DIY Wallpaper Your Stairs

June 13, 2016

Botanical Style is a big trend in home decorating, from Boho to Country, to Minimalist and Clean, everyone wants to bring in more plants and flowers at the moment – real, faux and through prints and patterns. Some want a ton, some like only a few. Have you thought to bring in floral and plant patterns though? For instance, through wallpaper? And in this case, add it to your staircase? Yes, wallpaper the stairs.

DIY Wallpaper Your Stairs

Why not? It really works in an old farmhouse or country home, but if you go with a more modern pattern, you can apply this look in a more modern city townhouse too. Author Selina Lake visited me this morning in celebration of her latest book, with a great tip shown in new book, Botanical Style, published by Ryland Peters & Small. I’ll share more photos from the book and Selina will be back with more tips later this week but for now, here’s a great project outlined by Selina that you can try at home.

Selina says, “Wallpapering the stairs is a wonderful way to bring vintage botanical pattern to a plain staircase. Rip out any old carpet and remove any tacks or nails, then sand the stairs and paint them with floor paint (I used Farrow and Ball wood primer & undercoat followed by ‘All White’ Floor paint) Gather up a collection of wallpaper offcuts or rolls of the same print for a more uniform look. Measure the top stair and cut out to size using desired paper. Attach using PVA glue or wallpaper paste, starting at the top means you can work your way down while leaving it alone so the glue will set.”

That’s it! Flowers on the stairs! Done! And if you want to see more, you can buy her book here.

(Photography by Rachel Whiting © Ryland Peters & Small)


  • Reply Jessica Rose June 13, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    I love this idea…as it’s so simple and you could probably get them as sample sizes for free as well!

    • Reply Holly Becker June 13, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      Yes and you can collage them too using small pieces for a more folksy look.

  • Reply Trina and Tina June 13, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    So fun! Love the way it livens up the space in a fresh way! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply pia June 13, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    this is such an awesome and original idea!

  • Reply Lisa June 13, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    I love this idea however wallpaper does not come in huge sample sizes! Not quite sure of this could be achieves – maybe with fabric as it can be bought in smaller sizes?

  • Reply Patricia Shea June 13, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Love the book and this idea is wonderful – I have always loved mix and match patterning and adding design in unexpected places. You could do it as a patchwork with swatches of removable wallpaper from Spoonflower for the folksy look Holly mentioned :)?

  • Reply Meryl June 13, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    I like this idea, very whimsical! You can protect the paper from scuff marks from shoes by applying water-base poly on the front of the paper. Great idea!

  • Reply Jessica June 13, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    This is really nice! x

  • Reply Regina Melo-Jocknevich June 14, 2016 at 1:42 am

    I love this idea, when I first saw it I fell in love and promised myself I would do it in my home, but I haven’t so far :( Selina Lake is the best, I always feel inspired by her ideas, her creations, maybe now look at this beautiful steps I’ll finally do it.

  • Reply Brenda June 14, 2016 at 5:05 am

    That is really pretty! I never thought about ripping up the carpet and having beautiful wood stairs underneath. I’d have to try a little bit and see if that’s what’s really under mine. I also never knew there’s floor paint. Thanks for sharing this great idea.

  • Reply Kaffiknopf June 15, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Oh wow, now I need those stairs! And the rest of that house, hehe. Such a fun idea. Our stairs are with “Zwischenräumen”, but if one day my dream of an scandinavian house comes true, I have to keep that in mind. Do you know a good source for wallpaper samples in Germany, Holly? Thanks a lot*

  • Reply Germarie Bruwer July 18, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Oh my goodness, this is gorgeous! Pretty sure any beautifully printed paper will do the trick – even gift wrap? – if you put enough poly over it to protect it.

  • Reply Emily October 26, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Amazing how such a simple idea can be so effective! and so cost effective.

  • Reply Lucy January 3, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    I love this idea! Why did I only find this now?! It’s whimsical and charming. And, as you pointed out, it’s versatile and can fit any style with the right selection of patterns. I’m definitely going to borrow from this and recommend this idea to clients (giving credits to Selina Lake and your blog, of course). I think this style can also work well with mosaic tiles.

  • Reply June Young January 8, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    I was wanting to do this to my stairs and was wondering if the wallpaper has torn or left marks? I painted ours black and they have left marks even chipped the paint when a foot hits them.

  • Reply Alexandra Obszanski January 19, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    This was very interesting as I thought it would be a simple yet dramatic way to spice up your living space. Whether you wanted to use an uncomplicated and effortless pattern or a considerable and appreciable design to use for your stairs, either one would make the entry way more inviting and appealing. I’m always looking for easy and trouble-free crafts to use in my own house to liven up the interior appearance. I also found that HGTV has a similar post in which they use wallpaper, acrylic sheeting and decorative hardware to add some personality to your staircase. I would love to someday experiment with this DIY in my house or future apartment and see if it added the spark I was looking for.

    HGTV link:

  • Reply Barry Dean March 11, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Hey Hollie, really beautiful picture. I’ve not seen this trend in the UK yet but sure it’s coming.

  • Reply Lori March 19, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    What a great idea! Looks pretty cool…

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