Basement Stair Makeover

5 Materials
5 Hours

I combined two ideas to makeover my basement stairs. First, I painted a runner on them. Then I attached vinyl inspirational word stickers to the steps. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it!

Stairs, Before

These are my basement stairs before I painted them. I had already torn up the carpet treads that had been in the middle.

Stairs, Before

Here is what they looked like going up. I hated these awful stairs, but they had to wait while I finished other more important projects first. I was glad it was finally time to work on them!

Tape for the Runner

I used a Lego to space where I wanted the painted on runner stripes to be. Then I used yellow frog tape to tape on each side of the blue tape. The yellow tape is supposed to be for more delicate applications, and the primer was freshly painted.

When I pulled up the blue tape (because that is where I was going to paint), it pulled up some of the primer. It didn't matter because I was going to paint over that part anyway. However, it did alert me to the fact that my yellow tape might pull up the primer, too....

Seal the tape

I used the same color paint to "seal" in the yellow tape. This would help my dark gray to not bleed through the tape. While it was an extra step, it was well worth the time to have nice, straight, crisp lines with very little bleed through.

Paint the Runner!

Then I set to work painting the runner on! I used leftover Driftwood Gray paint from my kitchen cabinets. (You can see where I painted my Kitchen Cabinets all by myself right here.)

When you paint stairs, you have to be sure no one is going to be using them!

It was very exciting to take the tape off and see the results!!

Stairs, AFTER!

**By the way, if you like these stairs, you will probably LOVE the stair railing that I designed for these stairs!!

I was very happy with how my runner turned out! But I wasn't finished yet! I added a clear topcoat to seal it all in. I used one with a flat sheen, so people would not slide down the stairs by accident.

After the clear coat, I still had something to add!

I had ordered some white vinyl inspirational word stickers from Etsy because at the time I did not have a Cricut.

I followed the directions to apply the vinyl stickers to my stairs.

Are you familiar with these inspirational words? They are known as the "Fruit of the Spirit."

Stairs, AFTER!

Now I have a reminder many times a day as I go up (and down) these steps, how I should be thinking and acting.

Since the stickers match the color of the stairs so well, people often think that they have been stenciled on. But nope! It was a lot easier than stenciling!

p.s. I could have added a clear sealer over these stickers, but I did not want to make it really difficult to remove them if I ever wanted to take them off. They have stuck on just fine for many years now.

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Liberty Brammer
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

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  2 questions
  • Christina Christina on Sep 14, 2020

    What do mean 'seal' the yellow tape?

  • Kim Kim on Sep 15, 2021

    Are the steps slippery in the winter from the coldness? I would really love to copy your project, but concerned I will slip on the steps.


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