Reader Redesign: Smooth Landing

We don’t have stairs in our house. Which we love. But sometimes it’s a bummer when we see people do fun things with them like Roeshel recently did. And the most impressive part is that she did it without buying anything. You go, girl! Wait, forget I said that… just read her email:

I’m sure you guys get a ton of submissions for consideration but I recently gave our stairway a little pizzazz using leftover paint and things we already had on hand. It turned out fun! So I’ve included before and after pictures in the event that you like my crazy little makeover. Before was boring.

I cut out a diamond shaped stencil from posterboard and using a pencil, I lightly traced the pattern on the wall. I taped off the pattern with Frog tape. Cutting tape at an angle made for easier taping in the corners of the diamond. I did two coats and peeled off the tape immediately after the second coat, while the paint was still wet. You can touch up the paint as needed (I’m not a perfectionist, so I didn’t bother but I doubt you’ll see anything noticeable in the after pictures).

The original wall color is Benjamin Moore’s Smokey Taupe. The new top color is Glidden’s Linen.

I’m thinking of adding more stencils/pattern/design to the accent wall {thinking. thinking.} but for now it’s a big improvement and so much fun compared to the boring before. At least I think so. Maybe a little crazy – but doesn’t it look so much better? – Roeshel

We wholeheartedly agree that it looks awesome. And we love that it was F-R-double-E. It’s so much fun when “forgotten” spaces get a little love. Oh, and you can see more about the whole process here on Roeshel’s blog. Did you notice all of the other little things she updated? Like painting the table yellow, hanging an old window, and framing a faux deer that Sherry probably wants to marry? What’s your favorite part?

Psst- We announced this week’s giveaway winner. Click here to see if it’s you.


  1. says

    i have yet to figure out how to paint the way-high-up-walls of a stair. anyone? anyone? we need to do this in our home, but i haven’t a clue how to accomplish it without getting paint everywhere (or falling down the steps and breaking something).

    • says

      @ Adria We just did this and quite frankly it was the bane of our existence! We used an extender pole with an adjustable brush holder meant to do those jobs. It requires a steady hand but it can get the job done with some patience. We also used an edger gadget that just has these little furry hairs for lack of a better term (not a brush/roller) and it did a horrible job. So I definitely wouldn’t recommend that even if the guy at the home store does. I hope that helps a bit!

    • Caitlin says

      My fiancé and I recently painted the entryway to our split level house. For the extra high ceilings by the front door, we set up our adjustable ladder in the landing, and used an extension pole. To get the edges, I used one of those edging pads that 3M sells attached to the pole. While I would never use one in a regular height room, I wasn’t that particular about getting a perfect edge in a spot that literally no one will be able to see. My arms can tell you it was not a fun experience, but worth getting rid of the heinous paint color the previous owners had. I would recommend using a paint/primer in one so you only have to do it once.

    • Danielle E says

      They make ladders that let you adjust one side- so you can paint on stairs without killing yourself. Not sure how much they are, but would definitely make the process much easier.

    • Jen says

      Magic and a prayer. Actually, we have one of those ladders that are adjustable to be used on stairs. We set that up and I climbed on top while my husband spotted me and I used a roller attached to a wooden pole (they sell them in the paint department at home depot). We took the roller off and ghetto strapped a paint brush (with hair ties no less) to the pole and used that to do the trim. It worked surprisingly well but was kind of scary while we were doing it. I’m sure there is some official way to paint that area, but that worked for us.

    • Monika says

      We also paid someone, as renting a ladder (those adjustable extending ones are expensive!), and a risk of falling was not worth it. Just for a point of reference, it was only $120, including all paint and materials, for a guy to come out and do it in 3 hours. Well worth it!

  2. julie g. says

    Awesome! Every touch brings so much life to that generally neglected space -thanks for sharing. Off to check out the rest of the house!

  3. says

    “framing a faux deer that Sherry probably wants to marry?”

    But he’s not white and ceramic, so that probably lessens his appeal a little, right? ;-)

    In other news, this redo is awesome and I bow down to anyone with patience enough to do a stencil!

  4. says

    I might be the only one but there’s an old navy ad in the top right side that is messing the page up for me. It’s jumping out into the page and I can’t make it go away. Argh.

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