Ready to ditch your lackluster staircase for a painted masterpiece? 

I promise you, it’s an easy and stylish update you’ll appreciate for years to come. You can paint faux stair runners on both interior and exterior staircases. 

I painted my exterior concrete steps in our 1926 Tudor Revival Cottage and I wouldn’t change a thing. Our black and white runner adds a cozy and inviting feel to our entrance. There’s also very minimal upkeep! So today, I want to show you how you can use paint to create these staircase designs in your own home.

Y’all ready for some color and pattern? Let’s get to it!

Before you start, make sure you have the following materials and tools:

  1. painter’s tape
  2. porch and deck paint
  3. damp cloth
  4. tape measure
  5. pencil and/or chalk
  6. mini paint pan
  7. mini paint roller
  8. small detail paint brush

For this project, buy masonry or concrete-specific paint. These special paints contain binders that expand and attach well with concrete. Avoid using exterior house paints because they can crack and peel on concrete.

Painting Stairs in 6 Easy Steps

Step 1: Prep your surface. 

For concrete, clean with bleach and water and let dry.

Step 2: Add Painter’s Tape

Tape off where you want to paint with painter’s tape. To get a clean line, use a firm press to place the tape down. I wanted a white border so we did it in steps. First we taped the outline of the runner and left the white part blank.  

Optional: You can also use a tape measure and chalk to mark the placement of the painted runner first. The chalk marks can act as a guide for the position of the painter’s tape.

Step 3: Paint First Color

We painted the black by placing a mini roller along the painter’s tape. 


Pro Tip: If you start painting in the middle of the tape, you will prevent the paint from bleeding. 

Step 4: Paint Second Color

After the first coat completely dried, we taped off the black and added in the white ribbon.  

Step 5: Let it dry.

Allow the final coat of paint to dry for at least 2-3 hours. You’ll know it’s ready when it’s dry to the touch. When you are peeling back the painter’s tape, be sure to use a slow and controlled hand movement. You don’t want the tape to rip the paint!

Step 6: Scan for Touch ups

After you remove the tape, see  if there are any imperfections you want to fix. You can use a small-detailed paintbrush to do this.

At times, we will touch up the paint if it’s in a high traffic area. The painted area is always easy to clean and maintain. You’ll also never never have to worry about tripping over a rug!

You don’t have to stop at paint. Try adding patterns, numbers, words or letters. 


Painting stairs can be a fun activity to do with your kiddos on a lazy Sunday. I hope you enjoyed learning how to paint a stair runner. Thanks for coming by! Leave your comments on my Facebook page!

Yes, I’m always bustling with design DIYs. I’d love to help YOU find ways to dress up YOUR home! 





I offer a complimentary, no-strings-attached phone call consultation. We can also consult by video conference. If you’d like to meet in your home, please know we will use all current safety protocols.


In the meantime, catch other great design tips on my YouTube channel, Real Life Design with Courtney Warren!