Basement Stair Paint

I’m currently balancing two projects. Finishing the basement when the weather is terrible, and working outside on the daybed when the sun is shining. Oh and shopping when it’s just too miserable to do either.

I made a stab at painting the stairs to the basement a few weeks ago.

The staircase is slightly sketchy looking, held together by magic, physics and luck. The stairs were made with what appears to be the left over rough sawn douglas fir floor joists. They were old, dirty, full of charcter and needed a little tlc.


They would never be pristine, but hey, they could be a bit better. I scrubbed them down, gave them a sand, pulled out the errant nails on the stair treads (who puts nails on stair treads?!), and gave the whole staircase 2 coats of BIN primer.


As I put the primer on the last step I realized I had painted myself DOWN the stairs, and had effectively trapped myself in the basement until the primer dried. Have I  mentioned lately how awesome I am?

After I watched the paint dry (about as fun as it sounds), it was paint time. I picked up the color chart for Behr flooring paint, and said to myself: “Self, I know you want to pick grey, but maybe you should step outside of your comfort zone and pick something a little different”.


I jumped out of that comfort zone and went with the nice rich navy blue of Deep Galaxy.

With paint in hand, I started to paint the stairs, this time painting every other step so that I could escape and not have to live in the basement indefinitely.


What do you think of my color choice?

Cause I HATE it.

I looked at it for weeks contemplating finishing the blue paint job and seeing if it magically grew on me.

Weeks later…It still sucks. It’s too dark, it makes the steps hard to see, and the color matches nothing in the rest of my plan for the basement.

I bit the bullet, headed back to Home Depot, and picked a new color.

Any guesses?



My old friend. My standby. My tried and true companion. My Amy Pond*.

Now. Anyone want to come over and paint my stairs? Cause painting stairs kinda sucks.

* That’s a Dr. Who reference for any non-nerdy (aka non-awesome) people out there.

Staircase Inspiration

After painting the upstairs hall, getting started on our tin ceiling, and adding a new light to the staircase, the shabby beige walls of the staircase are looking pretty sad. Not to mention they are the LAST beige walls inside the house. (I have been mounting a war on beige as the entire house was beige when we moved in, no really outside and in, whole house was beige.)

The walls in the staircase (the back wall in this pic) are the last beige walls in the house
The walls in the staircase (the back wall in this pic) are the last beige walls in the house

The problem with doing anything to the staircase walls, is that they’re HUGE and TALL. Remember El Granto precariously hanging on the top of a ladder to hang the new light? Yeah…not fun.

Giant scary staircase
Giant scary staircase
The Staircase
The Staircase

I would really like to do something with high impact in the space. I am thinking a bold paint colour, wallpaper or a stencil. The entire main floor is a light grey, and the upstairs hall is white. I think this is the perfect place to inject something a little crazy.

Here are some ideas that I am loving right now, I just cant decide on one direction!

I am loving the panelling with the pop of the runner!

Houndstooth is a big fave in the Storefront house right now. Even the dog sports a houndstooth coat. Would it be too much on the staircase walls?

I love a wallpaper with some humour, and this dog print makes my heart smile.

I LOVE the drama in this space!

Source: via Kristen on Pinterest

I am loving the blue in this wallpaper, but is it too close to the damask in our master bedroom?

This is a more classic style with the wainscoting + wallpaper. Is it fun enough?

Now this is colour!!!

So what do you think I should do to the staircase? Bold colour? Crazy wallpaper? Or keep it more traditional and do paneling or a mix of paneling & wallpaper?

Staircase Lighting

I have been on a quest to eliminate all the boob & spaceship lights in the storefront.  There are only two remaining; in our guestroom and at the top of our staircase. The light in the staircase actually burned out a few months ago, and we have not yet replaced it.  The ceiling is 25 feet tall in the staircase, and we didn’t have a ladder tall enough to reach it.

The (dead) light at the top of our staircase
The (dead) light at the top of our staircase

We decided we’d replace the light fixture & bulb at the same time and borrow or rent a ladder to get it done. Problem is, we just haven’t found the right light. We wanted something that looked nice from the top of the stairs, wasn’t too overpowering. We wanted something light but pretty, and that hung down a few feet. We also needed a fixture that wouldn’t break the bank.

While browsing through HomeSense the other day, I spotted this light in the center isle.

Glass Pendant from HomeSense $59
Glass Pendant from HomeSense $59

It’s almost exactly the same as a West Elm Glass Jar Pendant but for half the price. I scooped up the light and headed for the checkout.

Now we had to deal with the issue of not having a ladder. Thankfully our awesome neighbors were home and let us borrow their ladder. Phew!

We delicately maneuvered the ladder up and over our staircase (this is the biggest obstacle in getting things up our stairs) and put socks on the end of the ladder so it wouldn’t bash up the walls.

The Switchback Staircase
The Switchback Staircase
The ladder in the staircase
The ladder in the staircase (see how skinny & tall the staircase is?!)
El Granto making his way up the ladder
El Granto making his way up the ladder

Once El Granto precariously climbed up the ladder, he realized that it wouldn’t work. The way the ladder was positioned he couldn’t reach the light. S%#t! So down he came, and we tried to move the ladder around to a better position. Thankfully we leaned it against the other wall and it worked. El Granto climbed back up and set to taking down the old light.

El Granto doin his magic
El Granto doin his magic

I stood at the bottom being the lackie handing El Granto things when he needed them and hoping he didn’t fall to his death.

10 minutes later and we had a new light!

The light! (view from the top of the stairs)
The light! (view from the top of the stairs)
The Light (looking down the staircase)
The Light (looking down the staircase)
The Light (from below looking up from the bottom of the stairs)
The Light (from below looking up from the bottom of the stairs)

We purchased a 60 watt Edison Bulb from a (great) local shop Metropolis Living. It casts a beautiful warm glow in the staircase, and I love the look of the Edison bulb (will try to break out the tripod this weekend and get a better shot of the bulb for ya.) The light hangs down about 5-6 feet and its the perfect height.

Now I need to paint the staircase walls, frame & hang a gorgeous painting we have for the staircase landing wall, and perhaps a nice plant for the landing.

What do you think? Better than the big box lights?



Glass Pendant – HomeSense
Edison Bulb – Metropolis Living

Tools Used:

Screw Driver, Ladder

Difficulty Level (on a scale of 1-5):

Three out of five

(extra hammer for being on a ladder 20 feet off the ground)
Total Cost: $80 ($60 for light and $20 for the bulb)