Ideas for Painting Stairs


Stairways usually get a lot of traffic, and those that aren't carpeted may need regular painting to keep them looking clean and crisp. When you're preparing to give your stairs a new coat of paint, consider incorporating a new look or design. There are plenty of ideas that depart from the ordinary.

Painted Runner

  • Carpet runners can slip, and they need to be replaced when they're worn through. You can give your stairs the look of a beautiful runner with a coat of paint instead. suggests using a color that ties both the upstairs and downstairs decor. You can even combine more than one hue by lining the central color with contrasting stripes on either side. Tape the stairs with painter's tape to ensure straight lines for your painted runner. This look works best when the rest of the stairway is one solid color, such as white. This neutral backdrop will allow your runner to really pop.


  • Rubber stamps come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Evaluate your home decor to find the right look for your stairs. Some options include flowers, leaves and seashells. Pet lovers may enjoy a humorous nod to their furry friends in the form of brightly colored paw prints traveling up the stairs. You can apply your stamps to the front or top of the stairs. Stamp the same image on each stair, or allow the shapes to cascade as though the leaves are blowing past or the flowers are growing along the staircase. Apply paint to the stamp using a brush and keep a damp towel on hand for touching up mistakes before the paint dries.


  • Stencils are ideal for creating a complex design on the front of each stair. Talented artists may be able to complete this kind of work freehand, but for the rest of us a stencil is an indispensable tool. From an intricate geometric pattern to a sprawling vine adorned with flowers, there are plenty of ideas to meet your needs. You can apply the same design to each stair or alternate patterns. If your design is intricate or colorful, you may want to paint only every other stair or every third stair. Paint the background of each stair in a neutral color to provide a clean canvas for each stenciled painting.

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