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If I told you I’d transformed my staircase with just paint and leftover wallpaper, would you believe me? Probably not, but with a little time and patience I did exactly that. My staircase makeover cost next to nothing, and the results are even better than I predicted. Do you fancy giving your staircase a new lease of life? You’re in the right place – here’s how, and why, I did it.
In the image above you’ll see my staircase before I unleashed my inner DIY genius. When we moved in a couple of months ago, I pulled up the carpet throughout the house and replaced it with gorgeous Rich Grey Oxford Carpet from Online Carpets. However, I didn’t carpet the stairs, instead I chose paint the wood. The gloss on the banister and spindles was yellow and flaking. It all needed some love, so I grabbed my sandpaper and paintbrushes and set to work. You are probably wondering why I didn’t just carpet the stairs and re-gloss. The truth is I wanted something a little bit different, something that added personality to such a bland part of the house.
Before I began I cleaned each stair, the banister and every single spindle with Elbow Grease (aff) to remove any dirt and grime. Then, using medium grit sandpaper (aff) I sanded each step thoroughly to create a smooth surface, I also carefully removed any protruding carpet remnants and pieces of metal. Once every step had been sanded, I cleaned the steps once again with Elbow Grease.
With the boring part done, I started to make the magic happen. Using specialist floor paint (aff) I painted in two halves to allow myself and the children to be able to walk up and down the stairs. I let the left side dry for a day or so before painting the right side, I’d highly recommend doing this if you have children.
The floor paint linked above is fantastic, just one coat of paint offered amazing coverage, I didn’t have to apply a second coat as I had planned. I then added stair treads to reduce the risk of slipping.
Wallpaper on the stairs sounds like a strange combination, but it is actually brilliant for creating a unique stair case. There are thousands of design ideas on Pinterest including decals and geometric paint. I recently wallpapered our living room/dining area to create a feature wall, so, using PVA glue and the leftover strips of grey brick effect wallpaper (aff) I wallpapered the stair risers.
Again the results were better than I had expected and it tied together the two parts of the room beautifully. Our stairs are one of the first things you see when you walk through our front door. They take up a fair amount of the left side of our living room, so tying the stairs together with the right side of the room was a stroke of genius. I’m not bragging… honest! OK I am, it really does look brilliant.
As soon as the wallpapered risers were dry, I started work on phase 3 of my staircase makeover. I’m pretty sure the banister and spindles hadn’t seen a lick of gloss or paint for at least half a decade. It was seriously in need of some TLC. Mia had taken to picking off small sheets of flaking gloss which was driving me insane – enough is enough, it was time to transform it and make it stand out in a positive way rather than a negative way.
I wanted to avoid using gloss as much as possible during my staircase makeover. Its not something I’ve ever used but plenty of people have told me what a nightmare it is to use. I already had a 2L tub of furniture paint in the cupboard, B&Q GoodHome Long Island furniture paint, so I decided to use that. Whats the worst that would happen? I figured if it didn’t take well, I’d just gloss over it.
The good news is, it was amazingly easy to apply and the coverage is fantastic, even over gloss. I didn’t sand this part before I painted, I just gave it all a quick clean with Elbow Grease as I did the steps and risers.
I kept the spindles white to break up the grey a little. Eventually I’ll re-gloss them to make them stand out. It took just 2 coats of furniture paint to cover the parts of the banister that I wanted to paint and it dried incredibly quickly. It is recommended that you leave 12 hours between coats but I left approximately 8 hours between my first and second coat with no issues. I still can’t believe how much better the banister looks, it looks brand new and far more modern.
To avoid the paint chipping or scuffing, I coated each painted element with two layers of Rust-Oleum Crystal Clear Spray Lacquer (aff). Et voila, it was done. A staircase makeover to be proud of, I’m so chuffed with how well it turned out.
Furniture paint leftover from another project: £0
Elbow Grease: £1
Stair treads: £14
Wallpaper leftover from another project: £0
Floor paint: £12
Spray lacquer: £6
Total cost – £34