I want to hang a picture in our stairwell above the stairs, but the stairs curve directly beneath the stairwell where I want to hang the picture. What is the best way to reach the wall above the stairwell?

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    Aside - use more than one hook, and make them solid. This stairwell is probably the main egress and you don't want things falling down in a quake or fire.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 0:01
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    Second - is that smoke detector on the right-hand side doing anything useful there? It would probably be better on the ceiling right over the top landing (ie, above photographer's head)
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 0:02
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    Move those detectors! (Sorry @Criggie I think it needed to be said with a little less subtlety.)
    – jay613
    Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 12:54
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    Just for everyone's peace of mind... one of the detectors is a wall mounted CO detector. The other is a faulty smoke detector which has a replacement on the ceiling but has been gathering dust on that shelf for the past 6 months.
    – TonE
    Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 13:59
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    @tone thank you for clarifying - we have a good+bad habit of noticing things in photos :)
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 20:43

2 Answers 2


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The stair blocks the feet of the ladder, so they can't slip towards the back.

  • 19
    And it may be worth having a board at to top of the ladder so it does not poke holes in the wall.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 11:39
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    With ladders should always have someone to watch and maybe stabilize the ladder, even if it looks perfectly safe.
    – crip659
    Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 12:08
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    A bonus answer: They make ladders that fold in the middle and can be used as platforms with the ends at different heights. One of those, if tall enough could be used for this situation and could also be used to make a work platform to hang (or paint) something high on the side walls of the stair case. Used one years ago to help my mom hang a large mirror over the stairs (wall on one side, open on the other).
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 12:43
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    @TonE an internet search for "multi-position ladder" netted a variety of results. Big-blue and Big-orange seem to both carry a single Werner ladder with 3 hinges so it will fold into a flat work platform. The online giant carries a wide variety of no-name versions in a multitude of lengths and of unknown quality. As a note: A search for "folding ladder" will give you so many results you're not interested in, it's not worth the effort.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 13:50
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    +1 I don't know why, but there's a soft spot in my heart for crude MS paint sketches that elegantly and perfectly answer a question. @SolarMike Fuzzy slippers, towels, puffy socks, etc, also work well for wrapping the ladder feet against the wall.
    – J...
    Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 21:04

The accepted answer qualifies as "simplest" for sure. For those of us who view the hardware store as our "toy store," Get one of those combo/multiposition ladders. Extend one side a notch or two more than the other so that all the feet sit solidly on one stair or another. In fact, some models even allow you to extend one of the feet on each side so you can set the ladder "sideways" on a staircase.

This gives you an excuse to buy one of these ladders because they're very cool and handy to use in all sorts of situations.

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    TBH, I thought that they were the dumbest thing in the world when my wife insisted that we get one. Then I needed to work above some stairs and discovered that they're genius! We now own two and they do make good scaffold bases, too. Only drawback - all that AL is heavy.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 12:26
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    Yes, those multi-position ladders are surprisingly heavy. I actually got rid of mine and went back to single-position extension ladders, as they're a lot easier to carry around.
    – Milwrdfan
    Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 16:21
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    @FreeMan - I do agree that the ladders are a lot heavier, but I find mine easier to move despite the weight because it's so compact. I just put my full shoulder in the 2nd rung hole from the top, lift with my legs, and use the same hand to help stabilize & shift. This leaves a hand free for doors / tailgates and the compact size is easier to avoid obstacles. IMHO, of course... but I sure do love mine!
    – zmerch
    Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 20:06
  • Little Giant ladders are an absolute godsend for changing lightbulbs above stairwells. Truly a must for that kind of situation. They are lovely in all kinds of other situations too but that's the one use case where I really saw their point. Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 22:56

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