DIY Risers

6 Materials
4 Hours

Tiered trays have been a big trend in the home decor niche. They are fun to style and change around for the seasons or holidays. They do present some design challenges in that you need a space with enough height for them and then also enough small decor items to fill them up with. Then risers were introduced as a single layer tray that you can move around your home and style more easily. I fell in love with risers- but not the price. I figured it would be cheaper to make my own, and I was right. Keep reading to see how I made two different versions of risers.

Gather Materials

First, you will want to measure the smallest area you’ll be using the riser. For example- the kitchen counter or a console table. That will tell you how big or small your riser will need to be.


• 1x12 pine wood board

• 18” wood circle stool seat

• 4 wood “feet” for each riser

• wood glue

• stain

• paint

• polyurethane

Cut, Sand, Stain

After I had my space measured, I cut my pine board to 13 1/2”. (Note- I had left over board from a previous project so I did not need to purchase this piece.)

** TIP- check with your local Home Improvement or Lumber store to see if they have a wood scrap bin. You may just find a piece close enough to what you need and you won’t need to purchase a full board.**

**TIP- check your local craft store on the wood isle to see if they have a precut piece of wood you would like to use for your riser.**

After the board was cut, I sanded both boards to smooth the edges. (the circle one and the rectangle one)

Now they were ready for stain. I stained the feet and the boards, just on the tops and sides. I like a distressed look with a dark color peeking through. If you are not going to distress your riser- you can skip staining it. Or only stain it if you’d like that look for your riser. I have dark countertops and furniture. I need something to stand out against the dark colors so that’s why I’m going to paint.

Glue on the Feet & Paint

Once the stain was dry, it was time to attach the feet.

I bought feet individually at the hardware store, then while at my local craft store on the wood isle, I found packaged pieces of wood that would work just as well and cost much less than the furniture feet I had purchased at the home improvement store. (The craft store wood was $3.99 for 4, the home improvement feet were $3.99 and $2.49 each. I had purchased two different styles).

Using wood glue I attached the feet onto the bottom of the risers. Before you glue check your placement of the feet to see if it looks good. (On square and rectangle risers place feet in the corners. On circle risers, place them at 3,6,9 and 12 as of it were a clock.) I waited for the glue to dry before painting. I painted 2 coats of farmhouse white chalk paint by Behr then using sandpaper distressed the pieces and wax sealed. I chose this color because it’s the same color I use on most of my refinished furniture in my home so it flows with my decor.

**Painters tip- you can use furniture paint, acrylic paint or even spray paint and use any color you like.**

**If you use something other than chalk paint, I would poly the risers to seal them. You can find it in spray cans or brush on.**

Styling the Rectangle

Here is the rectangle styled. I love how they turned out. This one is on top of a runner so it blends in just a bit. I will be moving it into the kitchen once all our projects are finished and it will pop against my dark countertops.

Styling the Circle

The circle riser is much bigger. I will be moving it from my dining table to the outdoor patio table, to this living room table depending on the season. I love that I can use larger and bulky pieces on the risers where the tiered trays were more difficult to add these fun pieces.

This was a fun, quick and easy project. I had most of the materials on hand from other projects so my cost out of pocket was so much cheaper than buying one already finished. I did purchase the stool seat and the wood feet. It was about $25 - $30 for 2 risers.

Check our our Instagram feed and stories @therefininghome to see more of how we style furniture and use these risers.

How would you use a riser? Which shape of riser is your favorite?

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Joleen | The Refining Home
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