What You'll Need:
  • Precut stencils: Main motif such as alphabet or other folk art design and small geometric center of motif
  • Liquid or crème stencil paint
  • Stencil brushes
  • Stencil adhesive (optional)
  • Painter's tape (optional)
  • Ruler
  • Hard-lead pencil
  1. Mark the center of each riser for the location of the small center motifs. Position the larger motifs in the space on each side of the center mark. Hold the stencil in place with tape or adhesive.
  2. Load the stencil brush with paint, and tap it onto a paper plate until most of the paint is removed. Pounce the paint through the opening in the stencil.
  3. Carefully remove the stencil. Repeat for the large motifs and the center motifs. Let the paint dry. Seal the stencil with clear sealer.
Wallpapered Stairs
What You'll Need:
  • 2 coordinated patterns of floral wallpaper
  • Black-and-white check self-adhesive vinyl paper
  • Rotary cutter, mat, and ruler, or scissors
  1. Cut and apply one pattern of wallpaper to the risers and to the outside wall of the stairway. Adhere the second pattern of wallpaper to the wall, cutting carefully around each step.
  2. Using a rotary cutter of scissors, cut the self-adhesive vinyl into strips. Apply the strips directly under each step and along the edges of the wall pieces. The strips add a decorative border and also help to seal the wallpaper to the wall.
Sponged Stairs
What You'll Need:
  • White and blue latex paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Natural sea sponge (available at crafts and paint supply stores)
  • Paper plate or paper towels

Coat the risers and woodwork with white paint. Tear off a fist-size piece of natural sea sponge. Wet the sponge with warm water, then wring it dry. Lightly dip the sponge into the blue paint, then tap it onto the paper towel or paper plate until most of the paint is removed.

Gently dab the sponge on to the stair risers, repeating until the color becomes faint. Load the sponge with more paint, and repeat the process.

What You'll Need:
  • 3 colors of paint, plus a small amount of an accent color
  • Purchased stencil or mylar sheet for cutting a stencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Straightedge
  • Hard-lead pencil
  • Low-tack painter's tape
  • Polyurethane floor sealer
  1. Mark the center at each step. For the center band, measure and mark equal distances from each side of the center point. Working from narrow to wide (about 3/4 inch to 3 inches), mark two borders on each side of the center band.
  2. Mask off the midsection using low-tack painter¿s tape. Paint this portion. Let the paint dry. Mask and paint the narrow and then the wide borders. Cut a heart shape from stencil mylar or use a precut stencil. Position the stencil and stenciled the motif. Let the paint dry.
Rag Rug Runner
What You'll Need:
  • 3 more shades of acrylic paint to match the purchased runner
  • Paintbrushes
  • 1/2-inc-diameter wooden dowel for each stair
  • 5/8-in screw eyes
  • Awl or drill with a small bit
  1. Paint each riser. If using colors, alternate the colors or work in a random pattern.
  2. Note: To save money and match colors, use small bottles of acrylic paints. Because risers get very little wear, acrylic paint is durable enough. Two or more coats may be needed.
  3. Cut the dowels 2 inches longer than the width of your runner and paint them to blend with the runner. Lay the rug in place, and place the dowels at the base of the risers. Mark the point 1/2 inch in from each end of the dowels. Remove the dowels. Make a pilot hole, then screw the screw eyes in place. Position the screw eyes to hold the dowels. Slide the dowels into place.

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