The stairway was another area with no mold problems but was just UGLY! They had 2 different wall boards that didn't match and molding that made no sense. We tried a couple of areas with painting over the paneling, but it was looking just as ugly. There was some texture coating already done on one side and the upstairs hallway so we decided to remove the paneling and texture coat that side too.
After we removed the ugly paneling we found texture coating already underneath, but in need of repair. So we repaired the bad areas and put a new coat on top of that. We also vowed to NEVER use texture paint again. We personally hate it and it makes a HUGE mess.
We're going to change the old molding to molding that matches up with what you see there on the second story level. We are also going to paint the spindles under the banister to match. The plan is to carpet the stairs, but I may paint them in a better color prior to that as the carpeting will be the very last thing we do. Hubby is also securing the handrails better than they were and will be adding a handrail on the right hand side. I have a 6 foot oak quilt hanger that will get hung on the long wall and I'm working on a quilt to go there that I hope to finish on Sunday.