10 March 2011

Psychedelic Stair Renovation!

The attic stairs are done... and there's no doubt, it's a huge improvement!

I decided to go bold, so I attached Behr paint chips to the walls- working in a slight dark to light gradient (...and don't worry! Home Depot was quite willing to have me take all of these paint chips- I asked first!). Aside from the paint chips, everything else was stripped (3-4 layers of wallpaper- yuck!), cleaned, prepped, and painted white. We also installed a runner made from rag rugs my Grandmother made. It feels so much brighter and cleaner. All said & done, I rang in with a total cost of $16. We spent $4 on a ventilation mask for me to wear and $12 on 2 bottles of spray adhesive.

I just love how fun and colorful this space is now, and it's so much more appropriate for the nursery! Jesse and I both agreed reading through the paint chip names is quite amusing too, so maybe someday our little one can practice reading off names like "Majestic Mint," "Lemon Tart," and "Feather Plume."

Perhaps most important is that the stairs withstood their first test! We successfully moved a very large, heavy piece of furniture up them (more on that later!), and the runner made it a lot easier while holding up fabulously. The dogs are also no longer afraid to wander up them, which gives us one more thing to worry about when we're in the attic. :)



It looks fabulous! Great job!

brittany leigh

umm those stairs look AWSOME! what a cool idea!

Mrs. Kroeger





LOVE! Its looks fabulous! You give me hope I can make my house look even better someday.


My most favorite thing, is when the forgotten space are brought back into the light.



love it, Tess! How did you attach the runner to your stairs? I need to do this on a couple of stair cases, but haven't got the chance. Maybe a spring project...


I've thought about using the paint sample chips to decorate before! It's brave and adorable. I love it. :)

Paula Jo @ Home Depot | Outdoor Garden Decorations

Oh, what a super job, and I love it. A great idea you came up with.

Almost Precious

Totally clever and very creative of you. A wonderful rainbow of color to brighten a dark and often neglected stairway.


Totally cute. I love it!

sallie kate

This is so impressive, Tess! This should be published somewhere will all the pros. Great creative work, and so ambitious!


WOW! What a gorgeous idea for the walls! I hope my next place has a small nook for such fun wall decor :)

Jen of MadeByGirl

soo pretty!


the conleys

oh my goodness these are fabulous!! I have never seen this done before and I love it. now to find where I can do this in my place!!



Wow, great idea and awesome look! I'm so impressed by how much energy you have to put into the home. Teri and I have been working on hanging pictures (including a couple of your paintings!) around the house, and putting up curtains. It's looking good, but just that is a lot of tedious work!


This is so beautiful and creative! I love the bright colors. I'm gonna have to steal this idea someday. :)


FUN! I want to do that too. Great idea!

Lauren Adeline

Just saw this posted on Apartment Therapy. Congrats on being featured! I am curious as to what type of spray adhesive you used?

Tess Carter

Thanks Lauren! :)
I used a basic Elmer's Craft Spray Adhesive. It worked best for me when sprayed liberally on both the back of the chip and the wall. It's one of those 'permanent or temporary' sprays, so it's not gonna hold like super glue. I plan to reinforce them if/when they get loose, but I chose that route fully knowing (and not wanting to really cement them to the wall after removing 4+ layers of wallpaper!).


I think this is so cute. I saw this on apartment therapy and came over. I can hardly read AT anymore because most of the commenters are so cranky and rude. Such a fun project! Love it!

Down and Out Chic

this is such a fantastic idea. it's definitely bright and cheerful!

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants

Oh my gosh, I love this!!! I am about to put together a creative space for me, thinking I must have this on a wall! Love your house and style!


Because I would love to do this to my staircase I must ask one question. Do you think the paint that you sprayed the adhesive on will come off with the paint chips? I live in a place where I can't paint walls....and don't want to later have $ deducted because the paint chips tore of paint/damaged the walls when I move out....If you could email me your response that would be fantastic! crazvlinist(at)gmail(dot)com


Do you remember where you got that stair runner? I'm about killin myself over finding one I like!


Just found this - its really cool and I am desperate to find at least one little wall to do this on......


What an amazing job! It's definitely a huge improvement after the stairs are done with your creative work. I really love the stairway. Congratulations!

Mike Loshe

Very Creative! With Spiral Staircase Prices being so affordable these days me my wife decided to have one installed but have been struggling on figuring out a color scheme. Maybe we could do something similar on the actual stairs.

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