How to beautify stairs with wallpaper
1 Upcycle stairs
Stairs are one of the most important components of a house, their functional purpose being the connection between one floor and another. But that doesn't mean that their design and appearance should be neglected, as they are in our field of vision on a daily basis - sufficient reason to give a staircase that has seen better days a fabulous make-over.
Patterned wallpaper provides a great visual focus, and creative designers have a plethora of opportunities to really let the artistic juices flow, for instance with wallpaper cut-offs or scraps in various patterns and colours, in order to create a beautiful work of art. When it comes to beautifying objects with wallpaper, as with all interior decoration, the idea is that the design will complement the environment in a harmonious and eye-catching manner. Feel free to experiment, but take into consideration that the design should delight you every day and needs to be adapted to the general style of the immediate environment.
Wallpaper is only applied to step risers not step treads. Staircases always comprise of step risers and step treads. The tread is the surface you step on, the step riser is the area directly in front and we will call it "front face" in our instructions.
Details of how to wallpaper the step risers are included in our instructions. Some images in our instructions are identical with those in the article "How to decorate furniture with wallpaper". The reason is that a few of the processes are also identical. Of course you won't be able to put the steps on your trestle table! You'll have to work in situ. This note is simply to save you from possible frustration!
2 Measuring the front face of steps
First you need to measure the front face of the steps horizontally and vertically and apply them to your wallpaper.
3 Prepare wooden steps by sanding them down
To achieve the best possible adhesion, the front face needs to be sanded down and cleaned.
4 Apply wallpapering paste to the front face surface
The application of wallpapering paste depends on what type of wallpaper you choose. For non-woven wallpapers, you apply the wallpaper paste directly to the front face of the wooden step.
5 Pre-Cut wallpaper and mount
Cut the wallpaper according to your measurements and apply it using a spatula. Move from the inside out to let air escape and avoid bubbles.
For paper-based wallpapers, first cut the pieces of wallpaper, then apply the paste to the paper and let it soak according to the instructions on your wallpapering paste packaging. Applying the wallpaper to the step is exactly the same as with non-woven wallpaper types.
For step risers made of polished natural stone ike marble or granite, we recommend using double-sided adhesive tape as wallpaper paste will not stick to those surfaces. Apply the tape to the sides of the front face (see the image in our instruction How to decorate furniture with wallpaper), then carefully position the wallpaper piece onto one side and slowly move on to the other side, using a spatula to avoid air bubbles and creases.
6 Apply a layer of transparent latex paint to protect the wallpaper
As a finishing touch, the newly decorated steps are sealed with a layer of transparent latex paint. This ensures that your beautiful new stairs will remain untarnished for a long time, dirt can't stick to them and they are also protected against discolouration.
It also means that you can wipe the stairs with a wet cloth, as usual.