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The painted staircase: is it a stairway to heaven?

Whilst researching and have a general look around on the internet, I came across this beautiful yellow and white stencilled staircase recently in an Atticmag blog entitled Decoincidence

Yellow and white painted staircase, with intricate patterns in white

Source: Atticmag

The striking colour and decorative pattern immediately caught my eye and made me think, what a stunning, bright, cheerful, unique and inviting staircase. The colour and detail give a sunny vibrancy to an otherwise neutral and essentially white scheme and that got me to thinking, how many of us actually think of making a statement with our staircases? If we’re honest, the vast majority of us tend to treat them simply as a necessary and functional part of our homes; a means of getting from the downstairs to the up and vice-versa.

A lot of the time, stairs are situated in entrance halls and, even if your hallway only amounts to a space the size of a pocket handkerchief, entrances speak volumes – and because they have the first say, at the threshold to your home, it is worth taking them seriously. Your entrance hall gives you your first opportunity to express your own style to anyone entering your home and to say – "this is us, this is who we are and welcome!" Nothing is less welcoming than stepping into a dim and uninviting hallway, so if your staircase and hallway are lack lustre and in need of some style and personality, then why not use this much missed artistic opportunity turn your staircase into a truly personal creation that says a lot about you, your family and the rest of your home?

There are a number of ways you can achieve this, even if it’s on a budget; but lifting the carpet and preparing the woodwork to create an artist’s canvas for some painterly or other creative treatment is as good a way as any to start, so here’s some painted staircase inspiration to help you to update your look.

Curving staircase in a beach hut style home, with white wooden panel walls and duck egg blue banister

Source: Bright.Bazaar

If it’s only something as simple as painting the handrail in an accent colour to add some contrast and detail, you’ll be making a statement and adding interest, but the possibilities are endless.
The possibilities are limited only by your imagination and an endless variety of gorgeous materials

Quote: Laura Lee Clark

Inspiration green painted banisters

Source: Inspiration Green

This fresh and inviting staircase combines an eclectic mix of modern and traditional and the stair rods, painted in graded tins of blue and green, add a whimsical but energetic sense of style and fun.

Staircase painted in different shades of blue from teal at the bottom to duck egg at the top

Source: All things girly and beautiful

This teal tinted gradation is fabulously effective and a quick DIY tip if you don’t want to invest in professionally mixed gradients of your colour, is to buy a decent sized tin of the darkest colour and every second or third step or so add a measured quantity of white to lighten it in equal degrees – job done! (It might be worth keeping a little pot of each shade though, carefully labelled with stair number) for all those knocks and chips that the foot traffic could create.

Pastel coloured steps on a staircase in cream, green and blue

Source: Country Living

If you’re no Picasso with a paintbrush and accuracy and detail aren’t your forte either, then this lightly weathered effect could fit the bill. A spectrum of complementary shades has been brushed onto the risers of these stairs to make a subtle but effective statement. The effect was achieved by mixing glaze with paint and is evocative of driftwood so would be ideally suited to a coastal home or maritime themed interior and doesn’t require a great level of accuracy in its execution.

Beautiful black and white staircase with black steps, and black painted floorboards in the hallway


There’s no doubt that a splash of colour makes a different, but you can’t go far wrong with classic black and white either, for adding impact with unquestionable style and the wow factor. The back of the treads on this stunning staircase is carried onto the wooden floor for a thoroughly stylish and coordinated look and the matching candelabra carries the scheme subtly, from floor to ceiling.

Black and white patterned decal on the front of steps with wood on the top of each step

Source: Inspiration Green

This stunning black and white example was created with stencilled motifs based on Moroccan designs. Off the peg stencils are widely available if this technique appeals to you but you could go ultra unique and have a go at creating your own. The eclectic mix of patterns in varying sizes is cleverly echoed in the collection of random sized pictures and objects d’art above the handrail.

Geometric patterns on the front of steps, alternating with a light blue and light green background colour

Source: Lowes

Simple geometric shapes make easy motifs for making your own stencils from. The alternating colours on these risers tie in perfectly with the room beyond creating a well thought out connection to the scheme.

Urban rustic wooden staircase made from classic branded wooden crates, such as Coca Cola

Source: Funky Junk Interiors

This fun and funky stairway has paint worn treads created with stencilled, old crate signage. The look of stamped numbers as signage reminds me of shipping cartons and therefore evokes a feeling of travel and adventure, courtesy of: They give a whole new meaning to my Nan’s old phrase - ‘up the wooden hills to Bedfordshire!’

A young girl siting on a white staircase, with a light blue floral pattern on the front of each step

Source: Martha Stewart

Subtle and summery these softly stencilled leaves are fluttery and feminine and add just enough colour and glamour to this white painted staircase.

Stained wooden staircase with traditional patterns on each step

Source: Design Amour

Truly convincing as intricately in-laid wood, this authentic staircase was unbelievably created using dark and light wood stains and 24 different border pattern stencils!

A wooden staircase with a triangular section in black diagonally sectioning off a portion of the staircase for ornaments to sit on

Source: Design Milk

And if that all seems like too much of a lifelong labour of love and too complicated and time consuming for the schedule of a busy, modern day, lifestyle then some masking tape, a brush and a colour of your choice will have you achieving stunning results like this one with little effort or expense. Not only does this add colour but a clever perspective too, which plays tricks on the eye.

Wooden staircase with motivational quotes on the front of each step

If you want to get more personal and expressive with your painting then here’s a great example. Undoubtedly a talking point for all your visitors, this staircase carries a recipe for a happy family life which speaks volumes about the people who live here. I love the fact that it’s fun and stylish.

Colourful painted rainbow staircase with inspiration words on each step

Source: Art Moms

A similar but more colourful and relaxed approach is found on these cheerful rainbow stairs with their equally colourful messages. It’s a more informal, freehand approach to the previous recipe for a happy life and a harmonious household. You’ll find a step by step guide on how to do it at Art Moms

Red wooden staircase with white writing on each step, that are the lyrics to the song I love you by The Doors

Source: Pinterest

Lyrics to a song (The Doors – I love You) adorn each riser of these stairs, maybe demonstrating the owners love of music, or maybe the lyrics just have poignant or significant meaning to the residents.

Traditional wooden staircase with white decals on each step depicting books from different genres

Source: Inspiration Green

And if it doesn’t reflect your taste in music, the theme on your staircase could reflect your hobbies and pastimes. Here are some novel ideas for all the bookworms out there. (Although to be truthful this one is actually in a book store – nice idea though).

Staircase with black, white and grey floral patterned decal on the front of each step

Wallpapering offers lots of scope design wise and here’s another attractive example of wallpapered stair risers. The look is fresh, crisp and modern.

A white staircase with the front of each step in a different colour like a rainbow

Slightly more conventional and much more achievable in modern day suburbia, are these colourful ascensions of rainbow steps. Each riser simply painted in a shade block shade from the rainbow.

A rainbow staircase

Source: Pinterest

On a broad, sweeping, curve like these stairs by Stacie, the rainbow effect is look even more impressive....

Outdoor concrete staircase that looks like a piano

Source: Inspiration Green

Finally, I know this staircase isn’t in a hallway, but I couldn’t resist including it because it’s a superb example of the free expression of individual personality, style and taste and on top of that it’s fun and it made me smile – and which entrance hall wouldn’t want to have that effect on it’s visitors?

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