If you’re short on time, these quick, mess-free decals have got your number. Mask treads using painter’s tape, and paint the risers your desired color. Remove the tape before the paint is completely dry. When the risers are dry, measure to find the center of each step horizontally and vertically. Mark lightly with a pencil. Adhere the decals according to supplier’s instructions. If desired, finish with a clear sealer to protect the decals from foot traffic.
Turn leftover paint into fun fodder for your staircase. Mask off each tread with painter's tape. Starting at the top step and working down, use a small roller or two-inch brush to paint each riser in a desired color. Remove the tape before the paint has dried. Or, to create a faux runner for your staircase, paint all of the risers the same color and use a contrasting color to paint a faux runner up the stairs, painting both the risers and the treads.
Paint Tip: Make sure all the paints you use have the same finish—we used semigloss.
Project Tip: Paint Cleanup
Watch and learn the tricks to cleaning up after any paint job.
For a more detailed look using decals, try a mural decal on your staircase. Mask the treads with painter's tape and paint the risers in your desired color. Remove the tape before the paint dries completely. Measure the risers and cut decals to the size needed to fit on each riser. Adhere the decals according to the manufacturer's instructions. (Wait until the paint is completely dry to adhere the details.) If desired, apply clear sealer to protect the decals.
Use a stencil to add pizzazz to your stairs. Look at border stencils, which can be the same size as the risers, making it easy to position the stencil. This zebra-pattern border stencil happened to fit the risers
perfectly. Mask the risers using painter’s tape, and paint a base coat (ours is white). When the paint is dry, spray the stencil back with stencil adhesive, and secure it to the top riser. Use a stencil brush and paint (we used coral) to apply the pattern. Remove the stencil and repeat on each step, working your way down the stairs. Carefully pull off the tape, and finish the risers with a clear sealer for protection.
Add panache to your staircase with patterned wallpaper. You can use a different pattern on each riser, as we did on this staircase, or you can use just one pattern. Prime steps as needed—we used a wallpaper primer on our painted risers. Cut paper slightly wider and longer than the actual risers, and adhere just as you would to a wall according to the supplier’s instructions. Use a straightedge and utility knife to trim excess paper. When dry, top with a wallpaper sealer to protect the paper.
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