Stairway Refresh

3 Materials
90 Minutes

I’ve always loved stairways inside homes. Maybe because I grew up in a town filled with bungalows, where stairways were rare. Our current house has an oak staircase, which is nice, but I’ve always found it to be a little dark and heavy looking. I thought about painting the risers white to brighten them up, but my last house had white risers and they always seemed to look a little scuffed and dirty. So I decided to go with something less permanent and hopefully with a little more character.


I ordered vinyl staircase stickers from amazon. There were so many great styles and colours to choose from! The main accent colour throughout our home is teal, so I decided to go with colours that would tie in. When they arrived, the blue looked a little bright and I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous!


They were rolled up tight and they curled up every time I tried to open one! So I straightened them out in a stack and laid a paint can on each end and left them overnight. The next day they were perfectly flat!


I washed the stairs and risers and started at the bottom step and worked my way up with the stickers. I peeled the backing off the right side of my sticker and aligned the right side as straight as I could on the right side of the stair riser. Then I gradually peeled off the backing, working in roughly one-foot sections until each section was as smooth as possible. I used the squeegee from my Mod Podge kit to smooth the stickers from right to left, using the top of the risers as my guide.  

Attaching decals

Once I reached the left side, I trimmed the excess sticker off of the end, as well as the bottoms, using an X-acto knife.

Note: On one riser I decided not to worry about how perfectly straight the right side lined up because I figured I could easily trim that off too. This was a mistake because I was fighting the curve the entire way along to keep it aligned at the top! It was worth the effort to make sure the starting point was as straight as possible.

Cutting away the excess

And here is the final result! Since I can’t go to the beach, I can daydream about it every time I climb the stairs. 😊 I’m sure this project will be a little over the top for some people, but my daughter and I absolutely love it! There’s not much colour on our main floor so I think this adds a nice pop.  

I think this was an easy and cost effective refresh of our stairway. And the nice part is that I can easily remove them later or swap them for a different style or pattern.

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Frequently asked questions

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  1 question
  • Doreen Kennedy Doreen Kennedy on Jan 29, 2021

    I really like the idea of using decals instead of plain paint. Your stairs look terrific. Do you find the decals to be as durable as paint? Just curious since it seems it would be difficult to touch up the decals as compared to paint. We’ve been renovating our old house for some time. We’ve renovated many homes, but this place has been a real pain. At this point we are looking to cut corners for the cosmetic portion of our renovation so we can sell and down size. We are tired! Lol Thanks for sharing your project.


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4 of 8 comments
  • Jean Sukkert Jean Sukkert on Oct 29, 2020

    You should painta palm tree on the side next to the stairs and under the stairs, sand and a chair, umbrella maybe bucket, ball, pail towel, etc...

    Love the idea, wish I had stairs.

    • Valerie Burge Valerie Burge on Oct 30, 2020

      Great ideas! Unfortunately I am not very good at painting stuff like that. If I attempted that it would surely turn into a big mess. LOL

  • Carol Calhoun Carol Calhoun on Nov 16, 2020

    That’s one of the coolest staircase upscale dive seen. Wish I had some stairs in my house! Great job!!!!!