The top of the stairs started like this:
The master bedroom is on the left. Laila's room is off to the right followed by the linen closet, the bathroom and the other two bedrooms. It's not a very deep space at the top of the stairs and I had the random switch to our fan down stairs and our fancy schmancy Honeywell thermostat (Shout out to husband's place of employment and a fine piece of technology) placed in the middle of the wall. Because of their placement, I knew I couldn't hang most traditional frames without it looking off balance so I thought a gallery wall could help hide the awkward placed but well used switches. I also thought it would be a great way to use some frames that I already had lying around. Let it be known: Pinterest makes gallery walls look easy. They are not. Ours went through a few versions.
^He's the best.
We finally ended up with this: (For now)
The pictures of the pictures aren't the best quality but we have an S frame that I made from a wood cut out from Michaels and I used an old placemat we had for the background. ha. The Bountiful temple is where we were married. The top plaque says "Happily Ever After." We have a big family picture and our darling newborn Laila. All the other pictures are beautiful places we've been including: Costa Rica, Provo, Bryce Canyon, Hawaii, Florida, San Fran and Arizona. The switch and the thermostat are still there, but this arrangement works for us right now.
I like the progress of the wall collage pictures because you start seeing the bannister transformation. We started with the railing a few months ago. Luckily we finished that part, because whenever I wanted to quit, I could look at it and chug on.
^You can see the original honey oak wood topper on the ground.
The base is metal so Michael sanded it a little. (I can't handle that job.) Then we painted it with one layer of primer, and two coats of oil rubbed bronze paint. Thank heavens for nap time. I would paint one section at a time. Each spindle. Three coats. I might have whined a few times. But I got it done. It's not perfect, I have a few places I need to fill in and touch up but I'm happy with the result. Here it is without the wood:
I might have threatened Michael in a not-nice tone that the wood topper needed to get finished the weekend I finished painting because I couldn't handle waiting another couple of months. I just wanted it to be done! He lovingly obliged me and worked while listening to conference. He stripped away the old finish. Then he stained it with multiple layers and we let it dry. He put some finishing touches and then we took the wood in to finish the project.
It looks great. But I have to admit the top wood is a bit darker than the stain of the railing going upstairs. You can't easily tell a difference, but it's there. I almost started crying. The top just has one layer too much and we wanted it to look like the railing. My sweet husband calmed me down and said he's ok with fixing the top part (even though it means more hours of work for him.) For now, it still looks great and is quite the change.