Painting Stairs and Steps

The dungeon stairs! 

Actually my basement stairs.  This was an easy redo.  Well, if you compare this to roofing a house, it was an easy redo.  Each step had a piece of carpet held in place by metal strips.  Jim pulled out all the screws holding the carpet in place. 

So many screws.

Then it was time to remove the carpet tape and glue.  The tape came off fairly well, but removing the remaining adhesive was a bit laborious! 

First I tried Goo Be Gone.  Then I tried WD-40.  The WD40 made for easier removal.  I had to spray it on, rub it in, and use a scraper-all while my husband worked from home (in the basement).  I had visions of him slipping and falling down the steps and dying, all because I wanted to modernize the steps.  Thank you Lord.  That didn’t happen.  The steps felt tacky in spots after the WD40 use, so I went back over it with Goo Be Gone.  It was finally removed!  I washed each step down with Dawn detergent.

Now that the steps were clean, it was on to the walls. To remove the gloss on the paneling, I used deglosser applied with a regular dish scrungie. 

Deglosser is wonderful and so much easier than using sandpaper. 

I primed the paneling and trim and started painting with this green paint.  I immediately didn’t like the color.  Very military.  


I decided to go back to one of my favorite paint colors, Fawn Brindle by Sherwin Williams.  I used this color on my trim in my den and am IN LOVE.

Lastly,  the steps.  First primer.  Then paint.  Have you ever painted steps?  It is a challenge of gymnastics, Parkour and ingenuity.

Finally, we applied these stair treads I found at 

I’m so happy how they turned out. No more dungeon steps. They are inviting and so fresh and I’m very glad I changed them.

How to Paint Walls

My love of home and what is inside began when I was young. My mother enjoyed redecorating every few years and painting new room colors. When I started working as a paralegal, my former boss bought and sold houses as a side interest and for investment. I was able to see the houses transform before my eyes, sometimes with just new paint color.

I found that many people are frightened to plunge in and begin transforming their home. Don’t be afraid! Start with something simple, like painting walls. Start in a room that isn’t easily visible so you can practice. Chances are, you’ll love what you’ve done. If not, it’s only paint.


  • Good quality painters tape – You’ll find a wide variety of painters tape on the shelves. Take some time and look at all of them. They are varying widths, and you can find tape for delicate surfaces, exterior surfaces, crisp lines, etc. Get the picture?
  • Good quality paint brushes (trust me, don’t buy cheap paint brushes). Better quality brushes are your friend. They shouldn’t leave brush strokes and can be washed over and over. I suggest a 3-inch angled sash brush and a 1-inch angled sash brush as a minimum to start. Wooster makes this 3-pack that would serve you well. Check the package to make sure the brush is designed for the type of paint you are using.
  • Paint tray, roller frame and paint rollers. It is equally important to buy rollers that are designed for the type of paint you are using and the surface you are painting. Check the packaging. Again, don’t buy cheap rollers.
  • A drop cloth. You can purchase one or use old sheets.
  • Paint! Trust me with this: Become friends with the people at the paint counter. They are highly trained and know what you need. They have given me so much good advice in my projects, and I’ve rarely been disappointed. I suggest starting your paint endeavors by visiting a store such as Home Depot. They sell different brands of paint and are so knowledgeable as to which paint is best for the job you are working on. I’ve also found that the paint brands keep changing their product. What might have been the best one to use 5 years ago may no longer be that particular brand. Ask questions. You will be so happy you did. Experiment with different brands from different stores. Over time, you will know what you like and what you specifically want.
  • Q-tips. Yes, you read that right. They come in so handy for hard-to-reach spots and making corrections.
  • Rags and paper towels. Wipe up those messes immediately!
  • Paint clothes! Believe me, I’ve ruined some favorite clothes by not changing into my paint clothes. If you don’t change, you will constantly be worried you are getting paint on yourself. Come on, this part of the project is easy!
  • Sandwich bag and garbage bag.

You are now armed and ready! If you are not going home and using your paint immediately, make sure when you do begin painting that you stir it thoroughly each time.

Decide ahead of time that you will be doing 2 coats. I know, the manufacturer may advertise it is paint and primer in one, and you only need one coat. That may be true, but resign yourself to the fact that you’ll need 2 coats. If you don’t need 2 coats, happy dance!

Remove all outlet covers! I know, I know, you want to get started. Trust me again. Paint adds a layer to your wall. If you don’t remove the outlet covers, the next time you change your wall color and take off the covers, there will be a raised edge of paint where you stopped painting at the cover. Throw all covers and screws in a bag and you won’t be looking for those tiny screws when you’re finished.

Place the painters tape along your ceiling line, along your baseboards and next to any trim you need to protect. Make sure to press it firmly in place. Use the 1-inch brush and apply paint to the brush. Dip the brush about halfway into your paint and wipe off a bit from the brush or it will drip. Begin painting where the ceiling and wall meet and go around the room. Brush the paint away from the ceiling about 2 inches down onto the wall. When that is complete, start painting both sides of each wall corner. Paint out from each corner about 2 inches. Lastly, paint along the baseboard, painting up from the baseboard onto the wall approximately 2 inches. Allow the paint to dry. Now go back and repeat. Allow to dry again.

You are now ready to roll paint! Fill the paint tray with paint. Experiment by pouring a small amount into the tray. You don’t want to overfill or it will spill out. You also don’t want to completely soak the roller in paint. Roll the roller back and forth in the tray so the roller is covered. Begin at the top of the wall and be careful not to get too close to the ceiling. After you have painted one wall, use your paintbrush to brush back and forth between the edging paint and the wall paint so both are blended together. This will give you a clean look.

After all walls are painted, allow to dry. Then go back and repeat, always making sure to blend the paint together where the edges meet the rolled paint.

Remove the painters tape as soon as you are finished. Don’t leave the tape in place, or the paint will adhere to the tape and be difficult to remove. If the paint is still damp, that’s ok. Just pull off the tape carefully and discard.

If you have to stop at any time during painting, place your brushes in a gallon plastic bag and seal. This is the best way to keep the brush wet. If I know I’ll need my roller later in the day to continue painting, I put the roller and paint tray in a kitchen size plastic garbage bag.

When the second coat is dry, go back and look for missed areas and touch up. Here’s where those Q-tips come in handy. You can use them in crevices or areas where the brush isn’t reaching.

You have just painted and transformed a room! Wasn’t that easy? Have fun on your painting journey!

How to Wash Paintbrushes

I love the paintbrush aisle. Ok, yes, I said that. To me, there’s nothing better than a good quality paintbrush. If you take your time and select the right brush for your job, you will set yourself up for success. Who wants to spend money buying a new brush every time you paint? Not me.

So you’ve completed your paint job and you are loving it and happy dancing around the room. But wait – you have to clean up the brushes! Here’s how to get them clean every time and keep them in the best condition for your next job.

First, warm water. Rinse them in the sink and let the water run through the bristles. (I rarely use dish soap to clean my brushes.) If you are using a paint that is a bit stubborn being removed, by all means, use dish soap.

Push the brush against the sink and bounce the brush up and down in the water. Keep rinsing until you aren’t seeing the paint color in the water.

Next, use your fingernail to pull any thick paint down and out of the bristles. Remove paint from the metal part of the brush too. The longer you spend working the brush and cleaning out the paint, the better.

Splay the bristles. Lastly, turn the brush upside down. Hold the bristles in place and let water run through. Make sure you see no paint color in the water. If you do, keep rinsing.

Lastly, shake the brush to remove the water. Return the bristles to their natural position and lay on a towel to dry.

Your brush is now ready for it’s next job!

Refresh Everywhere-How I updated our camper with paint, fabric and peel and stick tile

We can walk around our home and decide to paint a wall a different color, put up some different curtains or change to shades. We can buy new rugs, new pillows, even change out the doorknobs! Well I decided to change something too. Our camper!

We have a 35-foot trailer, and it included the usual brown cabinets, brown curtains, brown flooring. (Who decided brown had to be used everywhere?!) Anyway, I knew I could brighten it up. We don’t go camping that often, but when we do, it is our home away from home and we want to enjoy it.

Excuse the terrible cell phone picture. This window is behind the table inside the camper. (Note the BROWN). The curtains are attached with Velcro. I easily removed them and made new curtains.

The little valance on top had paisley fabric stapled to it. I removed that and stapled a plain gray in its place. I’m happy I chose this grey and yellow chevron fabric.

Next up, the bathroom. Again, please excuse the cell phone photo. Oh, hello brown 😦

I painted the mirror and the cabinet with grey paint. I also painted the walls in the bathroom a lighter color. The shower only had a plain tan curtain, so I purchased this bright yellow one and hung it up. So sweet and cheerful!

I love it!

On to my daughter’s bed. Borrrring! I took a look at the curtain and chopped off the bottom brown panel! The brown was attached to a mesh fabric at the top (the white part) to allow for air flow.

I then found some cute fabric that matched her comforter (no sleeping bag for that girl), and simply sewed it to the mesh. No more boring curtain.

Last up, the kitchen. Unfortunately, I don’t have a before pic of the area. Just imagine plain walls everywhere. So I found these peel and stick tiles at Walmart and simply stuck them to the wall. They are easy to work with and cut if you need to fit them in tight areas.

If you spend lots of time traveling to different campsites as soon as the weather breaks, you just may want to update your camper. After all, this is your home-away-from home and you want to enjoy every minute. Who cares if you have to spend a rainy day inside when it’s bright and welcoming?