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How do I go about decorating a hall with a very high stairwell?

(15 Posts)
twinky Fri 09-Jan-15 14:32:06

I want to decorate my very tatty hall. It's a Victorian house with stairs, a half-landing then more stairs to the 1st floor, so has quite a high stairwell. I am stumped as to how I can reach the top of the walls to strip wallpaper etc. I have a long ladder but am wondering how I'll use it on corners. I can't really afford to hire a professional. Has anyone done a similar hall themselves? Thanks.

MewlingQuim Fri 09-Jan-15 14:40:55

Oh, I see you have wallpaper to remove too.

I was going to suggest painting it all white using a brush/roller on a stick. I did that in a edwardian hallway which was too tall to reach (I am scared of heights so wouldn't go up a ladder). Wall and ceiling are the same colour so you don't need the precision required for edges.

Is the wallpaper in good condition? Could you paint over it?

There are ladders which will change into a kind of platform for doing stairs, my mum has one. Not sure how much they cost, but they're probably a lot cheaper than a decorator.

BigGapMum Fri 09-Jan-15 14:46:39

We hired a set of tower scaffolding to decorate our staircase. It was specially designed for staircases, so this must be a regular problem. It was a bit of a nuisance when it was in place as it pretty much blocked the stairs, and we had to weave ourselves between the poles to pass. That just gave us an incentive to get on with it quickly though.

twinky Fri 09-Jan-15 15:40:10

The wallpaper is ripped and dated so needs to come off. I also need to repair bits of coving so need to be able to reach the whole wall and to paint the ceiling. Where did you hire a platform from Big Gap? I considered just getting someone to skim coat the walls but it's such a large space it would cost a fortune. Paper it is. Thanks for replies btw.

mandy214 Fri 09-Jan-15 17:30:59

If you go on the HSS website (or similar) you can see the platform things that you can hire. Think it was about £ 100 for a week.

twinky Fri 09-Jan-15 18:46:47

Thanks Mandy, I will have a look.

Namelesswonder Fri 09-Jan-15 18:49:51

We have similar and used 2 ladders with a plank of wood between them to form a platform.

BumWad Fri 09-Jan-15 18:51:10

I would get a decorator to do it.

ouryve Fri 09-Jan-15 18:52:46

You pay someone with all the right equipment to do the high, dangerous bit, rather than risking life and limb.

mandy214 Fri 09-Jan-15 19:19:31


PigletJohn Fri 09-Jan-15 22:03:14

I find that even able DIYers prefer to have a pro to do the stairwell. When I last had a large Edwardian house done, they built scaffold in the hall which was apparently quicker to do the ceiling and high walls than fiddling up and down on ladders (and also far safer).

For safety, a ladder is now defined as a means of access, not a working platform.

I can't see how I could do a high ceiling off just a ladder, unless it was just two arms wide.

TheOnlyWayIsLindt Sat 10-Jan-15 08:27:35

I would get an expert in. If you limit it just it the area you can't reach it might not be as expensive as you fear!

twinky Sat 10-Jan-15 09:45:51

Ok, so it looks like I either get a professional in or hire the correct equipment. That link is very useful Mandy, thanks. They have a branch near me so I may pop in for advice. A few quotes might be an idea although I suspect it will be way out of my budget. Thank you for all the advice everybody.

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Sat 10-Jan-15 09:57:29

We had a similar hallway in the Victorian house we lived in a few years back - it had a very grand hallway with stairs and mezzanines going off in several directions and a very high stairwell.

DH knew a decorator through his work in design, but didn't fully explain the height issue to him. When the guy turned up to do the job it turned out he was scared of heights - crazy eh - and would only do the lower areas. In the end DH did himself with a ladders and plank arrangement, although with the benefit of hindsight there was ample room for a scaffolding tower - the space on the ground was so large we once set up our dining table there for Christmas dinner, lol! - think he was just being too mean to hire one......

poocatcherchampion Sat 10-Jan-15 10:57:38

dh did ours with ladders. was slightly precarious but fine. we are not in a hurry to redo it of course.

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