Quick & Easy Upgrades: Spruce Up Your Staircases

This Old House Magazine
At Home
August 13, 2012


Add Shapely Stair Brackets
Add Shapely Stair Brackets


Turn the house you have into the home of your dreams one easy upgrade at a time! With a little DIY, you can do a few micro-makeovers to boost architectural interest and character throughout your home. Let's get started with the stairs. (And you can look forward to posts on bath vanities, kitchen sinks, counters, and backsplashes, entryways, and much more-every Monday from This Old House!) -Tabitha Sukhai, thisoldhouse.com

RELATED: Install a Basic Stair Runner (Carpet)

How to Add Shapely Stair Brackets

The newel post and balusters get all the attention, while the exposed side of most staircases is largely ignored. But with the addition of decorative stair brackets, a bland stringer can become an elegant eye-catcher. Get the look with just a few hours of DIY. See the full step-by-step instructions here.

Install Runner Rods

Before pneumatic carpet nailers, handsome metal rods secured stair runners. See where you can get rods like the ones shown here and see 11 other DIY Projects to Add Old House Charm.

Create a Colorful Walk-Up With Wallpaper


Papered risers draw attention to this seldom-noticed feature. Because stairways are wider than rolls, choose a pattern that can run horizontally. Learn where to find a print similar to the ones shown here, and see more on wallpaper in All About Wallpaper.

MORE: Pointers for Wallpapered Stairs

Create a Carpetless Runner With Floor Paint


Using flexible posterboard, make templates for the triangles and squares, sizing them so that they climb the risers and wrap the treads. Outline the shapes in pencil and tape them off. For more pointers to recreate this pattern, see 15 Decorative Paint Ideas.

Got Some Time and Money to Invest in Smart under-Stair Storage?
The pull-out bottle storage installed in the void beneath this stair landing is a custom-built unit 20 inches wide, 3 feet deep, and 2 feet high that holds up to 32 bottles. The beadboard front panel is the same piece cut out for the opening, so the cabinet blends seamlessly into the wall. Inspired to do the same? First, make sure your stairs are self-supporting and that there's no hidden wiring or ductwork in the way. Learn what you need to do once you're in the clear here. See another great storage idea to consider in A Small-Space Home With Loads of Built-In Charm!

More from thisoldhouse.com
How to Build a Table From Salvaged Stair Parts
How to Install Pull-Down Attic Stairs


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Securing brackets to stairs
Securing brackets to stairs
Install Stair Rods
Install Stair Rods
Wallpaper Stair Treads
Wallpaper Stair Treads

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