1. create a base
Prep the stairs (wash, rinse and allow to dry; sand to a smooth finish), apply the primer and let dry. With the white paint and a 3″ angled brush, begin with the top step and work down using vertical strokes: Paint the treads (the part of the stair you step on), back to front; the risers, top to bottom. Do one coat and allow to dry completely. Apply a second coat.
2. paint runner
To create a 20″ runner like the one shown, measure the width of the steps, subtract 20″ and divide in half—this is the width of your margins on either side. Mark the runner’s edges with painter’s tape; the space between the inside edges should be 20″. Apply two coats of red paint with a 2″ angled brush in horizontal strokes (allow to dry between coats). Slowly peel off the tape.
TIP: For a more textured, crosshatched finish, apply second coat with vertical strokes.
3. add border
Lay painter’s tape along the outside edges of the runner. Line up another strip of tape on the runner exactly 1″ from the edge. With a 1″ angled brush, apply black paint between the two strips using crosswise strokes. After a second coat, remove tape and let dry.
With a tiny paintbrush, smooth any feathering edges and fill in any errant spots. Allow to dry. Apply two or three coats of acrylic polyurethane. Let dry between coats.
BTW: With drying time, this project will take a few days. If exile from the upstairs isn’t an option, paint and seal every riser and every other tread. After those areas dry, do the remaining treads.
credit to domino