The painting continues! When Handsome and I got to the stairwells, we were a little perplexed. Even with his 6’3″ height and an extension pole, how on earth do you cut in and finish spaces like this massively tall stairwell? Hire a painter at $30/hour? Rent scaffolding at $50/day?
After a quick YouTube search, a trip to Home Depot for a 2×6, and a neighbor’s borrowed extension ladder we were in business.
Step 1. Take photo of “before”. Laugh as 5-yr-old perfects her photo-bombing skills. Then firmly warn her not to mess with steps 2-6. (this step optional)
Step 2. Secure extension ladder feet against the stairs. If pushed tight against the back of the step it will not slip.
Step 3. Lean ladder against far wall and double check all ladder safety devices are set.
Step 4. Use a second step ladder on the top landing, keeping its feet a few inches back from the step edge!
Step 5. Lay one end of 2×6 lumber through the extension ladder. Double clamp the other end to the step ladder. We needed a 10ft board, but be sure to measure your distance to determine how long yours should be.
Step 6. CAREFULLY climb the extension ladder and walk the plank to finish the job. The contractor guy on YouTube said this was safe so that’s gotta be true, right?!
Our front zig-zag stairwell landings were too narrow to fully open the step ladder, but leaning it against the wall worked just as well.
This technique is NOT for the faint of heart or clumsy. I tried to research just how much weight a 2×6 can handle before it snaps, but had little success coming up with a concrete number. My girlish figure of 140lbs slightly bowed the beam and it did spring a little when I walked, but was no where near breaking and never felt unsafe. (Did I just tattle my weight for the world to know?! In the interest of safety… yes, yes I did.) Best to do a trial run very low to the ground before attempting this up high.
$7 for lumber and some sweat equity – that’s what I’m talkin’ about!
Now go forth and conquer those impossible spaces, my friends.
And if you missed any of the previous proper painting posts, you can find them all HERE.
Disclaimer: Please use extreme caution and common sense. I claim no responsibility for botched or mishandled plank walking!