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Stairway Makeover – Phase 1

Stairway Makeover – Phase 1

With $100.00; 1 DIY light fixture; 2 DIY art projects; 2 gallons of paint; & 2 weekends of painting, Phase 1 of our Stairway Makeover is completed.


Our house had been painted the same hideous color throughout the entire house by the previous owner. Even more hideous? The paint was in the worst finish ever… flat paint.

Why do I hate flat paint so much?…

Flat paint is the most impractical paint finish EVER, making scuffs almost impossible to remove. The bigger crime? Flat paint doesn’t reflect light, making any space feel smaller. Don’t just take my word for it, the before & after photos prove just how important the paint finish is just as important as the paint color.

Do you see how dark & heavy the space feels with the flat paint? Trust me, the before wall color was much more hideous in person than it shows in pictures.


phase 1 of our stairway makeover


As with any home improvements we want to conquer, we pick a space & break the project into manageable phases. A huge & daunting project suddenly becomes manageable when broken into chunks.

PHASE 1 (all completed):

Remove ugly brass light fixture

 Create a DIY modern light fixture

Create large-scale DIY art pieces


upgrade a brass light fixture with a modern DIY light fixture

fill large empty walls with large pieces of art

PHASE 2 (to be completed):

Update banisters

PHASE 3 (to be completed):

Demo carpet

Upgrade treads, risers & landing


First things, first….

As a designer, there are several things on my “black list” that I hate, one of which is… brass light fixtures. It had to GTFO. My sweetheart husband was able to repurpose the guts of the old light to create a fabulous modern DIY light fixture for under $25.00!

We also DIY’ed some awesome artwork…

We make the space visually bigger, we created this DIY art  for under $20.00. To add more visual interest, we also upcycled a large art canvas by repurposing it into lyric art. 


We saved the most time-consuming project for last… Painting. We definitely underestimated the difficulty of this huge task. Our 12 ½ foot stairwell made maneuvering a latter around the semi-narrow staircase a bit tricky. We persisted with patience, taking two weekends to finish painting.  

That first weekend of painting, we determined our ladder that we thought was tall enough, wasn’t. Thanks to Shur-Line painting tools, Jonathan was able to reach just below the crown molding to cut-in the paint. Using these paint tools definitely requires patience, control & upper-arm strength, areas in which my hubby excels. 🙂 I nominated my hubby for this part since he has massive guns. 😉


This paint transformed a once dark & “heavy” space to make it feel instantly fresh & modern. Do you see how the white trim pops? I love it!

  • PAINT TIP: To visually enlarge your space, choose a color that is on the cool spectrum & stay far away from flat finishes.
  • EXAMPLE: The coolness of the Classic Silver & the eggshell finish work together to make the space feel larger & reflect light. Check out the comparisons below.

1 DIY light fixture, 2 DIY art projects, 2 gallons of paint, & 2 weekends of painting, we were able to completely transform the once lackluster & dark space to a modern, bright & fresh space. The paint we used is cool in color & cool in style.

Conquering home improvements is when projects are broken down into manageable phases. Inch-by-inch, we conquered our goals in Phase 1 of our Stairway Makeover. One “inch” conquered today is one less “inch” on tomorrow’s plate.

Stay Cool & Keep Your Paint Cool!

Love, Peace & Happiness,

Hippie & Sparky



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