inlaid wood floors were being missed because of the Red on the walls and now your eye can see those gorgeous floors! The trim around the doors and windows make a statement too!

  5. Stacy WOW! This is going to make a world of difference for you entering the house each time. I had a red dining room too that was lovely but the red here was fighting with floors which need to be the star. So do you enter a small vestibule before the foyer? Trying to figure out all four walls of the space. I also love how the deep charcoal color in the library draws you in from the foyer and echos the small black tiles in the dining room flooring. Perfection. Dressing this room with storage pieces for your table wares is genius, it will serve as a butler’s pantry as well as welcoming entrance.

    1. Yes that’s totally what I’m planning to do in here! Thank you. That small vestibule goes to a powder room and small hall closet.

  6. What a difference! I love it lightened up. You are right it makes the floors pop. I can’t wait to see how your home evolves over time. It has so much potential.

    I had a red (cranberry room) at one point and it took primer and at least three coats to cover.

  7. Love it. It looks so bright and more beautiful now. Now I need to paint our very dark chocolate walls. Thanks for the motivation. Wish we had those beautiful floors.👍

  8. Stacy, What beautiful trim work. Nowadays you don’t see such attention to detail. Looks fabulous!

    1. I agree – there are so many things to play up here that were almost concealed by how much was going on. Just toning it down a little bit really brings out the character.

  9. What a beautiful transformation! It’s amazing what some paint and hardwork can do! It looks great!

  10. Thank heavens for great primers! The room looked a bit gaudy to me before – a little too over the top. It now looks fresh, clean and very inviting and now the focus will be the windows with the fabulous views and whatever you choose for that room when you’re thrifting. Thank you for sharing with us — I look forward to each posting to see what you’re doing now. What a beautiful property you have – and many indoor and outdoor areas that will be even more gorgeous after you make your changes.

  11. Wow! What a transformation. It looks gorgeous! That beautiful woodwork stands out so much more. I can’t wait to see more projects. Hugs to you

  12. Beautiful! I love the transformation and all the beautiful molding in your home as well. I’m very visual and like to understand the layout of a home, what does the little archway lead too?

  13. Stacy,
    This area looks amazing. I love that arched doorway. You have been so busy. It’s really starting to look like your home. Congratulations!

  14. I LOVE everything now that the room is neutral. What a difference. That arched doorway and oval window look amazing!

  15. Love the new look for your foyer! Did you use the Benjamin Moore Linen white on the walls as well as the spindles of the railing! Love seeing all the updates on your new home. Blessings this Easter!

  16. Stacy, It is so beautiful now, you did a great job. I love your new home and gardens. I always look forward to your next blog.

  17. You made the best choice for the entry. The white pops the inlaid floor, rug and architectural features of the woodwork. It makes it all look more elegant and pulled together. The red is a pretty color, but tended to be on the garish side for the entry. You walked in and it seemed as if it was a slap in the face, like “look at me.” Now it says, “WOW, look at how elegant I am.” I really like it. Great job! I am in the process of painting my dark beams and wood paneling in the family room which has only east facing light exposure, so it is dark for most of the time. I think it will make a big difference, and can’t wait until my nephew gets to it!!! Wish us luck!

    1. Paint makes a world of difference right? Thank you so much! We are loving how this one turned out! xo

  18. Wow! It makes all of the spaces look double there sizes. You are so right about darker colors. They can close in a room. With each project this home becomes even more amazing, Stacy! Stunning!

  19. It’s absolutely fabulous Stacy. It was beautiful with the red, but it looks like a new fresh space now. You must feel like you’ve gained tons of square footage with all that wonderful light reflecting. The floors are just amazing!