The Often Forgotten Space....The Stairs

I had blogged awhile back and mentioned how I wanted to do a project on the stair risers.  I had lots of ideas, but had settled on one...numbering the stairs.  I went to Restore to see what I could find.  I found some cool numbers for $1.25, but they only had even numbers.  So after a trip to Home Depot, Lowes and Goodwill I had all my numbers.  I painted some high gloss red and black, but left some of the others brushed nickel.  Anyway, I spent a lot of time and energy working on this project only to realize it wasn't what I wanted for the space.  Has this ever happened to you?  Well, it doesn't happen to me very often thankfully, but I was then left with no idea what I wanted to do.  That is until a woman I went to high school with emailed me with a question about her stair risers.  She had the idea to have a decal made with their 'family contract'.  I thought that was a brilliant idea and immediately told her I was stealing the idea...Thanks Michelle!!

Now I had an idea, but we don't have a family contract!  Not even sure what that is really!  I did know that I'd seen numerous versions of the "In this house...." projects people have made on Pinterest.  After a little searching I found the phrases I liked best and then found someone to make the decals for me.  This was the easy part :-)

The decals came and they looked great.  Everything was going smoothly until I looked closely at the stair risers.  With only recently moving in and having 5 movers going up and down the stairs with their boots on, the risers were scuffed and dirty.  Out came the magic eraser!  I scrubbed and scrubbed and realized it was more than just scuffs from boots.  The paint had chipped a bit here and there and was dinged from age.  I know this is what happens in an older home, but I wasn't really prepared to start painting or was I?

This is how the stairs looked before I did anything.  It doesn't really show the wear and tear very well.

I looked in the basement and found a can of paint and realized it was the right color.  So blue tape in hand I taped off the area and started painting.  One BIG problem I ran into was, the trim going up the stairs was looking rough too....I'm sure you've been here before too.  One project starts another and so on and so on.  I realized I didn't have the time to commit to repainting all the trim so I found my stopping point and kept painting.  After 2 hours of painting I was done.

In these pictures you can see the trim on either side that goes up the wall.  It was hard to know where to stop painting!

Then came the easy part, right?!  NOPE!  I hadn't really thought through how I would place each phrase on the riser.  I hadn't thought about how much measuring would be involved to make sure each phrase would be the same or at least similar.  Steve is usually my 'measurer' and he's the one who helps me make so many of my 'projects' easier.  Well, he's in Michigan this week so I knew I had to do this one alone.  I got my level and my measuring tape and went to work!

One other challenge I encountered was my Son, Hunter was home from school with pink eye.  That meant he wanted to be there to watch me and try to help.  The best part about this was his constant encouragement.  He kept reading the phrases I'd picked out and saying how nice it looked and how much he loved it.  This made all the little frustrations with the project worthwhile.  Realistically I did this for us, for our family as a reminder of who we are and what we do in this 'home'.  Hearing him read each phrase reaffirmed that I had made the right choice in doing this project and made my heart smile :-)

I picked the following phrases that best described our family:

In this house...
We are real
We make mistakes
We say I'm sorry
We are silly
We have fun
We give hugs
We forgive
We laugh a lot
We love each other
We give second chances
We are a family

This is how it turned out.  Hunter picked where to start the phrases on the stairs.  He thought it made sense for the "In this house..." to go at the bottom so we could read it as we walked up the stairs :-)

This is the top of the stairs and I think he was right!  I like how it says "we are a family" right at the top of the stairs so we can see it as we go up to our rooms at night.

The other challenge I forgot to mention was the few stairs at the beginning of the stairway are longer than the others near the top.  I hadn't taken this into consideration because I never noticed!  I just centered it on the first few stairs and went with it!

Sometimes the smallest projects turn out to be bigger than we expected.  This project was definitely a lot more work than I'd planned for, but it's also been the most rewarding.  I love walking up the stairs and seeing these little reminders and how these little reminders affect my child.  This has been my favorite project thus far.


  1. I love these stairs, they are one of my favorite projects you have done. Vicky

  2. Wow! I love it! :) I'm your newest follower.

    1. Thank you for the comment and the follow! My Son loves the stairs too...the best is when he reads them while he walks up the stairs :-)

  3. Where do you get the stickers for the sayings you have chosen??

    1. Siobhan I got the decals on easy and asked the vendor to split the family rules up so I could place one on each stair.