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Stencils on the Rise!

 how to stencil on stair risers

Using stencils on stair risers is a surefire way to make your stairs stand out with a high-style decorating statement! There are many ways to dress up plain stair risers-including hand painting, decorative tile, lettering and typography, wallpaper, and even fabric! You can check them all out in our Pinterest board here. Allover pattern and border stencils, with their versatility and abundance of different design choices, provide perhaps the best option because they offer so many different options and can be used even by beginners-as you'll see!

stenciling on stair risers

We've been seeing stenciling on stair risers more and more, and think we may have had a hand in starting this trend when photos of this stair stenciling project based on henna patterns we did at Peacock Pavilions back in 2008 went viral on the design blogs. On our second trip to Marrakech in 2009 we tackled another stenciled staircase project-this time incorporating classic zellij tile patterns, which are now a part of our extensive Moroccan stencil collection. Just some of the stencils use here: Small Eight Pointed Stars, Bird Tile, Moroccan Scallops Stencil, and Hexagons Border Moroccan Stencil.

Moroccan stencils on stair risers

For this stencil project, we were fortunate that instead of working directly on the finished staircase we actually were able to stencil on plywood pieces that were cut to size and then later installed. If you or someone you love (or can hire) can efffectively measure and cut plywood panels to size-THIS is by far the easiest way to go. You can easily stencil on cut wooden boards and then install them with nails and/or glue and finish them off with caulk or small quarter-round molding. This particular stenciled stair riser project has inspired MANY others to do a similar treatment. Lets take a look....

stenciled stairs with Moroccan stencils

Decorative painter Carol Leonesio of Paintit was so smitten with our stair stenciling that she dreamed of finding a client who would want a similar look. Well, she got her wish, and was able to reinterpret the look in sunny yellow for a New England customer. The process is detailed out in this stencil post on Designamour. Carol kept her stencil selection to 4 designs and alternated them on the stairs: Shown here are Small Endless Moorish Circle, Moorish Fleur de Lis, Small Small Curved Connection, and Small Eastern Lattice.

stair riser stenciling with moroccan stencils

Another Royal Design Studio customer, Fanta Strauss, created this gorgeous stenciled staircase for her mother's house in a lovely array of coordinating colors using stencils from our Moroccan stencil collection. It's amazing what a different look this creates by incorporating color!

stenciled patterns on stairs with border stencils

Another colorful interpretation by FIRST TIME stenciler Karen Harrington incorporates a variety of Moroccan border stencils and other stencils plucked from our various collections. For this amazing stair transformation, Karen used these stencils: Barcelona Border, Daisy Chain, Eastern Tile, Large Florentine Grille, Minaret Border, Moroccan Star Border, and Tray Border.

So how about you? Is there a staircase in your life that could use a little more "life"? If you don't have a second story in your home think also about stenciling basement stairs and outdoor stairs.

Looking for more stencil and creative paint inspiration?

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  • I want to stencil the ugly concrete out on the patio under the table. love the look!

  • how to create something interesting on a wooden riser of a front porch on a log cabin? Want something a little more decorative that the plain wood riser but not anything TOO different, want it to look as if its part of the outdoors…..

    lynn marie
  • Charlee, there are many different projects here-mostly by our customers-so not possible to give you paint colors, but any good quality paint would work and then you would topcoat it with several layers of water-based urethane for protection.


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