Inspire Me DIY Instagram Challenge {and a stairway wall update}

Today, I am participating in an Instagram challenge, hosted by Kennesha of Restoration House Interiors, called Inspire Me DIY. The point being to choose a project that has long been on our list of “to dos” or “to trys” and get it done, while inspiring others to do the same. We shared our ‘befores’ and progress photos throughout the week on Instagram and are sharing our ‘after’ reveals today!

I know I could have chosen one of the more fun things on my list of to dos, like a cool DIY craft, but I decided to do something (or at least begin to finish something) that I have been putting off for awhile. A home improvement project.

When we moved into our home in September of 2010, our stairway and the upstairs hall were covered in a slightly textured, boring brown wallpaper. We lived with it for a long while even though it was sadly needing upgrading. It was peeling in several places and hadn’t been put on very well in the first place – every single seam was noticeable. Here is a photo from when we moved in:

Waaaaaay back in October, I finally had enough and started taking it down. I have heard horror stories about wallpaper removal, but it actually wasn’t that bad. I could rip down each sheet fairly easily. The backing stuck in place on most, which you can see in the photo below, but I continued to tear that down in the spots that came off easily.

Pretty scary looking though, right?

Once I removed as much as I could by just ripping it off, I got out a spray bottle with hot water and a sponge to remove the rest. It was time consuming, but I got really into it and LOVED seeing that stuff come off. For awhile anyways. And then, well, I kind of quit. Let it go and kept telling myself to get back at it. It looked horrible! Way worse than that original wallpaper. But we lived with it. It was making me feel awful about our house, and I was literally embarrassed when visitors came.

Here is the before that I shared on IG:

That is how we have been living with it since October. Whoever decided to put up the yucky brown wallpaper, did a quick paint job in the same hue underneath. Not pretty.

When Kennesha invited me to this challenge, this was the first thing that popped into my head to tackle. But rather than attempt to take on the whole stairway, I decided to focus on this one small wall section going up. I really just wanted to see some progress. I tend to be a crazy perfectionist who overshoots and then “fails”, so rather than saying I was going to remove all wallpaper, caulk where needed, paint stairs, paint trim, and decorate….I decided to be nice to myself and realistic. Just getting the paint and caulking done to this section was enough for today. So that is what I am sharing.

I hope it isn’t a huge disappointment if you have come by way of any of the other talented women joining in today since mine is still a “work in progress” sorta thing. But I sincerely hope it can encourage someone out there. Maybe you have a huge project you have neglected or have yet to have the courage to start, but if you begin with small steps it makes it much easier and very rewarding.

Here is the sneak peek that I shared on IG:

We caulked between the trim and wall for a clean look and then painted the wall the same color as the living room, which is Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter.

Here is the (still a work in progress) AFTER:

So, I know…it doesn’t have huge “wow factor” yet. But it will…I promise! Baby steps.

Our stairs still need a lot of work and there are more walls to tackle but seeing this first section finished feels like a million bucks to us. This challenge was just the jolt I needed to get my butt back in gear and finish this project! I can’t wait to get it done and show you the full stair and hallway makeovers!

And speaking of Instagram, I just opened a shop over there and would love for you stop by and give me a follow if you’d like! I am offering vintage, flea market and second hand goods in need of a new home. I have been wanting to simplify like mad and will be listing new items almost daily. Isn’t Instagram amazing? I used to spend hours working on my Etsy shop photos, listings, promoting etc. but with IG it is so much easier and I am thrilled to have already had several sales! What a blessing. Customers comment “SOLD” on the item(s) that they want and I send them a Paypal invoice. Everything ships free in the US too! I know not everyone is on there, but if you are, I hope you will take a peek! You can find it at @thoughtsfromaliceshop.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit the rest of the women joining in Kennesha’s #inspiremediy challenge!
Now go knock something off of your list 😉
Till next time…
~Alice W.
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  • Little Farmstead

    It's looking so good and fresh Alice! Good work! 🙂 I'm working on two similar projects that are tough to squeeze in time-wise… trying to push through for that crisp, clean backdrop that is peaceful for our family of five when life gets so full! Thanks for sharing… ~julie

  • Rhonda Vaudt

    How well I can relate to this post!! You are right though, don't think of the WHOLE project, that is when I shut down. Take all the time you need to finish these kinds of projects, but when your done what an AMAZING feeling you have:)

  • Ninny

    It does inspire! I am in the same dismal position with our basement stairwell. I painted once, but it just wasn't what I wanted, so its been at a standstill. I WILL get back to it! Thanks. 🙂

  • s.duane

    You have to start somewhere Alice! It looks great and when you are totally done, no doubt it'll be beautiful! I laughed when I popped in, I finally painted the 1/2 bath today! Will post later this week.

  • Collette Osuna

    I think you are doing an amazing job!! What a difference a little bit of paint can make.
    Don't feel so bad, I spackled my gallery wall about two months ago and just painted it a few days ago….still nothing hanging on it! lol….all in due time I say. Keep up the great work!