Ideas for Stenciling a Wooden Staircase

Written by megan shoop
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Ideas for Stenciling a Wooden Staircase
Decorate your home staircase with stencilled designs. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

When decorating staircases, many homeowners think about decorating the walls leading up the case or the banisters and railings. However, stencilling the steps themselves can have a big impact, especially if you can see the stairs straight on from the front door. If you want to impress guests with your personal style, start in the foyer with stencilled stairs.

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Damask Elegance

Contemporary stencil choices range from the dated versions of geese and ducks to elaborate, intricately detailed damask stencils. Damask features lacy, repeating designs that add a touch of Victorian flare to your home.

Matching damask to your personal style is mostly a matter of colour. If you're a true Victorian, add iridescent cream or gold damask to the fronts of your steps. If your style is contemporary, pick white along with a bold colour like red, black or yellow. Steampunks could benefit from choosing two colours of brown while Goth romantics may enjoy dove grey along with a dusty lavender.

Number the Stairs

Whether you're a true contemporary modernist or your children just need help in the counting department, numbers on the stairs add a bold, yet whimsical touch. The trick to matching number stencils to your tastes is choosing a font.

If your designs are subtle and minimalist, choose smaller numbers with a very simple, easy-to-read font. Place them in the corners of the stair fronts. For a splashier design, pick big simple or elaborate fonts. Simple fonts always say contemporary, while fancier fonts hint at a love of the picturesque.

Message Me

In this modern era of electronic messaging of all sorts, it's appropriate to apply this concept to your stair fronts, as well. You may choose a simple message like "Welcome to My Home," when your guests ascend. You can also use a verse from your favourite poem, a message in your native or favourite language, or use true texting speak for technophile style. Font matters with these messages; keep the letters large and easy to read. Use scrolled fonts for a traditional decor and straight, simple fonts for minimalist and contemporary designs.

No Two the Same

If you find several stencils you love and you just can't decide on one, use them all. Repeating, alternating, or all different designs can say a lot about how you think and choose to express yourself. Using many stencils, however, can get tricky.

Your designs must coordinate. If you aren't sure they go together, lay them out on the floor and check. If two designs seem too close to the same thing or seem to clash, switch out one of them for something different or separate the designs with another stencil. You may also want to use the same colours for each stencil. Different designs plus different paint colours may equal a super busy design.

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