Hey hey all! Well, it’s about that time! I’m off to Atlanta today to prepare for the Haven Conference that starts tomorrow. It’s been a year of planning and I can’t even believe it’s already here! SO excited to see everybody.

So I finished up a quick little project this week that I’ve been meaning to do for months. Or a year. A year and a few months.

We have a little ledge/nook/cut out spot in the basement staircase that has been sitting half way done for that year and a few months:

You may remember that I installed a wood wall on the main wall in the staircase about this time last year. I still LOVE that wall. So very much.

Before we had the basement finished the wall next to it going down the steps had a weird cement wall bump out thing. Instead of drywalling all the way up I asked them to make it a little ledge instead. They installed a wood piece that I was planning on painting later, hence the stain spatter I didn’t worry about:

But since then I’ve decided I wanted it stained instead. I’m kind of obsessed with the look of the dark wood against the gray blue walls (Marina Gray by Ben Moore) and white trim down there.

So I needed to sand off that stamp and the stain dots:

sanding before staining

It just took a few seconds and I was ready to go – then I taped everything off with my Frogtape really well. I find it’s hard to keep stain from going everywhere since it leaks easily and spatters all over the place. (It could be the operator, who knows.):

prepping for stain

After I wiped everything down well (and let it dry), I grabbed my dark walnut stain and went at it:

how to stain

Remember when you stain to work quickly and to keep the “wet edge” – if it dries at all during the process you’ll see where you left off. OH, and wear gloves!! Trust me – no matter how hard I try I always end up with stain on my hands.

I let it sit for a few minutes and wiped the excess off. I only usually do one coat – I find that’s plenty for the color I want.

While it dried I started hanging the frames I’ve had leaning there forever. Most of them are pics from the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade/NYC trip I showed you here, but there was one collage my stepdaughter gave us last Christmas (so sweet!) that I wanted to include too.

Here’s a little tip when hanging pics that have two hangers instead of one – just tie a piece of string or wire between the two:

hanging picture without a level

Then hang that on the the nail. SO much easier. I mean, sometimes what you’re hanging is heavy enough you’ll want two nails, but most of the time I find one is just fine. And this way you don’t have to worry about measuring, finding a level, all that stuff. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Like all of my gallery walls, I just kind of put stuff here and there – yes, that meant a few extra holes in the wall but they’re tiny. The wall will survive:

matching frames gallery wall

I was trying to use frames that I had on hand and I liked the (mostly) matching frames, so I didn’t go crazy trying to fill empty spaces. The “S” we’ve had for years and it perfectly filled one spot that was bugging me.

The ledge has plenty of room for accessories, but for now I just left a couple candlesticks we had here before (they ended up on there because I was too lazy to take them all the way to the storage room):

matching frames gallery wall

They are fake candles and they operate on a timer, so it’s kind of cool to have that little glow as we walk down at night.

It was a quick project and I think it turned out pretty cute! I love how it looks with the planked wall:

wood planked wall

Next up in this space – touch up the wall and ceiling paint and install chunkier baseboards. Maybe I’ll tackle those in another year. Baby steps.

So are you loving gallery walls? I am and I don’t think they’re going anywhere soon. It’s such a personal, easy way to fill wall space! And remember you can find frames at Goodwill for super cheap and spray paint them. One color for all of them will unify frames no matter their design. 

 
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