Creative ideas for stairs and runners

Check out these stylish treatments for your stairs

If you don’t want traditional full-carpet on your stairs, fear not, there are plenty of alternatives, including smart runners and exciting ideas for painted stairs.

Nothing will offer the softness and firm footing of carpet, but the best alternatives are to paint, or sand and seal the stairs. There are lots of clever ways to introduce design elements, such as using one colour for the treads and another for the risers. Alternatively, you could paint on a stair runner, like this staircase that’s been painted using Farrow & Ball floor paint (above). The main part of the floor is in Dove Tale No.267 and the stripes are in Babouche No. 223, Mahogany No. 36 and Arsenic No. 214.

Another alternative to full carpet is a runner, which will provide much-needed grip and texture. Roger Oates has a wide range of wool flatweave runners that are hand finished in the UK using traditional techniques and come in different colours and designs, including Fitzroy in Black (above).

Becoming more popular is the application of vinyl stickers over painted risers – we’ve seen quite a few creatively styled ‘bookend’ stairs cropping up recently too. Stickers can be bought from Not On The High Street and are applied easily, but add a coat of clear varnish to seal and protect your handywork.

If you decide to paint your stairs and you have pets or children, be aware that anyone coming in with wet feet might make the surface slippery. To prevent this add Rust-Oleum Non-Skid Additive 400, which has a floury consistency, to a water-based floor paint. You need 100g for every litre of paint, which will give a smooth eggshell finish with better grip. If you prefer to sand the wood, apply Valtti Multi Non-Slip wood oil afterwards. This has a matt finish with good grip and can be used on stained timber, too. Both products are available from Holman Specialist Paints.

To create a look similar to this blue painted runner (above), apply a base coat and let it dry. Next, map out your pattern using a steel ruler and pencil. For crisp, straight lines apply masking tape before painting and leave the paint to dry fully before you remove the tape.


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