Painted Stairs and Adding Runners

You’ve all watched as my stairs transformed before your very eyes and we ripped that old carpet off and added new pine stair treads and new risers as well.  I knew that I could make the stairs look pretty and had every intention of adding a runner, just like I did in my old house.  I loved how that one turned out so much and wanted to repeat the pretty again.

In came Dash and Albert runners with a blessing from Wayfair.com and I received the runners for my stairs from them as a gift.  Of course, they knew I’d be blogging about it and spreading the word, so it’s a win-win for both of us. ;)

BB-stairs_thumb.jpg

Here are my main stairs after ripping off the nasty old carpet.  That was one of the first things I did.

stairs-down.jpg

Here they are in progress and you can see the painted pine stair treads going on, as well as new white risers. Befire-and-After-painted-pine-stairs.jpg

You can see the entire tutorial on ripping up carpet and adding new stairs.  That totally updated the stairs and I would be really happy with painted stairs, but I definitely wanted to soften them up with runners.  I found these Dash and Albert runners online at Wayfair.com and they are perfect for my renovation.  They are indoor/outdoor and should be very durable and clean up nicely.

Shurtape carpet tape

I knew that I’d be using an electric staple gun for this project, but had a lightbulb moment when I thought about getting some double sided carpet tape that I found at Lowes.  This is really pretty sticky and I thought it might help to keep my runner in place.

I decided to leave 5 inches on each side of my runner for the stairs to show.  I have 3 stairs in this house, the foyer being the widest.  On the foyer stairs, I left the runner intact, which is about 2.5 feet wide.  It was fine to leave a large expanse of wood showing on either side, so I used the full width of the runners.

On the other 2 stairs, though, they are different widths, so I visually looked and decided to leave 5 inches of painted stairs showing on either side of the runner.  That required me to get my other 2 runners cut down and bound on each side.  For the main stairs, I cut and bound them to 24″ and the other stairs going to the den, I cut and bound at 26″.

Does this make sense?  I wanted those 2 stairways to visually have 5″ of dark wood showing on either side, so that’s how I figured it out.  I took my runners to to a local place in Kennesaw, RBS,  that cuts and binds rugs and had them do it.  It cost me $60 to cut down all my runners and have them bound, which wasn’t bad at all.  They matched up the binding to what was on the ends of my runners and it all turned out great.   Hang on and you’ll see the finished stairs!

add tape to riser

So, to get started on putting these in, I added my double sided tape 5″ in from each side.  I added it to the back of the stairs, and to the very top of the first stair, outlining where I’d be putting the runner.

stair runner installed

I left the binding on the top of my runner and used it right against the base of the floor at the top step.  And I did add some staples to the top too, trying to hide them as best I could right at the edge of the binding and runner, as indicated by the arrows.  You really can’t see the staples unless you really get down and look for them.  Using the tape allowed me to use less staples.

adding carpet tape

You can see the part that I’ve already pulled off the backing, leaving a sticky strip to press the runner down on.  You’ll need scissors for this too.

electric stapler

Once you get the very top stair in place, then it’s time to wrap the runner over the nose of the stair and staple.  I pulled it taut and then just pressed the stapler up under the stair nose, stapling underneath every 2 inches or so, creating a tight fit on the runner and stair.  I did this method with each and every stair until I reached the bottom.

staple under stairs

Staple, add tape, and move on down.  Always start at the top and move down to the bottom, that’s what worked for me.  Then, at the bottom, you’ll cut off the excess runner.  On my longest stairs, I did have to piece this one together and I’ll show you how I did that too.  The other two just got trimmed off and the edges were tacked down.

cut under stair

So, I’ve moved all the way down as far as my runner will go on my longest stairs.  I wrapped it around the stair nose and then cut off the excess, stapling that all underneath.  You can see that these runners will ravel, that’s to be expected with a raw edge.  But, the new piece will cover that up.

One thing to be aware of.  Be sure and measure at least on one side as you are moving down the stairs to be sure you’re leaving the same amount of stairs showing all the way down. It’s easy to let the runner slide a little and that could throw off the runner an inch or more if you’re not careful.  Just throw a tape measure up every time you get to the next stair to be sure that the right amount of inches are showing on your stair.  You don’t want to get to the bottom and have it all wonky looking and out of line, do you?!

fold over top

Above is the extra little piece that I cut off this runner.  I had gone as far I could with the long runner and had one little piece left that I actually used too.  You will want to piece anything right under the stair nose and that will hide the staples and no one should ever know it was pieced if you do it well.

binding showing

Next, I took the extra piece that was going to finish these stairs off (I actually got 3 long runners and then had to get an extra 2×3 rug which finished out my  long stairs).  I got all of these bound at 24″, so it worked out fine for these stairs.  This piece was my extra 2×3 rug.

turn under binding

Instead of cutting off that binding, I simply turned it under.  It will be stapled right under the stair and it’s about the 3rd stair up on my staircase, so no one will see that it’s been pieced even though that binding adds a little bit of thickness there.  With the double sided tape in place and stapling, I got it on nice and tight.

piece under stair

I moved on down the last two stairs until I got to the very bottom.  The rug just fit under the last stair without cutting any of the binding off.  I didn’t have enough to go down to the bottom of the riser, so I used the other small piece that I had cut off above.

place under stair and staple

I fit that piece on at the bottom and ran it right above my quarter round molding next to the stairs, leaving the binding intact.  Once I got that in place, I simply turned under the top of the rug to hide the raveling edge and then stapled/taped this little piece into place.

bottom stair

And ta-da!  Done!  I’ve got all 3 stairs finished now and they look wonderful.  See can you tell where I’ve pieced the rugs?  You can’t, can you?  It’s barely noticeable and using tape and staples, the runners are on there pretty tight.  I don’t think I’ll have a lot of problem with them moving, but if they start to loosen up with wear, I’ll just add some more staples.

main stairs looking up

Here’s the longest staircase all finished from the bottom looking up.

main stairs

And from the top looking down.

den stairs down

The den stairs got the exact same treatment.  This runner is so pretty and I think will be a good choice.  Very neutral.  You can see the binding that the rug company put on, it turned out really nice.

den stairs up

From the den looking up.

foyer stairs

And the foyer stairs with no binding.  Again, I left these as they were and didn’t need to cut them down since these stairs are extra wide coming in the front door.

foyer stairs up

I absolutely LOVE how they all turned out, exactly as I had it in my head all those months ago.

living room looking to stairs

I love that there are ways to make stairs look pretty these days without spending a fortune on hardwood stairs.  So glad I went this route and painted my stairs and added runners.  To me, they look so sophisticated and beautiful.

What do you think? 

Do you have some stairs that need a makeover? 

I did a very similar painted stairs with runner treatment in my old house and loved those too.  I expect that I’ll love this one even more!

Joining Traci’s party and Beth’s this month!


- Rhoda


Comments

  1. pam clark says:

    looks marvelous!

  2. I was hoping you would blog about the runners as I peaked at them in your Open House post! I absolutely love them. I, too, have a split entry so I am thinking that I COULD do this! Mr. Spouse sounds as if he is stomping going up and down the stairs!

    It is beautiful!

  3. I wish I had stairs – ugly or not!

    They look fabulous, Rhoda. :)

    I really enjoyed the Hometalk chat on Twitter last night. Thanks for your encouragement ;)

  4. Your house looks amazing! The before and after pictures are stunning. I just adore your style! :)

  5. Your skills have def improved with doing stuff, Rhoda! I went back and looked at your first go in your old house, and this time round everything looks v. professional. I think I may take this idea up for my own stairs, as we have side to side carpet currently, and after 10 years, I am yearning for a new one!

  6. I absolutely love how they turned out! I love the print on the rugs, so chic but still neutral

  7. Lovely! This is my top project on the list of “to do’s” this year. My basement is newly remodeled but the stairs are bare with contractor’s magic marker showing measurements and dimensions from when the house was built. I also want to stencil the cement floor so I have lots to tackle…thank you for posting, your home is so beautiful. I spent a lot of time on your blog last night getting ideas :)

  8. I LOVE this project! It looks great and so professional too. :)

  9. Oh wow… I love what you did to your stairs! This makes me wish I had stairs!

  10. Rhoda, this looks great! You have had so many amazing transformations in your home! Thanks for the awesome tutorial!

  11. Malinda Clay says:

    These look AWESOME!
    Great job on the stairs and everything else in your beautiful home. It’s just wonderful. So proud for you.

  12. Fabulous!

  13. I love how you added the runners – they look awesome! Thanks for the tutorial — I definitely need to do this with the stairs to our basement!

  14. Mary in Idaho says:

    Love your blog and enjoy all the beautiful creative things you are doing to your home. Hoping to begin receiving emails again reminding me of your new posts. They are a wonderful reminder to check out what you are up to! :)

  15. It is just gorgeous and brilliant! Never heard of carpet tape, might need to use that in our family room. I must have missed the fabulous front door, love the pop of color!
    XO
    Kristin

  16. Hummm……I’m not
    finding the pictures
    along with the text…….
    Is it just me????

  17. Rhoda those look so pretty i remember how your other stairs turned out and these are just as pretty.they are so sleek and pretty.My best friend and i would have loved to come to your open house but we live in the Little Rock area and was a little far for us. however i would have loved being there i know it was pretty. your stairs are so pretty i know you are enjoying them so much i would love to do this to my stairs . You have done such a pretty job on everything Rhoda it is very pretty!

  18. I absolutely love this. It looks fantastic. Great job on your part!
    xo Nancy
    Powellbrowerhome.com

  19. Rhoda, your stair project is beautiful. I have been reading your blog since discovering it this past fall, and love the creative ideas you implement so well. I have a practical problem with my stair risers, which I have been wanting to cover for several years and did not know what to use until reading your post. (Discovered poorly-stained-by-builder treads when we moved into house, but that’s another story.) Now that I know what and how to ‘cover the ugly,’ risers, I am dead serious when I ask: Does a small brad nailer require an air compressor? I would appreciate your answer–I know very little about tools and need to do these jobs myself. Thank you for sharing your projects. (BTW, I live in the neighboring state you left to begin your new life, and we hope to soon be about 100 miles south of where you are now.) I am trying to spiff up the present homestead so we can leave here later this year to be closer to our family. You have given your readers inspiration and courage.

    • Cissy, yes, you would need an air compressor for any nail gun. They are worth it if you’re doing many projects like this.

  20. Paula Lusk says:

    Looks great! Thank you for sharing how you did them.

  21. Anita Rudzinski says:

    I love your blog!!! I am disapointed that there are no longer any pictures. Don’t know if that is intentional or just something weird going on. Thx!!

  22. Hi Rhoda,
    I’m sure they look great but no pics here. Could it be aol?

  23. Carolyn Roach says:

    No pictures here either and I so want to see them. I’ve been following your renovation and have thoroughly enjoyed the process. Maybe not quite as much as you and your dad. ha

  24. Hi yall! I have posted several times that I’m having server issues which is affecting my Feeds and apparently the reason why you all are not seeing the pics (I can see them just fine!). I’m working on moving to another server, so please be patient & come back! I’ll still be posting!

  25. Anita Rudzinski says:

    Thx. I was looking originally at the post from the open house party. That was when I first realized the pics weren’t posted. I also noticed the header is totally different. Thx for your concern. Will definitely be back!!

  26. These look very professional and beautiful! Did you place any staples at the back of the runners to work with the tape? My stairwell is on the project list so I’ll be referring back to your posts!

  27. Girl, you’ve outdone yourself on this entire home!! So proud of and for you!
    xoxo,
    shaunna

  28. Rhoda, I am so happy you posted this…I have remodeled every square of my “old farm” house but I have been waiting to to the stairs last. Your post is exactly what I need to get me moving! As always, you did an amazing job! You are such an inspiration!
    ~~~rhonda~~~

  29. This looks fabulous! I did a similar project when I was in Marietta – only I was 5 months pregnant and very uncomfortable going up and down those stairs!
    I’ve re-listed your post on my sidebar hoping it will work better. I haven’t been getting the updates lately. Hope it works now!

  30. Lady Delores LeBoeuf says:

    They look FAB – I think that look of a runner on stairs is much more of a sofisticated look than fully carpeted, mine are fully carpeted and plan to change them with a runner. Looks like an electric stapler came in handy for this job…Im gonna need one of them to.o Thnx for sharing, I am always inspired by your fotos…Love & Blessings…

  31. Mary in Idaho says:

    Sorry for your technical problems. We all have them. We will stick with you until they are fixed. We enjoy your blog and all the beautiful things you have done with your “new” house. I also can’t see the pics in this posting, but will check them out when all is set to rights. Blessings.

  32. Your house is lovely Rhoda and the stairs look fabulous.

    I am not getting anything from your blog and I really miss it. Thanks!

    Mary L

  33. Hi Rhoda
    guessing your still having blog problems. Not getting in my email and I googled it and can see its not coming out right here either. :(

  34. I was “introduced” to you by my dear friend Shirley. Just read your “part 1″ blog. What an inspiration you are. I too have seen the marvelous works of the Lord!

  35. Thank you so much for this tutorial! It gave me great inspiration for my moms stairs.
    xo

  36. OMG ,I’ve been using duct tape to hold my foyer rug down as our golden retriver puppy loves to chew the corners up &eat the duct tape..the LOWES sticky tape is on my p.m. Trip today.thanks Rhoda.love love the stairs..

  37. Oh yes, your stairs all turned out gorgeous! I do have stairs that could benefit from this treatment, thanks for showing how doable this is for a beginner. What a fantastic job, I love it!
    Debbie :)

  38. Lovely choice so neutral I love the look, what a diff that binding makes huh ?

    All the best,
    Kathy

  39. Lucky for me I did get the pictures! Turns out I am in the middle doing to my stairs what you have done to yours. I understand how you varied the sizing from staircase to staircase. My stairs do not vary like yours do so I won’t have that issue. Lowe’s has some great looking runners sold by the foot that I have seen and am interested in. Are the the Wayfair .com runners discounted? I know what a great shopper you are and how much do you think you saved doing all the labor yourself. It looks fabulous! J

  40. wow! I love the look of this runner and the detail of add the bound end at both ends is genius! I’ve never heard of the company you got it from but will for sure check them out. Thank you so much for sharing. Little Bit from http://www.DecorateWithaLittleBit.com

  41. Carolyn Roach says:

    Rhoda, please give me some details on the houndstooth rug at your front door. I love it and would like some size like it in black and white checks. Thanks.

    • Carolyn Roach says:

      Rhoda, I would appreciate it if you would email me sometime with details about the area rug at your front door, the houndstooth one in aqua. I love that one and like the size of the checks. However, when I’ve looked at Wayfair it seems the only rugs in the oversized checks are large area rugs which I don’t need. How can I find one the size of yours or a bit larger just not room size. Thank you so much.

  42. these look amazing! I’ve always wanted a two story house just to decorate the stairs. Runners, garlands at Christmastime, gallery walls…stairs are so charming.

  43. Michelle says:

    Hi Rhoda,
    Your runner looks amazing, and you have inspired me to do the same. Question about the stapling – with the double sided tape, did you only need to staple under the nose? If you had to staple in other places, how many staples per tread did you use, and did you paint the staples?
    Thanks,
    Michelle

    • HI, Michelle, I stapled mostly under the stair nose, but I did add just a few at the very back against the back of the stair next to the risers and a few coming out on the edge of the runner too. Just where I felt needed a little extra sticking power. So far they are holding up well. I did paint the top of my staples too to better blend in with the runner. You really can’t see them that much. I did add a few staples at the very top of my runner too to hold it in place along with the tape underneath.

  44. Can u please tell me what color you painted the stairs? Is it dark brown or black?

  45. Nikki Lindquist says:

    Thank you so much, I love it! You’ve inspired me to replace our carpeted stairs with laminate flooring on the landing and painted stairs. I just finished installing the laminate on the landing and it looks awesome. Now on to painting the stairs!

  46. How did I miss this Rhoda!!!? I just saw it over on pinterest :) Nicely done and super creative :)

  47. kim mcnamar says:

    Love your stairs and runners. We are getting ready to rip out carpet (an off white color with 2 children and 1 dog in the house doesn’t work out well!). Anyways, I want to remove carpet from the stairs but was scared to find what was beneath. However, now I have some confidence that I can “fix” them and make it look nice. Also, I really love the color and texture of your flooring that you can see in your photos. Would you be so kind to tell me what brand, color, etc they are. We are going to lay new flooring after we remove the carpet! Thank You. I enjoyed your blog. I came to your site via pinterest.

    • HI, Kim, thanks so much for coming by! My flooring is by Shaw Floors and is Broadmoor Mocha, 3 different width planks. I absolutely love my floors!

  48. They turned out gorgeous! I love the runners that you chose. They look beautiful with your flooring and stairs

  49. Mike Fattibene says:

    Has anyone put oak on refinished steps, including the rounded colonial-style bottom step? We’re having trouble finding someone who can handle the rounded part of the step and get the same oak on there that’s on the ‘straight’ part of the step.

  50. Rhoda, this looks fantastic! I have been really wanting to do a similar look with my stairs, but i have 3 ‘pie shaped’ steps that just have me buffaloed as to how to make the turns with a runner…do you have any suggestions or perhaps a DIY link for this?

    again, absolutely beautiful job!

    • HI, Beatriz, thanks so much. I have no idea how to handle a turn like that, but I bet there is something out there online.

  51. Hey Rhoda,
    Fellow Georgian here, even a native Atlantan, but now living in south Ga. Your stairs look awesome and I so want to do this at a condo at St Simons Island, GA. My question is this. How can I use these runners when I have a few stairs, a landing and then the long stretch of stairs to the 2nd floor???? It’s that darn landing that is throwing me! Any suggestions and your expertise would be appreciated!

    • Hi, Pam, how about doing each set of stairs separately and then leaving the landing bare? I think that would work. I would just leave the landing off and separate the sets of stairs.

  52. Absolutely beautiful! I so appreciate your tutorials and wealth of information. We are re-doing our stairs and I didn’t know how to explain to my husband what I envisioned until I saw these pics! Thank you for the inspiration! I have enjoyed your blog for years :)

  53. Wow, found your blog while researching how I am going to re-do my ugly ugly formerly green shag-carpeted stairs in my antique colonial’s hallway. This post is a great tutorial and the look I’m seeking. Scoping the runner color options on Wayfair right now. How has the runner held up? The outdoor rug option seems smart for durability. Thanks for the help and inspiration!

    • HI, Suzanne, my runners are holding up great, no problems at all. I highly recommend the outdoor option. Feels great but very durable.

  54. Hi Rhoda,

    Love the way your runner looks. You did a great job! I’m thinking about doing this to our stairs. Have you had any problem with the runner being slick?

    Thanks!

  55. Love your stairs. I keep looking at mine wanting to do something to them. Our hardwood floors are oak and are light in color sort of honey. I would love to paint them or the risers. Your carpet runner looks great on the stairs.

  56. Cristina says:

    Hi Rhoda…just wondering if the runners have to be bound to do this or if I can just cut them to size and not have it running down the bottom stair?

    Thanks!

    • If you’re talking about the edges, that’s the part I bound, going up and down but the other part, straight across, I did cut and turn under.

  57. Rachel says:

    Love love love this!!!

    I have a question … Would the carpet tape be removable or will it mess up the stairs if you try to remove it?
    I ask because I live in a rented house but would love to do something like this on my stairs … But it would have to be removable and not ruin the stairs for when we move out. We’ll be here for a minimum of 1 year maybe more.

    Thanks so much!!

    • Hi, Rachel, I’m not sure if the tape will leave residue as I haven’t taken it up. It might, but I think Goof Off would take off the tape residue and even it it took up some of the paint, that could be touched up.

  58. Love your stairs & you gave me an idea on doing my basement stairs but the carpeting covering them is pretty old. It’s short-nap late 70′s. I want to pull it off. Should I be worried about asbestos? Thanks for any suggestions.

    • Tricia, I’m not sure about that but I wouldn’t think the carpet would be asbestos. Maybe do some research, but I would surely yank it off!

  59. SarahBeth says:

    How has the double sided tape been holding up? I love the idea of the tape because I really don’t feel like using tack strips. Thank you so much for your ideas, they are great looking and easy enough for the average DIYer.

    • SarahBeth, the tape is holding up just fine. I have one set of stairs that sometimes shows a little pucker on the rug, but for the most part, it’s all still laying very flat and looks just as good as when I put it in.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] How to Add a Stairway Carpet Runner by Southern Hospitality. Great tutorial for anyone wanting to add a carpet runner to their staircase. [...]

  2. [...] PPainting Stairs and Adding a Runner by Rhoda from Southern Hospitality. [...]

  3. [...] New treads, risers, and a runner dress up this old staircase. All images in this post: Rhoda at Southern Hospitality [...]

  4. [...] Rhoda of Southern Hospitality (http://southernhospitalityblog.com/painted-stairs-and-adding-runners/) covered four staircases in her split-level home with gorgeous, diamond-pattern [...]

  5. [...] via Pinterest via Souther Hospitality [...]

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