Guys if I can do this DIY while in my third trimester with four little boys – anybody can. TRUST ME. It’s super simple, makes a huge impact and is completely removable if you are renting, prone to changing your decor or simply hate anything permanent. My kids have seriously convinced me that Sharpies are the devil’s work…so I understand.
Okay…so How to Wallpaper stairs! It is all the rage….everyone and their neighbor, sister and cousin have done this and I am slow to jump on the wallpaper train…but I LOVE the end result. Before my stairs were painted white, we had done a huge gallery wall stairway and all that. But once we had it painted, it was fairly minimal with white risers…
I have one of those curved staircases that is really weird to decorate around…with a half wall and a little alcove in the middle….
Like I said – once it was painted, we took all the stuff off the walls (honestly the kids didn’t mess with the photos but as we add to the family, we realized that there is a certain level of temptation there and it’s better to not tempt fate with toddler level picture frames). The risers are white and they did show marks occasionally but I can’t blame the kids…they rarely wear shoes inside and never up the stairs….so that is all on me and Jer. But the space felt sparse and like it needed a little attention.
I ordered three rolls of this gold and white wallpaper (it’s completely removable and wipeable with a damp paper towel)…only used two but didn’t know how far it would go (aka how many mistakes I would make)….
And gathered my tools. I learned a lot from our first wallpaper adventure (here is the video to how we did it!)…
And even if you don’t need all of these, they were helpful for me so I listed them.
The first thing I did was measure the riser in length and added about three inches. Then I measured the height of the riser (above the quarter round and to the underside of the step) and added one inch.
Then I would do a dry fit….meaning I would leave the backside on the wallpaper to make sure the piece would fit. My steps sometimes had different sizes (like if they ran into a column or had no quarter round) so I made sure that each one fit before exposing the sticky backside.
This wallpaper is like a giant sticker. If a wallpaper is described as ‘unpasted’ then it is NOT sticky. This wallpaper is ‘self-adhesive’ meaning it IS sticky – the back will have a thin liner that is removed to make it sticky. Not all self-adhesive wallpaper is created equally….if it doesn’t say ‘removable’ or ‘repositionable’ then you get one chance to stick it….and you can’t peel it back up and try again. I go for removable because I’m not confident in my wallpaper skills….I need second and third (and sometimes four) chances to get it just right. Also some wallpaper is made from different materials. I definitely like this vinyl version because it has a little give to it.
Once you peel the back off one end, apply the wallpaper to the right spot and then smooth slightly with your hand in the center. Then peel off the rest of the liner, being careful to press and smooth toward the end.
I liked to use a squeegee to smooth it out as I go. I would press from center UP first….
then from center DOWN. Then I would do the next section, pressing with my hand first, squeegee UP, then squeegee DOWN.
At the end, I would be left with something like this. The piece would completely cover the riser plus leave excess that could be trimmed with the knife (do you call it a box cutter? that’s what we call it.)
I’m not gonna lie…this takes some time. It took me a couple days of naps….but it immediately made such a great impact.
Now I love how it hides any little marks from Jeremy and me….and it adds JUST ENOUGH pattern and interest in an otherwise boring space.
And it’s still subtle…like it doesn’t scream “I’m a crazy steps lady”….so thats good. Nothing worse than being a crazy steps lady 🙂
But I have to admit…it makes me want to redo a few things in this area….like for one, I hate our hardwoods color. It’s very orange. But we had it priced out and it is a big expense so that will be one of those things that we should save for…especially since we are saving for a pool right now. In the meantime, I’m thinking I could do other little things…like building a cabinet for that alcove area…one that fits into all those crazy angles. And maybe do a different rug and maybe paint that door to the basement.
But for now, I am celebrating my little stair update because it is so happy!
The very last thing is…it took 2 rolls to do this whole stairway. I have 18 steps and I have about a half of a roll left over in case we ever get a Sharpie accident 🙂
And if you are interested – here are some of my favorite wallpapers! Happy DIYing y’all!
Love this look! Where did you find your “The 10 Commandments” you have hanging up?
Becky Johnson says
Love the stairs! Super cute idea! May I ask where you got the Ten Commandments wall hanging? I have been looking for one along the same line for quite a while to no avail.
I got it at Hobby Lobby! They still have them!
xo – kb
I found it at Hobby Lobby. Make sure you use your coupon if it’s not on sale!
xo – kb
Isabel Guerra says
Oh my gosh, this looks so great! You have such a good eye for decor! Congrats on getting it up in two nap times, although, how were yo not napping at this stage? 🙂
Wow! This looks great and it adds some nice visual interest. I just wish I had some stairs in my house at this point…
Amanda @ Love & Renovations says
Katie! This looks SO GOOD! I love the paper you chose, and it adds so much to this space. So, so cute.
Well…I get to sleep in…Jeremy does breakfast duties which saves me a ton of sleep!
xo – kb
I love it Katie! Looks great! I think you’ve convinced me to take a stab at wallpapering my powder room. It’s a small room, but it’s so boring right now. I didn’t realize you can buy wall paper than already has a sticky side and can be repositioned! I’m in love with the Palmetto paper, but I worry that will be too much for a small powder room.
I really like this! I spent a very long day painting my risers a gradient grey – only to have them totally scuffed and nasty looking within a month. We wear shoes in the house & my sons friends are up and down those steps constantly. Lesson Learned!!!
Going to start shopping for vinyl/repositionable paper ASAP 🙂
Lu Robinson says
Curious about your wood stairs and the boys (and adults) – have you ever had anyone have issues with slipping on them?
We currently have carpeted stairs which I admit are sometimes a little slippery themselves. Would love to have them changed over to match the hardwood floors downstairs but my husband is not totally on board.
The wallpaper looks great on them!
Actually we slip more on carpeted stairs….but I don’t know why that is. We aren’t really sock people…like we don’t walk around with just socks…it’s a lot of shoes with socks or barefoot. My parents have one staircase that is carpeted and one that is hardwood…and we always slip on the carpeted one so I never even thought of it.
xo – kb
YES! Please send me a before/after picture if you tackle it! I’d love to see it!
xo – kb
Looks great! Would you mind sharing where you got the rug that is in the photos with your supplies??
That’s our playroom rug and it’s from Target!
xo – kb
You look like a BABE in your wallpaper picture — wish I could look that good pregnant!!!
The stairs look great!
Just wanted to tell you about 20 years ago I “tiled” our master bedroom floor 24×24 inch squares using wood grain wallpaper. I think I was first , in all the world.haha .It has held up. A couple of times I used a poly sealer over it to refresh the shine.
You are such a wonder woman, girl!
I don’t think your hardwoods look orange at all?! They look medium in tone.
This looks great!! Who knew I was so on trend? I just did this with contact paper/shelf liner a couple of weeks ago. I did an alternating pattern so I possible am a crazy stairs lady! Ha. I don’t know how to post a picture otherwise I totally would.
**correcting email address. Oops
Linda Grubbs says
So cool! Simple but beautiful!
Just a quick tip – Soft Scrub with Bleach will remove permanent marker from just about anything. I ALWAYS kept it on hand when my kids were little! Love the stairs – I’m going to try this.
Looks great. I just bought some wallpaper to do the same thing to my basement risers!
Now this time in my house has carpet stairs. Due to the carpet, we are unable to fix sticker. A number of time i have told my father to replace the carpet with the sticker. He does not admit. I hope i will convince my father at sicker soon. The sticker looks awesome over the stairs.