How Not to Paint a House Stairway

‘Twas before dawn when I rose, fired up the stove, and brewed a cup of coffee while pulling out the gloves, white primer paint, chopstick to stir the primer (because the paint store was out of stirring sticks, of all things), some newspaper, and a rag in preparation to paint the “risers” on a stairway — more commonly known by the non-handy girl I am as the “vertical panels” on the stairway.

My plan was to keep the bucket on each stair below the one I was painting along with my coffee cup. So simple.

Two stairs down I realized I could no longer get upstairs…since I didn’t have a back door key. No worries. Primer dries quickly. Yet had I done it over, I would have unlocked the back door.

Tip #1: Soon I wished I’d used masking tape or even had a guide (perhaps an old piece of cardboard) to stop the primer from slopping on the side walls. The cardboard method is so easy and saves a lot of wiping up.

Tip #2: Using a dark rag like an old t-shirt would have saved a lot of time. White paper towels with white primer makes it pretty hard to know when the towels are too dirty to wipe up slopped over paint. Yet, in my lazy way I still persisted.

Tip #3: Coffee drinkers should not attempt to paint before coffee. Or during coffee. Once I nearly dipped the brush in my coffee cup. Needless to say, my painted glove grasping the coffee cup added some nice “splashes” to the cup. Perhaps the tip is really: Don’t drink while painting.

If my slap dash approach to painting stairs or the photo gives you hives, here are the original photos that inspired me. Who knows, maybe mine will end up looking like these if I heed my own advice. Got advice (other than hire a painter)? 😉

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