It’s been so long since I’ve written a blog post, I almost don’t know how to begin. 😉 But I figured a few of my friends, including those that I’m going to see again at Haven Conference this week, might want to see a recent design project using Tuscan Tile stencils on stair risers.
The clients had just finished building out their basement, and didn’t fancy either the cost or upkeep of carpeting the stairs. Knowing their elegant upscale style, I suggested this Tuscan Tile pattern from Royal Design Studio Stencils. Do you really want to see how rough these really were when we started? Pretty rough.
We had the contractor complete his part of the job with a brown porch and floor paint from the Home Depot.
Now comes the pretty part. We used the Sherwin Williams Commodore (SW6524) blue paint in flat that was used elsewhere in the rooms for the darker blue, and I layered that with a shimmery Metallic Teal stencil cream from Royal Designs Studios for the two-tone stencil.
Here is the finished stair riser stencil project.
Do you notice the soft, sweet little shimmer?
You’ll notice one thing right away, that we didn’t paint the risers (that’s the part of the steps that are vertical) white. You’ll see dark treads and white risers in a lot of designs, but I find that is very impractical because the stairs are nearly impossible to keep clean. Since this is the basement level, and not the main part of the house, we opted for easy maintenance, and just added the pizzazz with the stencil. I’m confident we made the right choice.
In case you want to follow along, here are the basic steps of the stair riser stencil project.
1. Prep the wooden steps with a good quality porch and floor paint.
2. Tape up your stencils in a row. I wish this stencil came as a row, but it only came as individuals, so there was a lot of taping!
3. Paint the first color in the design you’ve chosen. I used a foam roller to paint the entire design on the entire riser from left to right. Be sure to offload the roller each time before applying the paint. This step is very important to get a nice, crisp application. I found that the latex as the first layer was a very good base for the shimmer paint. Wait just a few minutes for this layer to dry. It’s a very thin layer, so it dries quickly.
4. Use a stencil brush (these have a flat brush head) to tamp in the second color in alternating patterns. Be sure to offload the brush onto a paper towel each time. You honestly use miniscule amounts of stencil creme. I didn’t even use half of one jar!
5. Remove the stencil, and use a fine point artist brush to go back over each color separately and make the design as sharp as possible.
6. Repeat on each riser. Work from the top of the stairs down to the bottom so you aren’t climbing over the wet stuff.
7. When finished, protect your design with one or two layers of matte water-based polyurethane. This doesn’t change the color or sheen at all, but will protect your design from dents and dings for longer. I had a hard time deciding which one to use, but I was super happy with Minwax Satin Polycrylic (water based)
Protective Finish in Clear Satin. Again, I only used half of a 1/2 pt can for all fourteen risers.
Working with stencils can be time consuming, and it’s definitely all about the details, but one of the things I like best is the fact that you can customize your project as much as you’d like. As a surprise to these homeowners, I stenciled a drum lampshade in the same design for them. You can see other lampshade stencil projects I did here.
I will not lie, this projects took hours. And hours. But it was so worth it. Every time I visit, they tell me how they love it more and more each day, and how many of their neighbors absolutely love the stencil designs.
Help me out here. It can be hard to keep writing these articles in summer, not knowing if anyone is reading or inspired by them.
Have you done something amazing to your stairs?
Are you inspired by these modern stencils?
Please comment below! Thanks.
This Post Has 16 Comments
Absolutely gorgeous, Darla! 🙂
Thanks, Joann. Lots of color!
Darla–the stairs are gorgeous! Where did you find the stencil, or did you order online?
Thanks for reading, Carol. The company that makes the stencil is Royal Design Studio Stencils, and the link for this item is just below the first picture in the article. Let me know if you end up recreating this project. I’d love to see it.
I am still thinking about these stairs days later! I so love this! Now I just need to get a 2 story house so I can do this! Love them so much!
That’s so sweet of you to say. Thanks! I’m sure you have at least one step you can stencil. Maybe the pull down attic stairs? (If you get aaalllll of your projects done and start decorating the attic stairs, call me and we’ll both have a good chuckle!)
Beautiful, classy and elegant … have to paint my basement stairs (putting house on market); we have open risers, but will adapt your idea to edge of stairs so they are clearly “differenated” and you can see where to step! Was not happy with thought of some kind of reflective tape. Thanks for taking the time to share.
Great idea!I’ve had some of those sneaky tricky stairs in client’s homes before, and stenciling a narrow design on the bullnose or top edge would be a great way to make them a little safer. Good luck with your project.
These stairs look wonderful. We have been contemplating a change on our now carpeted stairs. I have done quite a bit of stenciling in the past so this might just be the answer. I really like the hint of shimmer.
Thanks for stopping by. Once you see what’s under that carpet, you’ll never want carpet on stairs again. Good luck!
You have just blown me away ! ! ! These risers look phenomenal. I can appreciate how long it took you and the time it took you to re-tape the stencils over and over on the risers. However, the end result is absolutely gorgeous and so different. You should be very proud of yourself. I am putting this in my favorite “Hometalk” folder for future reference. Good job, and I love it.
Carol, thanks so much for stopping by. I hope this inspires you with your own projects!
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I really like your stairs all of them looks awesome 🙂
Thank you. Stairs are really a fun place to decorate.
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