Painted stair runners are a design element that will highlight your steps without the need for carpeting. However, this project requires a certain amount of precision for best results. For this reason, plan on spending a weekend to complete this project.
Before beginning this project, paint the entire staircase with two coats of a high quality floor paint suitable for wood. Once the staircase is completely dry, you can start laying out the perimeter of the painted stair runner.
Step 1: Draw the perimeter of the stair runner using a pencil and a metal straight edge. You may also use a carpenter’s square to make sure that the stair runner is perfectly perpendicular to the stair tread.
Step 2: Apply painter’s tape to the pencil marks, creating an edge for painting.
Step 3: Scuff sand the area between the painter’s tape with sandpaper to ensure that the paint will adhere. Use a tack cloth to remove any dust.
Step 4: Cut in around the edges covered with painter’s tape using a small roller or foam brush and floor paint in the color you have chosen for your stair runner.
TIP: For best results, completely paint two steps at a time, then continue painting the stair runner. This will prevent the need for you to spend a lot of time waiting for the paint to dry so you can work on the stairs.
Step 5: Paint the stair runner using a paint roller and the floor paint. Allow the paint to dry slightly and then remove the painter’s tape while the paint is still slightly damp. This will help prevent chipping of the paint.
TIP: You may need to apply a couple of coats of paint before removing the painter’s tape to ensure that the stair runner is opaque. If this is the case, you may want to use a razor to cut between the painter’s tape and any paint on the tape to prevent chipping.
Step 6: Touch up any areas on the painted stair runner using a small paintbrush. Allow the painted stair runner to dry completely before continuing.