Two Ways to Wallpaper Your Staircase

Looking to climb up and take the next step in wallpapering your home? Join Brittany Watson Jepsen from craft and DIY website The House That Lars Built to learn two unique ways to bring color and life to your stairs using Peel and Stick wallpaperfrom the risers to the stairwell walls.

Featured wallpaper designs: Black and White Stripe 3″ and Bright Yellow and Peach Stripe by thehousethatlarsbuilt

HTLB: For those of you who may not know, Spoonflower just relaunched their Peel and Stick wallpaper, this time with a brand new substrate! I can’t tell you how welcome this news was to us here at The House that Lars Built. We love wallpaper and have used it for dozens of projects, so the chance to get our hands on this brand new Peel and Stick wallpaper was a dream come true. To test out the possibilities of the new substrate, we decided to wallpaper two staircases in two different ways: 1) on the risers 2) on the walls. Let’s take a look!

How to Wallpaper a Staircase

Introducing Pat, the Handy Nanny

Our first wallpaper project features the staircase of our beloved handy nanny, Pat. I can’t mention Pat without a brief description of how we met. Long story short, I posted a photo to Instagram of my favorite house I’d seen around town, and Pat, who’d been faithfully following me, saw it and told me it was hers! It was meant to be, and our friendship blossomed from there.

Fast forward to the birth of my second child, Felix. I quickly realized that our family needed a nanny. The obvious was solution Pat! She started working for us in January and, thankfully, Felix was a great napper, so she started working on various projects around the house. Those projects started small, and gradually grew bigger and bigger as time went on (stay tuned for more home renovation projects to come!), hence the name “handy nanny.” She’s the best thing that ever happened to us!

Pat’s Staircase Before Wallpaper

Remember Pat’s house? Well, it was built in 1922, which means this year is its 100 year anniversary! It was the perfect occasion for a little DIY makeover, and the staircase was the ideal candidate. It was in dire need of a redo and had been for a long time, but a redo was rather daunting to take on alone, with that 22-foot stairwell. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect—the 100 year anniversary, plus the option of Spoonflower’s Peel and Stick wallpaper gave Pat an idea for her staircase and the motivation to see it to fruition.

Before wallpapering Pat’s staircase

New wallpaper installation process


Over the years she’d been pinning different photos of staircase inspo. One thing led to another and pretty soon we started into this huge staircase project. For this project, the focus was on the risers. Often overlooked, Pat decided to draw attention to the risers with a bold stripe, in classic black and white. The black and white was not only beautiful, but versatile and easy to work around—so many things go with it.

Featured wallpaper design: Black and White Stripe 3″ by thehousethatlarsbuilt


With the risers taken care of, the focus shifted to the treads. Originally, Pat wanted to stain the treads and leave the natural wood, but in the remodel process, he discovered that the treads were a different kind of wood than the rest of the wood in that area of ​​the house and that staining the wood wouldn’t be an option. Instead, she painted them a cosmic, cobalt blue. It was a revelation—what a stunning accent to that amazing wallpaper on the risers!

How to Wallpaper a Studio Stairwell

While we wanted the risers to be the main focus of Pat’s staircase, we took a different approach for our own studio staircase. We didn’t want to overly emphasize the risers because there were so many walls. Instead, we wanted to take advantage of the stairwell’s walls—they had so much potential.

The main problem was the texture of the wall. A few years ago, we painted some bold stripes in the stairwell, but unfortunately, they didn’t mask the wall’s texture. That’s why Spoonflower’s Peel and Stick wallpaper was the perfect solution! A tip for those contemplating the use of wallpaper: it does wonders at smoothing down that wall texture. We just had to sand it down a bit so that the wallpaper would adhere to the wall better.

Before Wallpaper

Stairwell pre-wallpaper (we applied a couple coats of primer to cover the stripes we had painted before)

Wallpaper installation process

After Wallpaper

We went with some bold, colorblocked stripes for our wallpaper that we designed ourselves, and the effect was transformative. Then we toned down the starkness of the stripes with a gallery wall, added our lovely Lars neon sign, and it was everything I wanted it to be. The stripes weren’t as visible, but the subtle hint of them was enough to pique my interest and they worked so well with the neon sign.

Overall, we wanted to transport our visitors into a different world, something that could be seen descending the staircase, not just ascending. And that’s what we got, thanks to the magic of Spoonflower’s new Peel and Stick wallpaper!

Spoonflower’s New Peel and Stick Wallpaper

As mentioned above, Pat and I have worked on quite a number of projects together during her time working for me. Many of those projects involved wallpaper of varying brands and substrates. Out of all the wallpapers we’ve used for various house projects, this was definitely the easiest to use. The biggest reason is its peel and stick quality. It’s just tacky enough to keep it stuck to the wall with ease, but removal is also a cinch. I can’t tell you how many times we accidentally folded the wallpaper on itself—luckily, it came unstuck without any trouble at all.

Durable and Easy Application

Peel and Stick wallpaper is also nice and thick. Little dents and folds in the application process aren’t visible and it’s a dream to work with if you have to cut around things or patch precisely. We also loved that Spoonflower includes a little plastic applicator that makes smoothing out the wallpaper a breeze. All you need to have on hand besides that is a sharp craft knife and you’re all set for the easiest wallpaper application process in the world!

A Renter’s Dream

Last thing I’ll say about this amazing wallpaper: it’s the perfect hack for renters. Before moving into our current house, my husband and I lived in a rental for nine years. Needless to say, we wanted decor options that could be more temporary (see this post for ideas!), like this Peel and Stick wallpaper. I wish this new substrate had been available when we lived there, because it’s beautiful. So for all you renters out there, keep this option in mind.

Peel and Stick around!

Why stop at the stairs? Continue reading the Spoonflower Blog for more unique Peel and Stick wallpaper projects, from upcycling household objects to displaying an impressive mural.

Wallpaper DIYs

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