Looking to play with color and pattern on a manageable scale? Try stenciling your stair risers. “Stairs can take up significant real estate in a home, and a custom treatment like this brings a tailored, sophisticated finish to an otherwise utilitarian feature,” says Chelsea Conrad of One Kings Lane Interior Design. “Plus, because you’re dealing with small, discrete areas, even though this project looks ambitious, it’s easily digestible.”
Repeated shades of blue and coordinating stencil motifs—these are from the Indian Inlay Furniture Stencil Kit ($35; Cutting Edge Stencils)—keep the look cohesive. Balancing the placement of the largest design elements, such as these flower panels, helps to maintain order, too.
If you’re having trouble visualizing the end result, stencil a few trial runs on paper and tape them in place to firm up your design plan. Once you’re ready to roll, start with the top riser and work your way down to avoid brushing against wet paint. Sand and clean the risers, tape off each one, then apply two coats of paint. To make working on a vertical surface easier, use spray mount to hold each stencil in place. Dab on paint with a flat-end stencil brush to slowly build up color and thwart drips. Then seal with a matte clear coat for added longevity, if desired. Step by step, a simple staircase becomes a personalized work of art.
Thanks to: Chelsea Conrad, interior designer, One Kings Lane Interior Design
Stencils: Indian Inlay Furniture Stencil Kit; Cutting Edge Stencils.