12 Bold Creative Painted Staircase Ideas

Not just for getting from one floor to the next, stairs are a major style-adding element to your home. Take a cue from these painted beauties and create steps that really stand out.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
August 07, 2020

Photo By: Molly Winters Photography

Photo By: 2009-10-14T10:26:20.000-04:00

Photo By: Ruth Crozier

Photo By: Tom Marks

Photo By: Alison Kandler

Photo By: Grace Laird Photography

Photo By: Lee Manning Photography

Match the Setting

Transform a utilitarian aspect of your home – the staircase – with fresh and innovative painting ideas.

When painting the risers of your stairs, consider your overall home's environment. If your house is full of bright, vivid shades or an all-white palette, go for a similar intensity of vibrant hues or pastels. For this modern, organic home, shades of the sunset add an element of warmth and color to the neutral-meets-black palette.

Tackle a Refresh With Minimum $$$

Simple wooden porch stairs get a notable shot of color with a rainbow of hues painted on the risers. A multi-colored project may feel like the dollars will add up. However, if you're only painting a small area, there's no need to invest in a full can of paint. Grab a sample, which are usually a half-pint or pint of paint and cost around $5-$10, from your local home improvement or paint store.

Add a Little TLC to Your Stairs

The easiest way to transform a tired set of steps is with paint. For an eye-catching design, opt for contrasting shades, such as the juxtaposition of the black stripes against this light peach and coral base. Hugs and kisses lead guests up these stairs, but check out your local hobby store for other fun stamps or stencils. Pick a clever saying with one word on each riser, spell out a word or paint a pretty floral or graphic design.

Get the How-To: How to Paint a Staircase

Use a Quieter Palette

Want the look of the rainbow but bright hues aren't in your color wheel? Take a note from this traditional entryway and mute your shades. Pulling tones from the classic wallpaper, the stair risers are painted in subtle earth hues, matching the timeless aesthetic of the home with an unexpected eclectic twist.

Look for One-of-a-Kind Pieces

The best tool of the trade for achieving tuxedo-crisp lines: painter's tape. It was the key to creating this painted runner with chic striped border. Designer Sarah Richardson, always a lover of an antique find, uses varying house numbers to detail each riser. Head to your favorite antique shop or scour Etsy and eBay for vintage house numbers to recreate a similar look.

Paint the Rainbow

Stair risers are an easy and fun way to try out new trends. Totally of the moment, the rainbow trend is bringing brilliant colors into our homes. Refresh your stairway with ROYGBIV, and when you're ready to try out a different look or trend, simply grab some primer and paint for a brand-new design.

Decorate With Shapes

Combine various geometric designs by sticking to a pared-down color palette. Each riser on this staircase features a different graphic stenciled design, but by using only black and white shades, a cohesive look is accomplished.

Take Advantage of the Flaws

When restoring an older home, it's ok to embrace all the scratches and scuffs instead of erasing them. This staircase gets a cool and unexpected graffiti treatment that makes the most of the imperfections of an older home, while bringing it into the now.

Make Your Own Runner

Deliver an instant runner (and one you don’t have to tack down) to your stairs with a solid painting down the middle. The all-white space gets a healthy dose of Wedgewood blue for a classic pairing, and a gallery of timeless paintings lines the walls.

Go for the Timeless

Not all painted stairs have to add brilliant color to your space. Use paint to create a classic, never-goes-out-of-style aesthetic, such as these ebony stairs bordered in a crisp white.

Pick a Lane

Pastel racing stripes run down this bright white staircase for a visually appealing and elongating style. The crafty display helps carry the home's color scheme from the downstairs to the upstairs to create a cohesive design throughout the house.

Get the Look Without Paint

These amazing stair risers look like they've been painted, but they have a little secret: it's custom wallpaper. While we fully support you tackling a DIY to achieve this ultra-cool striped look with paint (and some very detailed brush work), cleverly placed contact paper or wallpaper can also attain the design with a little less elbow grease.