Creative mum transforms her stairs for less than £100 and here’s how she did it
- Becca Levengood, 25, was bored of her 100-year-old stairs
- Inspired by Google and stuck at home due to coronavirus, she decided to stencil them
- The project cost less than £100 - and it looks fantastic
Stairs are an often overlooked part of the home - but a pretty staircase can make all the difference to your hallway.
That’s why one creative mum decided to transform her 100-year-old stairs using stencils, and the entire process cost less than £100.
Becca Levengood, 25, a stay at home mum of two from East Greenville, Pennsylvania, USA, renovated her stairs herself - and they look fantastic.
Becca told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: "I bought my house two years ago and just always hated the colour of the stairs. It was almost like someone had taken kids' acrylic brown paint and slapped it on.
"Over time the paint began to chip and my stairs always looked dirty because the little chips looked like dirt. I started to try and think of what I could do that was easy, cheap and would hold up to the foot traffic.
"I thought about carpet but my whole house is hardwood so that would look out of place. My stairs are very old - 100 years old! - and I wanted them to enhance the old feel of the house but yet look modern (not an easy task).
"I have been looking at ideas for over a year but never found what I wanted and never had the time. Then Covid-19 happened. I decided I wanted a project to do, if I was going to be sitting around the house.”
Being stuck at home due to the pandemic gave Becca the push to finally do something about her stairs.
"I was talking to my mum on the phone and we were both looking-up stairs on Google and discussing ideas,” Becca explains.
"We narrowed it down to the colour black, just because I felt the colour would hide the scuffs and wear and the ones we saw online were beautiful.
"While researching, my mum came across a picture of stencilled stairs and we both knew I had to do this! I did more research and went out that day to get all the materials I needed (before everything was on lockdown).
"Once I had the supplies I got started. First, I sanded the stairs down to the wood so I had a new smooth surface to work on. Then I cleaned them, to ensure nothing would get built up in the paint.
"I then put painters tape around each of the steps and began to paint the treads black. I did each tread and then went over it with two more coats to ensure it was fully covered.
"I then went it to do the white on the risers. I removed the tape I had down for the black and taped off the risers to ensure no white paint would get on the beautiful black treads.
"Once the white had three coats of paint, I began with the exciting part, the stencils! I bought four different stencils so I laid them out with a piece of black paper behind them to decide which order I should put them in down my stairs.
"I made sure the steps with more black space were spaced out between the lighter ones. Once I had that, I started on the first step. The stencils I used were different lengths but their heights were all the same at 5”.
"This is something I pre-measured before purchasing the stencils. The stencils did not cover the width of the riser so I had to paint and then move the stencil over until I covered the whole riser.
"When I applied my first stencil I used painters tape to tape it down. However, I this did not work. When I painted in the stencil the paint bled and did not hold the shape of the stencil so I had to go back to the drawing board.
"After some research I found that stencil adhesive was the best thing to use so I ordered a can of adhesive and once it arrived I got back to painting.
"I sprayed the stencil adhesive on to the back of the stencil, which essentially made it like a sticker. I stuck it to the steps and began painting.
"Through my research I also learned that when painting stencils you should use a stencil brush and use a dry paint method. To do this I put paint on the brush and then wiped most of it off on a paper towel so there was minimal paint on the brush.
"I then painted with a blotting motion to ensure no bleeding. I used this method throughout the whole stairs. Once the stencil was fully covered with paint I peeled it off (while wet) that section and moved it over to continue the step.
"I did one stencil at a time so I completed all the steps with the first stencil before moving on to the next. This just made more sense as you just get used to working with that stencil and the measurements.
"Once all the steps were complete I went through with a tiny black paint brush and a tiny white paint brush to do little touch-ups where needed. Once the steps were complete, I painted the stair rail.
"I used the same method as the treads and also did three coats of paint. Once everything was painted I used my top coat to seal everything and protect it from any wear and tear. I did two coats of the sealer. That was it!”
Becca is over the moon with how her self-isolation project has turned out, and loves the new look of her stairs.
"My stairs were transformed from the most boring part of my house to a beautiful focal point!” she adds. “My tips would be to make sure you have stencil adhesive and the correct brushes. I learned this the hard way. The paint will bleed and ruin the look.
“Start from the top of the stairs when painting the treads and risers, and expect it to take time but know you can do it slowly, I did this over a month. I would work for a few hours when I could. If I can do it, you can too!
"This is a great project to do to fill your time during the lockdown. Everything can be ordered online and the project can be done all within the comfort of your own home. It was great for me to have something to keep me busy and make me feel productive during this time.
"The best part was finishing the project, knowing I had accomplished such a beautiful project instead of watching TV!"Materials you will need:
- Palm sander (to sand everything down easily)
- Black floor paint in satin (make sure it is made for floors)
- White trim paint in satin
- 4 different stencils (any design just make sure you measure the step to ensure they will fit)
- Stencil brush
- Stencil adhesive
- 2 tiny paint brushes (or you can use one and do one colour at a time)
- Clear water-based polyurethane for floors
Total cost of all tools and supplies: $120 (£96)
Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “So many of us have parts of our home that we hate and have been meaning to do up for years.
“There are lots of negatives to being locked up under coronavirus, but one of the pros is that it gives many people time to finally confront projects they’ve been putting off.
“If you have a staircase you hate, take a leaf out of Becca’s book - stencilling is a creative and affordable way to really give your stairs a new lease of life!"
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