Happy Stairs!

Finally! My stairs are completely made over. And I did the stenciling part for just one dollar! OK, so I happen to have a few crafty supplies laying around, but even if you're starting from scratch the most this project should set you back is about $20.
Today, I just want to focus on the stenciling part of this project. Then later this week, I'll post pictures and details about how I got the staircase from dull and carpeted to fresh and white! By the way, we don't wear shoes in the house (a Japanese custom that stuck after leaving Tokyo), so I'm not too worried about the painted white stairs getting dirty. Staining the treads would be a good option if white isn't your thing.

1. A plastic report cover from the dollar store
2. An X-Acto knife or similar blade knife
3. Printout of a pattern (click here for my downloadable pattern)
4. Painter's tape
5. Piece of cardboard to protect your table when cutting stencil
6. A stencil brush
7. Latex wall paint (I used 2 leftover pots of sample paint). If you're going to paint the treads then you'll need to use special floor paint.
8. Polyurethane (optional)
9. Small brush for touch-ups
10. Putty knife
11. Paper towels
1. Print out the free pattern.
2. Measure the height of your stair risers and cut the paper so that the height is 1" shorter than the height of your riser. Leave the width as it is.
3. Cut the report cover in half.
4. Place the printout face down on top of one the sheets you just cut. Tape down edges of paper to the plastic sheet and flip over so the pattern is visible underneath the plastic sheet.
5. With a piece of cardboard or cutting mat underneath the printout use your blade knife to cut out the pattern.
6. Do not cut pattern to the edge of the plastic sheet. Leave a 1/2" border around the  edges.
7. Remove the printout and trim the plastic stencil so that the height exactly matches the height of your riser.
9. Start with the top stair and move down. Use painter's tape to cover the area outside the riser. Press the tape down with a putty knife.
8. Starting at the far right, tape the stencil in place with painter's tape. Make sure the stencil is nice and flat against the riser.
9. Dab your stencil brush in paint, blot on a paper towel and dab on the paint.
10. When the entire area of the stencil has been painted, peel off the stencil and move it to the left. Match up the far right edge of the stencil with a previously painted spot and tape down the stencil.
11. Repeat steps #9 and #10 until the riser is complete.
12. Cover the risers with polyurethane to protect the stencil. Polyurethane on the treads can make your stairs slippery.

This weekend project was worth the effort. Now, I may actually have a smile on my face as I'm hauling up loads of laundry from the basement.

Free stencil pattern. 


ANNE said…
Wow! What a great look, I love this project!! Great job :)
Anonymous said…
They are marvelous. I like the way you alternated the blue and green steps. Those colors look nice together, but you didn't have to mess with different colors on the same step.
Vanessa said…
Thanks! I decided to make things simple and skip my first idea of a tri-color design on each step. It's just paint, though, so maybe next year another look!
Anonymous said…
I have fallen in love with this - how did you get the paint to line up exactyly when the stencil doesnt cover the full width?
Vanessa said…
Glad you like it! Start from the right. Keep moving the stencil to the left, lining it up with a previously painted section. So you layer the far right section of the stencil over an already-painted part. Keep repeating until the whole width is painted! I think it took me about 3 and a half moves of the stencil to complete one riser.

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