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Deuce Cities Henhouse

Tips and tricks on how to paint a tall stairwell | Deuce Cities Henhouse
Hey Pals! I’ve been teasing this post for awhile, but I never meant for it to take so long to get to ya. The reason this post is such a big deal for me, is that I’ve been trying to figure out how to paint the stairwell with high ceilings for literally years! I didn’t want to go as far as to use scaffolding to cut-in the edges with my brush, but I also didn’t want to push myself or the limits of my ladder too far, and end up dying in the process.

I looked everywhere for a solution to my problem, and from what I can tell it is the internet’s biggest secret. I thought about constructing my own level base by building an inverse set of stairs that nestles into my staircase and has a flat top – that way I could set a ladder on it. I also thought that they must have invented a ladder by this point with adjustable legs (I guess they did, this wasn’t here last month) to accommodate stairs. Nope. What they don’t want you to know is that there is an invention that makes this easier. It’s an adjustable base that sits securely on the stairs, allowing for a flat surface to set your ladder on. It comes in two sizes depending on your ladder, I used the smaller of the two and it worked perfectly for me. Most importantly it feels secure. The Ladder-aide comes with a sturdy lip around the base so that your ladder can’t slip off, and the steel pins have back-up pins to ensure that they won’t just fall out, or something. It seems a little redundant, but hey, no dying.


This is exactly what I needed to reach the top of my walls. I’m not gonna lie, getting on a ladder and hanging out at the top of it is never fun, but just don’t look down.

How to Paint Tall Ceiling in a Staircase | Deuce Cities Henhouse
Post coming soon about my version of an access panel for all that crap you see spilling out of that hole in the wall.

Tips and tricks on how to paint a tall stairwell | Deuce Cities Henhouse

Tips and tricks for Painting a Staircase | Deuce Cities Henhouse
Next up. You’re gonna need a good extension pole so that you can do most of the really high up stuff with a roller. Rolling on paint with a 12′ extension pole is tedious, I would have to lower the pole, walk up the stairs to the hallway to load up the roller with paint, walk back down the stairs, extend the pole and then I got to rollering on the paint. It takes time, but it is well worth it if you get the results you were hoping for. I recommend this 6′-12′ extension pole, the head locks into the roller and it doesn’t twist on the pole like so many other cheaper extension poles do. If you get a cheap pole, you will be painting and you won’t be able to get even pressure or all of a sudden your pole will drop all the way down because it came loose. You pay for what you get, ma’ friends.


Tips and tricks on how to paint a tall stairwell | Deuce Cities Henhouse
And just for funsies, here’s a little sneak peek of the upstairs hallway. Don’t you love the paint color (Hague Blue by Farrow and Ball) with that big brassy mirror (on sale r n)? I’m still waiting on curtains, light fixtures and time to build another access panel, but I’m in the home stretch of the project. Looking forward to sharing more with yas real soooooon!

in DIY, How-To
19 comments… add one
  • Sasha April 19, 2019

    It looks fantastic! That Ladder-Aide contraption is a stroke of blooming genius. Wish I’d had one a few months ago when I painted my parents’ entryway. (I had to stand with one foot on the top step of the ladder and the other on the top of a built-in bookcase. It was a TERRIBLE idea!)

    • Scoops April 19, 2019

      Oh no! Painting can be risky business. It was nice of you to do that for your folks!

  • Ashley - The Gold Hive April 19, 2019

    I’m so glad you didn’t die and so glad your stairwell is now a kick ass color.

    • Scoops April 19, 2019

      Thank you, also happy i didn’t die.

  • Steff April 19, 2019

    I am SO into this post. Thank you! Also I have been meaning to ask: what finish do you use for your dark paint colors?? Is it flat or eggshell? It looks SO GOOD.

    • Scoops April 19, 2019

      I like to use a flat, especially with the textured wall. In some of these photos the paint is wet, so don’t be fooled. I also want to say, the Farrow & Ball paint (which is what this is) has a standard sheen called ‘Estate Emulsion’ (because they are fancy like that), but it does look really nice.

  • Kari April 19, 2019

    A post the internet actually needs! You nailed it. Glory!!!!

    • Scoops April 19, 2019

      Haha! Glad I’m putting something useful out into the world.

  • Ellen April 19, 2019

    It looks really nice. That’s pretty crazy it was so hard to find a ladder for the stairs. I’ll have to remember to come back to this post if I ever paint my stairway.
    does the door at the stairway landing lead to another set of stairs? Like a maid’s stairway?

    • Scoops April 19, 2019

      Good question, the door did lead to another set of stairs that went down through our kitchen. If you’re familiar with our kitchen, the stairs came out in what is now our coffee station. Thankfully they left it with a narrow depth, and we use it as a game closet.

  • Linda Carroll April 19, 2019

    I can’t believe all the work you e done …it looks beautiful

    • Scoops April 19, 2019

      Thank you, Linda! So nice of you to say :)

  • Vanessa April 19, 2019

    That is the kind of thing I am happy to pay someone else to do. Whoa Scoops!

  • PaulaC April 21, 2019

    It’s not just falling, it’s falling while holding paint! Good on ya, Scoops. I am impressed beyond words, as usual– excellent cut in lines.

  • Susan October 18, 2019

    They actually DO make a ladder that you can adjust. They sell it at home depot for around $265? That felt way too expensive for me so I found the exact same ladder on fb market place for $100. Still a lot for a ladder, but I get asked to paint split entry homes with 2 storey entries over stairwells a LOT for my painting business. The ladder is a beast but it does just what I need it to. I also use a brush clamp on the end of an extension pole for really high spots. Takes practice to master a 12 foot brush pole but it can be done. I also use an extension pole for rolling. The right tools really help. And nobody dies!

  • Christina November 11, 2019

    Hi there!!
    I really enjoy your blog and your way with words :) I live in St. Paul in a 100+ year old house, am working on so many similar things as you but not as DIY capable or creative :) . I have been dying to see how the stairwell/hallway turned out as I have a very similar conundrum, have you posted photos? Forgive me if you did and I missed them. I was looking at the same light fixture too but can’t quite figure out how it will actually translate.
    Also, you should know you have inspired me to finally paint my dining room (with all the unpainted wood trim I am learning to love) black !
    Thank you for sharing your talent and wit!

  • Heather French September 30, 2020

    what is that gorgeous color.in your entryway????

  • Iris March 18, 2022

    Can you tell me how I can solve my vertigo?
    Thanks for the ladder tip!

  • Sarah December 31, 2022

    It turned out a good result, despite the fact that the wall is very high. I would definitely not have climbed to such a height with a brush in my hands. For such work, I use the services of this wall painting company.

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