Painted Staircase Ideas and Inspiration

For some people, stairs are simply a vehicle to get from one floor level to the next. And then there are some of us who view stairways as a potential work of art. They can add architectural beauty to a home. An easy way to customize a stairwell is with paint. Here’s a few painted staircase ideas to get your wheels spinning on what to do in your own home.

Pale blue and white come together to create a fresh staircase in an old Colonial home.

Country Style Painted StaircasePhoto by Wilson Kelsey Design


A pretty Victorian stairway has painted risers and stained treads.

Victorian Painted StaircasePhoto by Handcrafted Builders Inc.


If you’re feeling ambitious, consider painting stripes or another pattern on your stair risers. You could also get this same look with wallpaper.

Striped Painted StaircasePhoto by Home Cocoon


Painting a runner is another fun painted staircase idea. Stencil numbers on the risers or adhere actual house numbers on the step!

Painted Staircase with Runner and NumbersPhoto by Rita May


There’s no reason you need to stick to one or two colors when painting a staircase. This cottage staircase looks fun and cute in pastel tones.

Painted Staircase in Pastel TonesPhoto by Polsky Perlstein Architects


A bright blue painted runner livens up a traditional staircase.

Navy Blue Painted Runner on White StaircasePhoto by Dulux Paint


Some historic homes (like my own) might have a well-worn stairway. A fresh coat of paint is a great way to hide some of the flaws.

Colonial Home Painted Staircase in Mustard YellowPhoto by Cummings Architects


Consider a monochromatic scheme for your stairwell. This pretty Victorian staircase is peaceful and calm.

Light Gray Painted Victorian StaircasePhoto by A.Jennison Interiors


An all white painted Scandinavian staircase gets a touch of fun with vintage books set at each step. Plants, flowers, vases, and more can easily take the place of the books for decorations on the stairs.

All White Scandinavian Style StairwayPhoto by Antoine Fortin


A cozy staircase in painted in brown and white adds a punch of charm with a built-in bookcase.

Staircase with Built-In BookcasePhoto by Nicola O’Mara Interior Design


If you have a painted staircase, what color(s) did you use?

And if you don’t have paint on your stairs, would you ever consider painting them?


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  1. I don’t have a staircase, but somehow that doesn’t keep me from having an opinion … 🙂 I think the wallpapered risers, especially with the new no paste, removable wallpapers on the market now, is an amazing idea to add some personality – especially to well-worn stairs. I’m anxious to see other readers’ opinions who do have staircases. This was a very interesting post.

  2. Hubby removed carpeting due to stains. We now have an all white staircase and it works great even with our 98 lb dog. Some re-painting will be necessary over time. But it’s infinitely better painted vs. carpet.

  3. This is a project I plan to take on now that Christmas is over. Unfortunately, I know the condition of the steps are in dire need of repair. I’m looking at it as a great pandemic project.
    Wish me luck as I’m not sure how well my two knee replacements will handle it. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right?

  4. Mine are painted a dark blue to match the wall alongside. I have to slide down the wall now that my body is disabled so we used a gloss (for easy gliding) in a dark color (so any discoloration won’t be so noticeable). The risers are white, and the rest of the room is bright bright yellow. It is used as a library so there are also a few books on the lower steps to the side.

  5. This was an interesting post. We have carpet on our stairs going up to the bonus room. In time, we will definitely be ripping that up and putting down hard wood. I will possibly paint the risers, but the wallpaper sounds like a great idea too. Thanks, Jennifer.

  6. All of the stairs you have shown are very unique. I liked all of them. We have carpet on our stairway, mostly, because the sons made so much noise going up and down. LOL We may make some changes later when we know our boys/men or settled.

  7. If I could just have one, I’d take what ever they would give me. I would love to have a little room with a window up a stairway.

  8. They all look lovely and it is obviously the modern thing to do but isn’t it a little dangerous and slippery and noisy, plus the stairs would get scuffed very easily and req6lots of maintenance

  9. We’ve recently done ours with grey handrails and white spindles. Took a very long time as we had to use Zinzer to cover the old brown stain and more than a couple of layers of paint. Spindles very fiddly but what a difference….should have done it years ago!!

  10. It is very easy and cheap to make a carpeted stair runner with 2×5 carpet runners and a $30 staple gun from your local hardware store. It is alot safer and scuff proof as well as comfortable and you can dress it up with paint.