Dreaming of Painted Stairs

by Kimba on March 15, 2010

in Do it yourself,Favorite Things

country living

photo: County Living

I have painted stairs on the brain these days. Mostly because we have started to finish our basement and the staircase looks like this right now.

unfinished basement stairs

The cattle-car railing will soon be replaced with a wooden banister and I’ll be free to beautify the stairs with paint or stain or carpet. I’ve been toying with a few different ideas, but I’m not sure what I want to do yet.

It didn’t take much browsing around blogland to find some inspiration:

~Thrifty Decor Chick ripped up her carpet and used stain and paint to beautify her stairs.

~Melissa from The Inspired Room painted the stairs red in her old house.

~I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to attempt something like this gorgeous yellow numbered staircase @ Lover Mother, but I adore it.

So tell me…Do you have painted stairs? Would you want them? Pros? Cons? Spill it!


Did you see my post on Saturday announcing the Grand Opening of my OpenSky shop? I have a super-tweet sale on one of my favorite items!

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1 Shaunna March 15, 2010 at 8:49 am

We are in the middle of an attic reno. and I had convinced myself I wanted the treads/white riser….they are SO expensive! So…we will be painting/staining. I just love the cottage look it will lend going towards our upstairs–which is a bit coastal-and let me say….I’ve had carpeted stairs and while they are comfy and easy to maneuver, they are a pain to keep vacuumed! Have a great day-shaunna ­čÖé
.-= Shaunna┬┤s last blog ..Of What’s to Come… =-.

2 Carmen March 15, 2010 at 8:51 am

I ripped the carpet off of mine last year. I haven’t done a thing to them yet. They still have tiny globs of padding in places, a few staples here and there on the risers (not where anyone would step on them). I plan to tackle them soon. I really don’t want to sand because it’s too messy so I think I’m going to try to clean up the stairs as best as possible and paint the risers white (maybe black) and leave the wood on the stair part as it is. I prefer no carpet but the only thing is the noise. Our stairs are so noisy! But it’s an old house. Your stairs probably won’t be as noisy.
.-= Carmen┬┤s last blog ..My living room isn’t ready yet… =-.

3 Laura @ PARING DOWN March 15, 2010 at 8:53 am

I agree on the carpeted stairs. We have three kids at home and three cats. It’s a pain to vacuum the cat fur. Not the most fun chore to do. I have serious stair envy (and basement) too!

Good luck,
.-= Laura @ PARING DOWN┬┤s last blog ..Simple Pleasures: Crab Apple Blooms =-.

4 Emily March 15, 2010 at 8:58 am

My husband and I ripped the carpet off our our stairs and we could not be happier with the result! ­čÖé Take a look on my blog at the outcome….It is well worth the time and energy!
.-= Emily┬┤s last blog ..Nursery Update- 35 weeks =-.

5 maura March 15, 2010 at 8:58 am

Hey Kimba, I do have painted stairs. I love them, but they can be a little slippery when first finished. I actually fell twice on mine about a month after they were done. I love being able to sweep them up quickly, instead of having to drag the vacuum up and down them. I actually posted about them on Beth’s ( the stories of A to Z) blog a few months back and here is the post. http://colonialcottage.blogspot.com/2009/11/stare-at-my-staircase-party.html
.-= maura┬┤s last blog ..25% OFF =-.

6 Melanie March 15, 2010 at 9:00 am

I have carpeted stairs and I like them. I like them because of the railing. I am leaving you the link and you can look at them yourself.

Happy Monday!

.-= Melanie┬┤s last blog ..ItÔÇÖs SundayÔÇŽ =-.

7 Becky - Clean Mama March 15, 2010 at 9:03 am

I love the look of painted stairs. I think the only downfall would be the slip factor. I’d do something funky – like numbers or names on the risers – especially since it’s going into your basement. Fun!
.-= Becky – Clean Mama┬┤s last blog ..Messy Monday – Three Printmaking Lessons =-.

8 Mrs. Jen B March 15, 2010 at 9:04 am

Oh, how I wish for painted stairs…
.-= Mrs. Jen B┬┤s last blog ..Super Easy, Super Cheesy Stovetop Macaroni =-.

9 Heather March 15, 2010 at 9:08 am

OK ÔÇŽ. not that I don’t have 5 other projects around my house waiting on me to complete, but now I have to add ripping the carpet off the stairs to the mix ÔÇŽ my husband thanks you ­čśë
.-= Heather┬┤s last blog ..65/365 Bed! =-.

10 Rachel March 15, 2010 at 9:17 am

I love all the painted stairs floating around. I would think over time though they would need to be touched up from all the scuffing.
.-= Rachel┬┤s last blog .. =-.

11 Pam @ Design Fanatic March 15, 2010 at 9:19 am

Kimba, We have painted stairs to our basement. Carpet would get ruined because our basement is mainly used for kids & has a door to the backyard. We tried staining the top treads a few different colors but the wood was poplar & didn’t look right. There was also a lot of damage & paint on them which we tried to sand off. We ended up painting the risers white & the treads a dark brown. They are so easy to clean.
.-= Pam @ Design Fanatic┬┤s last blog ..MASTER BATH REVEAL =-.

12 Jen@balancing Beauty and Bedlam March 15, 2010 at 9:42 am

oh, those are gorgeous painted….I have hard wood, and love them but when we do our attic, I could rip out the carpet and paint them….now the question is…will I? I can’t wait til you paint yours…YEA!
.-= Jen@balancing Beauty and Bedlam┬┤s last blog ..Help Me, Help YouÔÇŽFrugal Fashionista =-.

13 lauren March 15, 2010 at 10:05 am

i’m another that has painted staircase envy. our off white carpet is just awful. i’ve checked into risers but i’m on a budget so staining and painting will probably be the way i’m going to go. it is a big note tho – figuring out a way to leave some texture on the actual step – helping with the slipping factor.
.-= lauren┬┤s last blog ..And partying continues… =-.

14 Jen March 15, 2010 at 10:05 am

I just completed redoing our back entryway and painted the stairs going up to our kitchen and the stairs going down to the basement. LOVE LOVE LOVE how they turned out. Totally lightened things up and is so much easier to keep clean! They can just be wiped off now! This is the post I talked about that in….. http://jvanoort.blogspot.com/2010/01/50-entryway-remodel.html
in case you’re looking for a little more inspiration!
.-= Jen┬┤s last blog ..Free Cupboard Makeover! =-.

15 Katie@Yoga Gal March 15, 2010 at 10:06 am

You know what I saw in a friend’s house that I love? They had wood stairs with white underneath the step and they had taken a piece of decorative, scroll-y wood (like you find in the trim section of Lowes), painted it white and glued it to the stair in the center with wood glue. It really gave it a high-end, custom look for not much money or work!
.-= Katie@Yoga Gal┬┤s last blog ..Master Bedroom Design =-.

16 Stacey @ The Blessed Nest March 15, 2010 at 10:16 am

I love the painted stair look! Honestly though, I’m much too klutzy to actually have them in my own home! I have fallen down more wooden stairs than I can count. ­čÖé Guess I’ll have to live vicariously through all of you!! How exciting to be finishing your basement, what are you planning to use the basement for? And I’m SOOO excited to meet you at Relevant too :)!!!
.-= Stacey @ The Blessed Nest┬┤s last blog ..SpRiNg GIVEAWAY!!! =-.

17 Stephenie March 15, 2010 at 10:41 am

Funny I found this post (I am becoming a follower TODAY!) because we just stained our stairs black THIS WEEKEND! I am revealing the new entryway on my blog later this week. It was a big decision, but I am absolutely in love with my new black stairs, banister and closet door! Thanks for all the inspiration.
.-= Stephenie┬┤s last blog ..Weekend Wrap Up Part 1 =-.

18 txelz March 15, 2010 at 10:47 am

Every time I see TDC’s stairs I obsess about staining and painting ours. Husband is not yet on board…maybe with a little more time.
.-= txelz┬┤s last blog ..Perspective =-.

19 Anna See March 15, 2010 at 10:50 am

I love our painted stairs. The white risers do get scuffed up, but it’s nothing the magic eraser can’t handle.
.-= Anna See┬┤s last blog ..Did You Know Gullible Isn’t in the Dictionary? =-.

20 Amanda @ Serenity Now March 15, 2010 at 11:48 am

Love the look, and I think you could pull something off that you wouldn’t normally try since it’s the basement. ­čÖé
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now┬┤s last blog ..Dressing Up My Window =-.

21 julia March 15, 2010 at 12:16 pm

I love painted stairs! We had them in our old house and I love the look. The only two drawbacks are the noise and the upkeep. If you are a “no shoes” household, it won’t be a problem, just be careful on the steps when in socks.
Love those yellow, numbered steps!

22 the BLAH BLAH BLAHger March 15, 2010 at 12:18 pm

No stairs, but GOSH, I love that look!!!!
.-= the BLAH BLAH BLAHger┬┤s last blog ..No Boil Noodle Lasagna =-.

23 CRAZYMOM March 15, 2010 at 1:48 pm

I have wooden stairs and it show every dog hair and every speck of dust. It drives me crazy! I will carpet the first chance I get…at least a runner.
.-= CRAZYMOM┬┤s last blog ..Baby Sling Safety =-.

24 Katie March 15, 2010 at 3:59 pm

I love a painted staircase and was thinking of doing the same thing to our basements stairs. Just can’t figure out what to do with the landing at the top and bottom. Can’t wait to see your results. It will be beautiful.

25 Gussy March 15, 2010 at 4:01 pm

ahh! i need that yellow staircase. Even if only to use it as a time out chair for me.
I. Need. It


26 Shala March 15, 2010 at 4:02 pm

I have painted stairs & really like them. I need to redo them because of some rambuncious puppies learning to use the stairs-but they are so easy to clean. I used porch paint and added no slip grip sand. When I redo them this time I am adding a Damask stencil with the gritty paint.

27 cristin @ simplified bee March 15, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I love painted stairs! Looking forward to seeing what you decide.

.-= cristin @ simplified bee┬┤s last blog ..Springtime Jewelry Giveaway from Blydesign =-.

28 pendy March 15, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Painted risers, stained steps. They are 20 years old and the paint could use retouching but the stain/poly looks great, even after two children thundering up and down until they grew up (and they still do it when they visit).
.-= pendy┬┤s last blog ..We Fought the Yard and the Yard Won =-.

29 Melissa March 15, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Well, I saw Thrifty Chicks a while back and I fell in love with them. I decided that the house we are about to buy, that has honey colored steps, will be stained like hers. I just think they are gorgeous and look fairly do-able.

30 Faith | UPrinting March 15, 2010 at 6:10 pm

I still love stairs with paint on it. Carpeted stairs is not really a good idea for me, especially if you spill something on it. ­čÖé

31 Amy at The Red Chair Blog March 15, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Hi Kimba,

We replaced our wall-to-wall carpeting with painted stairs and a runner, and we love it! We opted for the runner because two members of my family (adults) have slipped and fallen on the beautifully polished hardwood stairs at my parents’ house. I blogged about the process of removing the wall-to-wall carpet and painting the stairs here:
.-= Amy at The Red Chair Blog┬┤s last blog ..Dollar Tree…Literally! =-.

32 angela | the painted house March 15, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I love a fun painted staircase. My favorite that I’ve seen was a staircase in graduated shades of grey. Very chic!

33 Beth @ The Stories of A to Z March 15, 2010 at 9:21 pm

I had a “Stare at My Staircase Party” awhile back http://bethcrabtreehunter.blogspot.com/search?q=stare+at+my+staircase and was so inspired by all the staircases. I painted and fancy numbered my own…and love them. Good luck with whatever you decide!
.-= Beth @ The Stories of A to Z┬┤s last blog ..Chocolate Covered Sprinkled Peeps =-.

34 Kristen March 15, 2010 at 9:41 pm

we actually are going to put a runner up our stairs too many people fall on our stairs they are very slippery, I even fell and broke my foot a few years back
.-= Kristen┬┤s last blog ..I need you…. =-.

35 Mary Jean Taylor March 15, 2010 at 10:23 pm

ive had painting my banisters and stairs black on the list for months. I was obsessed for awhile. I even got an estimate from a painter b/c I was so into it! $1,000 he wanted! Not in the budget, but I’d kill for them. Here was my post a few months on the topic http://onenuttygirl.com/542/painted-stairs/
.-= Mary Jean Taylor┬┤s last blog ..Antique Black or White??? Help Me Decide!!! =-.

36 Court March 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm

I have a split foyer house. I stained the treads with Early American Walnut to match our trim and painted the risers. They are pine with rounded treads and are on the rustic side due to all the staples holes, gouges, knots, nail holes and 30 years of wear. This was the set of stairs going up. They look great but taping took for-ev-er. The stairs going down are different and I don’t know what to do with them. This set is squared off and the wood is really bad. There are stamps on the risers and the treads are a mess. So until I figure out how to deal with them, they wait.

37 Court March 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm

One more thing.. I used a satin finish clear and my steps are not a bit slippery. I fell down my carpeted stairs more times than I can count.. Once with an open can of black stain. I wouldn’t recommend that. lol

38 AK March 17, 2010 at 12:21 am

My only thought would be not to paint them a dark color. Remembering dust shows very easily and you’ll be dusting your stairs constantly.
I actually like the railing you currently have on your stairs. There is a house located in a high end community in Charleston, SC called the ION. It has an outdoor porch with a similar railing. Modern. But clean and different.

39 Laurie @ Little Blue Chairs March 17, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Yep- I will be taking the carpet off our stairs and painting them this summer. I still don’t know the color, but I am getting rid of the hard to clean carpet.
.-= Laurie @ Little Blue Chairs┬┤s last blog ..Custom Window coverings- under $20 =-.

40 Trish @TheOldPostRoad March 19, 2010 at 2:27 pm

We live in a 160 year old home and our stairs are the first thing you see when you enter the house (other than the dust and dirt on the floor). I love my painted stairs – they have white (oil based) kick plates (is that what you call them) and the heart pine wood is left it’s natural wooden color on the tread. (very much like your top picture in this post) The banister is black (oil – high gloss) and the balusters of the railing are white – to match the kickplates.

Problem – the white kick area gets scuffed up – but we have lived in this house 10 years and have not touched up the paint, so that is my own fault. I love them painted.
.-= Trish @TheOldPostRoad┬┤s last blog ..Just a Few Pretty Images =-.

41 kathie March 20, 2010 at 4:17 pm

As someone with carpeted stairs, the cons of it is the upkeep. It is a pain to vacuum them, especially having 2 cats! I think wood might be slippery, but I’d rather swiffer than vacuum anyday. I’m sure there’s some kind of solution for slippery wood stairs ­čÖé Plus, walking up and down stairs will wear out carpet (unless you get something like berber, which is costly) and that’s just tacky looking in my opinion.
.-= kathie┬┤s last blog ..Exciting New Blog!!!!! =-.

42 Talysa March 21, 2010 at 7:26 pm

We have stairs just like this picture…I love ours…but I love even more the fact that whoever painted them decided to paint them a nice creamy off white…they do get dirty and you will have to clean them often…but white would have been a nightmare I’m thinking. I love the look in my foyer!

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