Projects & Improvements

Before and After: A Boring Staircase Gets an $825 Bold and Moody Redo (with a Cool Paint Trick!)

published Aug 21, 2022
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About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Organic Modern
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Post Image

When you’re thinking about areas in your home to add drama and style, don’t forget the staircase.

“As a transitional space, a staircase often gets overlooked,” homeowner and blogger Victoria of This English Home says. In her home, this gray-carpeted staircase leading from the first floor to the loft bedroom had seen better days, but it had great design potential.

“It’s well-traveled, and we’ve had frequent furniture moves we’d brushed up against the wall and scraped things along it, so it was battered and tired-looking,” Victoria says. But she did like the angles of the twisting staircase and wanted to “make something beautiful out of the way they feed to one another.”

“I wanted it to become a feature in its own right, not just an afterthought between our bedroom and the rest of house,” Victoria says.

In fact, one day, she counted how many times she went up and down the stairs. The grand total? Over 30! “That’s a lot of time to be in boring decor,” Victoria says. “It deserved a makeover.”

Credit: Victoria

Victoria wanted to create something fairly reversible in case she got the urge to revamp the staircase again a few years later. Her solution was to paint the walls black with magnetic paint and hang her artwork by adding strong magnets to the back. Damage-free hanging FTW! “Two coats of the of paint and some peel-and-stick strip magnet tape added to the back of frames and the batons, and voila,” Victoria says. “That moment where I first let go of the magnet and it stuck to my ‘bare’ plaster wall was just phenomenal,” although the paint and materials weren’t cheap. Her materials (including paint, wood, artwork, and frames) cost about £700, or $825 USD.

Credit: Victoria

In fact, Victoria says since these photos were taken, she’s swapped some of her larger art pieces for smaller ones just so she can add more frames using less magnetic tape. “I got more bang for buck as the tape isn’t cheap and wanted more from my gallery wall,” she explains.

But overall, she’s thrilled with her clever staircase redo. “I love that the after is a dynamic space with wood accents, art and different shapes,” she says. I love the interplay between the walls and the clashing materials.”

Credit: Victoria

Victoria’s color scheme was black and white to begin with, which means the magnetic paint was a great fit, color-wise, but she says if you want to use this damage-free hanging technique with another wall color, “paint over it in the color of your choice, and the technology will still work as it’s underneath.”

She does not recommend using this technique in narrow or crowded spaces or in spaces where toddlers might easily knock a frame off the wall, but overall, she’s proud that her experiment worked.

What do you think? Will this genius DIY innovation stick and become a trend?