How paint a stair runner

How paint a stair runner

You will need:

  • Wood filler
  • White spirit and cloth
  • Sugar soap
  • Quick-drying wood primer
  • Eggshell wood paint in two colours
  • Good quality paintbrush
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Masking tape

You don't need to go to the expense of recarpeting to give your hallway an instant update. A stylish stair runner can be easily created using paint, which not only gives a contemporary feel but also makes the stairs a real focal point. This step-by-step guide was created by Dulux's resident colour and design expert, Louise Smith.

Time to complete job: A day, including drying time.
Approximate budget: £40

  • Step 1: Preparing & sealing the wood

    Step 1: Preparing & sealing the wood

    Repair any cracks with wood filler and sand and any rough parts smooth. Wipe over the stairs using a cloth dampened with white spirit to take off any sanding dust. Wash the remaining paintwork with soapy water or sugar soap to clean off any grease and dirt.

    Give the stairs a coat of quick-drying primer, working the brush well into the corners. Don't overload the brush or the paint will form drips on the surface. Leave to dry thoroughly.

  • Step 2: Marking out the runner

    Step 2: Marking out the runner

    Give the stair treads and risers one or two coats of your base eggshell colour (the colour you'd like to appear on either side of the runner). Leave to dry thoroughly.

    Using very light pencil lines, measure and mark out the position of your runner leaving equal space on either side. Mask off the area just outside each pencil line (so they will be covered when you paint), making sure the masking tape is smooth and straight.

  • Step 3: Painting

    Step 3: Painting

    Paint your runner colour between the masking tape, starting from the top of the stairs and working your way down. Depending on your choice of colours, you may need to apply two or three coats. Make sure the paint is absolutely dry before you walk on your new stairs!

  • Recommended products:

    Recommended products:

    Use Dulux's multi surface primer to prepare the wood. We used Dulux's Rum Caramel 6 as the base colour and Tailor Made Colour Desert Island 2 in Eggshell for the runner. The wall behind the stairs is Bleached Lichen 1 and the feature walls are Morning Jewel 3, both in Matt, from Dulux Tailor Made Colour.