Now I think I'm ready to start working on this again. One problem is the fact that previous owners (they of the mustard paint?) covered the original plaster with drywall and did a very clumsy job of it. I believe the correct procedure is to remove the trim, put up the drywall and replace the trim, but whoever did our drywall simply slapped it up in such a way that it looks like the walls are eating the trim.
We've lived with this for so long, I'm not even sure what proper stairway woodwork is supposed to look like, but, I imagine, not like this:
|Trim is totally flush with the wall|
I actually had to go to pinterest and look at pictures of normal, un-fucked up stairs and my suspicions are confirmed: the woodwork is NOT supposed to disappear into the wall.
So, we are faced with the question we return to again and again with this house: Fix it for now, or fix it for good? As much as this drywall disaster twirls my OCD meter, I think we are going to have to fix it for now. Someday, when all the kids are through with college, at which point I imagine Jon and I will have nothing to do but sit around and count our money, we'll hire someone to fix this properly. Until then, just freshening up the paint and getting rid of that ghastly orange colorwashing will do wonders. She said optimistically.