If your stairs only exist to get you from point A to point B, you’re missing out on some serious fun. Stairs present a unique opportunity to add character and charm to your home. Plus, staircases are often front-and-center in architecture, making them a fantastic candidate for an interior design focal point. 

Looking for some ideas on how to give your stairs a little more oomph? Look no further! Here are 14 DIY projects to give your stairs new life.

Dress Them Up

Stair treads and risers are the perfect canvas for your next creative endeavor. Just remember, patterns on the stair tread make it hard to visually distinguish one tread from another, which can lead to falls. Save your patterns for the risers instead. 

Here are just a few to get you started:

Ombre Stairs


The gradual fade of an ombre is incredibly pleasing to the eye, and if you’re looking to make a bold statement, here it is. Check out the tutorial from Addison’s Wonderland for more info.

Painted Runner

Painted Runner

It takes some careful taping and serious dedication, but the result is well worth the work. Follow the tutorial at the Heathered Nest to make your own painted runner.

Stamped Stairs


If you want to take the painted runner and kick it up a notch, adding stamped accents can be a barrel of fun. This tutorial from the DIY Network will show you how.

Stained Stairs


Paint not your style? If you’re looking for something a little more classic, try staining the treads. Check out this tutorial from In My Own Style to find out how to do it on a budget!



Wallpaper is a great way to add gorgeous patterns to your risers without having to break out the paintbrush. This tutorial from Brewster Home Fashions has some handy tips, as well as a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.



One of the simplest ways to add a little whimsy to your stairs is by using vinyl decals. Not only are they easy to apply, they’re also easy to remove when you’re ready for something new. Check out This Old House for some truly wonderful ideas.

Update the Railing

Are your railings boring? Give them a much needed makeover to go along with your fancy new treads and risers! Safety first — make sure to use the proper hardware and equipment when installing handrails in order to prevent falls.

Painted Bannister


You wouldn’t believe just how much of a change painting your banister can make. Drab to fab can be both simple and cheap — check out the tutorial at Make It & Love It.

Bookcase Bannister


Who said your banister can’t be more than just a safety feature? Follow along with Carol Lee over at Elephant Buffet to learn how to turn your banister into a bookshelf!


Sometimes simplicity is key, and when it comes to handrails, there’s often safety in it. This tutorial from IHeart Organizing will show you how to build and install a handrail that is both simple and beautiful.



A bit of molding will give your stairwell an elegant look — but it doesn’t have to come at an elegant cost. Mysha has a fantastic tutorial to add gorgeous molding to your stairwell for only $50. Check it out at Remington Avenue.

Under the Stairs Hideaway

All too often, precious space under the stairs is ignored or just walled up entirely. There are a lot of fabulous ways to make use of this awesome area.

Here are some favorites:


Build a Playhouse

An indoor playhouse is the stuff childhood dreams are made of. No weather can keep them from it, and they’re always within you site. This stunner playhouse tutorial can be found at AnaWhite.com.


Pull Out Storage

It seems like there’s just never enough storage to be had. If you’re in need of a little more storage space, check out this tutorial from Instructables.

Reading Nook

Reading Nook

Book lovers rejoice! You can turn that extra space under the stairs into a cozy little reading nook! This tutorial from a Purdy Little House will show you how!

Dog Kennel

Pet Area

Give a personal space to your dog or cat by creating an under-the-stairs kennel. See the tutorial at the Rodimels. Sprucing up your stairs doesn’t require a lot of money — just a little time and elbow grease. Happy DIYing!

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