How to Decorate a Staircase

Three Methods:Decorating the StaircaseDecorating Around the StaircaseAdding Temporary Decorations

A staircase is often a forgotten part of the house. Therefore, you may have neglected your staircase during the process of home decorating. However, there are many fun ways you can spruce up your staircase. Paint, stencils, fabric, and wallpaper can be used to design the stairs themselves. Paintings and pictures can be placed on the walls around the staircase. There are also a number of temporary decorations you can put up for parties or a particular holiday.

Method 1
Decorating the Staircase

  1. Image titled Decorate a Staircase Step 1
    Add a single color scheme with paint. You may want your staircase in a single color to match the color scheme of your home. If you have a wooden staircase, you can paint it in a shade that matches your wallpaper, carpeting, or other aspects of your house.[1]
    • You should use a paint primer on your staircase first, especially if it was previously painted a different color. This can help your chosen color show through.
    • You should usually place some painter's tape between the staircase and wall, creating a barrier between the paint and primer and your wall. When you're painting or a applying primer, you can use a roller or a paintbrush depending on the size of your stairs. It's a good idea to have a paintbrush handy to paint any hard-to-reach areas.
    • You can paint the stairs completely. However, you can also paint only a certain portion of the stairs if you do not want the color to overwhelm. For example, you can paint a line running down the center of the stairs, using a ruler and measuring tape to trace the line beforehand. You also may want to just paint the stair risers or just paint the top of the stairs.
  2. Image titled Decorate a Staircase Step 2
    Use stencils. If you want to add a design your staircase, you can use stencils. You can find stencils in a wide variety of shapes at a local craft store. You can also make your own stencils by drawing shapes on cardboard and then cutting out these shapes with an x-acto knife. Consider choosing stencils that match with other decorative elements of the room. If you have floral patterned wallpaper, for example, use flower stencils.
    • Many people enjoy creating a fun design by stenciling on the stair risers, which are the parts of stairs that are vertical. You will usually have to paint the risers a shade of cream or white first, if they are not already painted in this color, to help your designs stand out. You can also consider stenciling the wall around the stairs.[2]
    • You should dust and clean the staircase before stenciling or painting, to make sure no debris or dirt get trapped in the paint.
    • Place your stencil against the staircase. You can use spray mount, an adhesive spray you can purchase at a craft store, on the back of the stencil so it stays in place while you paint.
    • Take a small paintbrush and dab on a very light amount of the color you're using to stencil. Use tapping motions to apply paint. Go slowly, adding several layers of paint until your stencil shows up as bright as you want.
  3. Image titled Decorate a Staircase Step 3
    Try wallpaper. If there's a specific design you want, like stripes or shapes, a simple way to get that design is via wallpaper. Peel and stick wallpaper, which has built-in adhesive on the back, is very easy to apply to stair risers. You can measure the dimensions of your risers, cut out wallpaper in these dimensions, and apply them to the risers. Wallpaper's main benefit is that you can chose a wide variety of shapes and decorations for your wall without having to paint or stencil them on.[3]
    • It's a good idea to dust and clean your staircase before applying wallpaper. Any dirt and debris trapped underneath the paper can cause bumps or ripples in the wallpaper.
  4. Image titled Decorate a Staircase Step 4
    Add patterns with fabric. Another way to add patterns without stenciling or painting is using fabric. Fabric is cheaper than wallpaper, and provides as many design options. You can use modge podge, which you can purchase at a craft store, to apply fabric to stair risers, creating a striking design for your staircase.[4]
    • Measure out the dimensions of your stair risers. This should give you a rough idea of how many yards of fabric to purchase. Before you begin cutting the fabric, however, apply a layer of modge podge to the back of the fabric and allow it to dry. This will make the fabric easier to cut and also stiffer. It should take around 45 minutes for the modge podge to dry.
    • Once the fabric is dry, cut it into the dimensions you need. Apply a coating of modge podge to the stair risers. Then, press your fabric strips onto each riser. There may be some excess fabric along the edges of the staircase. This can be removed with an x-acto knife.
  5. Image titled Decorate a Staircase Step 5
    Number your stairs. Another fun staircase design is numbering your stairs. You can use a stencil to add a number to each stair riser. Choose a font you like for the numbers, and one that matches the aesthetic of your home.[5]
  6. Image titled Decorate a Staircase Step 6
    Add words. Many people enjoy adding words to your staircase. You may want to spell out a sentence running from the top of your stairs to the bottom. You can also try adding inspiring words, like hope and love, to each stair riser.
    • You can add words using stencils, which may be timely. You may be able to find wallpaper or fabric that has words on it, which you can apply to your staircase.
    • A fun way to add words is painting your staircase in chalkboard paint. Chalkboard paint can be written on in chalk, giving you the freedom to write whatever you choose on your staircase. You'll also have the liberty of changing the words for a specific season or event. If you have young children, they may have a lot of fun with chalkboard paint on the staircase.[6]

Method 2
Decorating Around the Staircase

  1. Image titled Decorate a Staircase Step 7
    Decide on a theme. When choosing decorations for your staircase, you can bring everything together by choosing a specific theme. This can help give you an idea for what kind of art, photos, and other decorations to add to the wall around your staircase.
    • For example, maybe you used chalkboard paint on your staircase. This gives you staircase an eccentric, kid-friendly feel. You could put up your children's art work on the wall around the staircase. You could also add bright and colorful paintings to the wall, giving it a fun and zany feel.
    • Deciding on how to decorate can be overwhelming. Choosing a theme based off other aspects of your home can help. If your staircase is just before your living room, which has a blue color scheme, you could continue the blue color scheme with your staircase. Choose paintings, photo frames, and other decorations that are in the right shade of blue.
  2. Image titled Decorate a Staircase Step 8
    Add family photos to the wall along the staircase. Many people line the wall along their staircase with family photos. This can give visitors something to look at as they walk up your staircase, and provide a warm and homey feel to your house. Consider printing and framing some family photos for your staircase.
    • You can print out photos from a phone, digital camera, or flash disk at stores like FedEx and Walgreens. You can choose the size you want.
    • When purchasing frames, consider a color scheme. If your staircase is decorated with blue fabric, for example, try adding blue frames to your chosen photos. Color coordinating your staircase design can really help tie things together.[7]
    • If you want something a little more lighthearted, consider making a collage without frames. Simply asymmetrically tape up a hodgepodge of family photos running up your wall.[8]
  3. Image titled Decorate a Staircase Step 9
    Choose paintings and other artwork. If you're not big into family photos, consider lining the wall leading up to your staircase with paintings and artwork. Visit a local art center or art museum, where you can pick up paintings, prints, and other bits of art for your staircase. If you're into crafts yourself, consider making something like a shadow box or a painting of your own to add to the wall along your staircase.
  4. Image titled Decorate a Staircase Step 10
    Find a fun way to decorate the railing. If your staircase has a railing, do not neglect this in the decorating process. Look at fun ways to incorporate the staircase railing.
    • Consider painting the railing. This can be particularly striking if you have banisters running along the railing. You can paint each banister a specific shade, or create a gradient of one shade running up the stairs.[9]
    • You can also add stencils to a wooden rail. If you've stenciled your stair risers, it can be fun to add similar stencils to the railing.
  5. Image titled Decorate a Staircase Step 11
    Try decorative items. If you stop by a craft store, you can look for decorative items. Paper flowers, plastic fruit, or plastic twigs can be placed on shelves on top of the staircase or in a stair landing. These can be particularly helpful if you're going for a certain them. If you're trying to match floral wallpaper, for example, having paper flowers tied around the bannisters of your railing could be a nice touch.
  6. Image titled Decorate a Staircase Step 12
    Use shadow boxes. Shadowboxes are enclosed glass cases that can store items like decorative plates, old books, figurines, and other knick-knacks. You can try stopping by your craft store, picking up a few shadowboxes, and filling them with items that match your decorating scheme.
    • You can make your own shadow box by purchasing a box frame and gluing a collage of items in the back. Keepsakes can be placed in a shadowbox to fit with a family staircase theme. For example, you could layer family photos, tickets from events, and brochures from family vacations in a shadow box.[10]

Method 3
Adding Temporary Decorations

  1. Image titled Decorate a Staircase Step 13
    Add season specific decorations. It can be fun to add season specific decorations to your staircase. You can add decorations for seasons like Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and so on. You can also change up the staircase based on seasons like autumn and spring.[11]
    • If you have a chalkboard staircase, you can change the design by season. Draw pictures of rabbits for easter. Write Christmas phrases in red and green chalk for Christmas.
    • You can make use of the railing for holidays. Loop a garland down the railing or twist Christmas lights around the banister. Try add orange and black crepe paper to the railing for Halloween, or pastel crepe paper in early spring.
  2. Image titled Decorate a Staircase Step 14
    Use balloons for temporary party decorations. If you're throwing a birthday party, consider adding a variety of colorful balloons to your staircase. You can blow up balloons with air, or rent a helium tank, and use scotch tape to tape them on your staircase railing or the wall near your staircase. This can makes for a fun, festive design that is easy to clean up after a party.[12]
  3. Image titled Decorate a Staircase Step 15
    Change up photos and paintings by season. If you have photos, paintings, or other artwork near your staircase, consider switching it up by season. You can add spooky paintings for Halloween. Consider adding landscapes of autumn scenes during the fall months. For Christmas, pull out specific wall hangings and family photos that come with a Christmas theme.

Article Info

Categories: Home Decorating