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7 IDEAS FOR BEAUTIFULLY PAINTED STAIRCASES

Make a statement with your staircase! This high-profile, high-traffic area offers plenty of opportunities to use paint and colour in exciting, creative ways.

A stairway is a main focal point in your home, and together with your entryway, sets the tone for your home’s overall look. It also receives a high amount of traffic, so using high-quality paints that will both protect and beautify your staircase is essential, including Benjamin Moore ADVANCE® and Benjamin Moore Floor & Patio.

Because a stairway has several distinct parts, this project offers you the chance to be creative. Take a look at these painted staircase ideas and make them your own!
Staircase painted in white and off-white with matching off-white walls.

1. Airy and White

Stairways are bridges between different floors as well as paint colours. It’s important to look at the space from every angle before deciding what colours would work best.

Here, by painting the risers to match the walls, and painting the treads white—to match the room’s trim— the staircase becomes an integrated part of the space rather than a dominant feature. Layered in shades of white and off-white using Decorator’s White OC-149 and White Opulence OC-69, the outcome is bright, open and sophisticated.
A wooden staircase with black metal handrail in a white room with a bluish gray accent wall.

2. Complementary Pastels

Lighter colours can help turn an enclosed staircase into a surprisingly light and breezy space.

Here, painting the risers light green Van Alen Green HC-120 complements the light blue wall in Breath of Fresh Air 806. And the treads, painted in subtle off-white Distant Gray 2124-70, completes the bright, playful look.
Coffee coloured curved staircase with chocolate banister and stairs.

3. Coordinated Neutrals

Neutral colours work well for connector spaces like staircases or hallways, as they are often adjacent to rooms in other colours. Here, painting the treads French Press AF-170 to match the risers in Hush AF-95 to complement the wall, painted in Frappe AF-85, lends interest without overpowering colour schemes in nearby rooms. Adding an element of contrast for these neutrals with a stringer (or baseboard) in Steam AF-15 adds elegance to a traditional look.
Sleek navy staircase with white trim against pale blue walls.

4. Sleek Contrast

Painting your treads, risers and balusters all in one colour evokes a modern, sleek look. Here, the dark shade of Hale Navy HC-154 gives a strong contrast to the Decorator’s White OC-149 stringer (or baseboard) and pale Smoke 2122-40 wall colour—all from the Benjamin Moore Colour Trends 2019 palette—to create a contemporary and stylish monochromatic colour scheme.
Bright and airy room with white staircase and natural wood railing.

5. Rustic Accent

Pronounced contrast lends emphasis. This staircase is kept open and airy in bright, off-white Ice Mist OC-67 to tie it to the Simply White OC-117 walls, while the rustic newel (post) and railing are left as natural wood. The effect is a modern farmhouse style that sets the stage for rustic accents elsewhere in the home.
Light blue and gray foyer opens to a staircase with alternate gray risers and white trim.

6. Two-tone Elegance

Modern, subdued colours are a great choice to add a contemporary twist to traditional homes. Here, the two divided areas on the adjacent hallway wall are carried through to the stairway. Feather Gray 2127-60 and Pike’s Peak Gray 2127-50 alternate on the risers, with trim and treads painted in Snow White OC-66. The playful use of two distinct colours on alternating stair risers adds an element of fun to this traditional foyer.
A close-up of a intricately carved staircase newel in high-gloss black paint.

7. Bold Focal Point

Elements with additional artistic flourishes, such as this antique hand-carved newel, deserve special emphasis. Here, a rich, bold colour like Black Satin 2131-10, in a higher gloss, makes this element pop against the contrasting white of the walls and balusters.

The Best Paint and Colour Ideas for Any Stairway


Painting your staircase yourself? Remember that careful cleaning and priming of all stair surfaces before painting is essential for best results. Use high-quality paints with a durable sheen, like Benjamin Moore Floor & Patio for the treads and ADVANCE® for other surfaces, to withstand the constant traffic that stairs receive.

When you are ready to choose colour for your stairway, lean on the free Benjamin Moore Color Portfolio App, which empowers you to test out different colour ideas virtually. You can also order paint colour swatches or pint samples online or from your local Benjamin Moore retailer, delivered to your door, so you can “try on” stair paint colours before you buy.
Stairway 101 graphic.
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