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DIY: Teresa Keith's elaborate month-long stair stenciling project

June 10, 2009 |  4:13 pm

Stair start

I know exactly one person in the world who would consider spending a month on an elaborate stair stenciling project like the one in the photo above. Her name is Teresa Keith and she is an assistant art director on "Big Love." When the HBO series is on hiatus, Teresa usually spends her time baking elaborate pastries and cakes, but this time around she turned her attention to fixing the "awful" white painted stairs in her West Hollywood apartment.

Her inspiration (and the stencils) came from artist Melanie Royals. While doing some research online, Keith found this inspirational stair stenciling project on Royals' website. She was sold.

Keith says it took her about three hours to finish each stair, since she had to let the paint dry and because she  wanted to touch up each stair after she took the stencil off. (She's kind of a perfectionist.) She kept her palate slightly subdued. "I wanted something that had some color in it but was neutral enough that it didn't overpower the rest of the house," she said.

She finally wrapped the project in June. "I was worried the manager was going to be pissed, but she was very pleased, fortunately," said Keith. "She was like, 'What's the name of that website? I'm thinking of doing them to my apartment too!' "

Stair big vertical

-- Deborah Netburn

Photos: Teresa Keith