Elmer’s Art Paste and Textured Wallpaper for Stair Risers

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facing stair risersOK, using Elmer’s Art Paste to stick textured wallpaper on stair risers isn’t exactly a paper mache project – but it’s what I’ve been doing this week, and I decided to show it to you anyway. Maybe there’s someone else out there with stairs that look just as bad as mine, and who would like a nice relatively cheap way to make them look better.

You can see how I did it, and how I cut the paper to get an exact fit, in the video.

I’m kind of embarrassed to show you the ‘before’ picture because my stairs looked so bad after I pulled off the old carpet.  In fact, they still look pretty bad, since the treads themselves haven’t been covered up yet. The wood is sound, but very beat up, and it had so so many nails and staples that I’m still finding more, after hours of work to get rid of them. The treads themselves will get new non-slip vinyl covers, dark brown, the least expensive option I could find. Replacing the wood would cost a small fortune, but, of course, it would look a lot nicer.

The paper I put over that old ratty bookcase, just to the left of the stairs, is starting to show a bit of wear. I should have touched up the paint before I took these photos. I tend to ding the paper when I carry big things up the stairs. I’ll paint the stair risers, too, and I hope they don’t get scuffed up too much. Here in South Dakota people don’t wear shoes in the house, and I don’t think I can do too much damage with my slipper toes. But time will tell.

I used the instructions on this site to make the stair tread gauge.

Next week, I should be done with these silly stairs, so I can go back to doing something a bit more fun. But the weather is still way too cold for me to paint my dragon out on the front porch. 🙂

12 thoughts on “Elmer’s Art Paste and Textured Wallpaper for Stair Risers”

  1. Fascinating! Thanks for this. Clever and imaginative. As you know, I am remodeling my old house, and nothing is even close to square. I did find a place for Big Bird – in the bathroom, which is now finished. I haven’t put the varnish on Big Bird because I can’t decide if I’m going to fuss with the painting or not. (I’ll post a photo of it in the bathroom. I think I’m going to keep this one!)

    I love your ideas and creativity. Thank you so much.

    This morning I was filing some papers and found my min pin patterns. Yeah! So, now I need to get back to paper mache. (I took time out to do two small stained glass projects – Leprechaun with rainbow and pot of gold, and easter egg and flowers.)

    • Hi Rex. I’m glad you found that pattern! Your bathroom looks great – but I’m worried that Big Bird might get mildew if he isn’t sealed. And by the way, we like to look at all kinds of stuff, so if you want to show off your stained glass, I don’t think anyone would object. Right, folks?

      • Good point about mildew. I’ll make a decision very soon. Thanks for pointing that out.

        Here is a photo of the stained glass Leprechaun. It was crazy making it.

        • And the Easter egg. I love stained glass! My sister thinks I need to make her something for every holiday; she’s right. I owe her a lot!

          Next project, paper mache!

  2. This was my first communication since I found and signed up at your site! Boy am I glad I did! I am going to learn so much from you. What a cool lady!

    Thank you,


  3. Joni,
    You just amaze me as well as inspire me to be more creative. I wanted some little birds for my backyard and so I found a picture and repurposed with old light bulbs and your paper mâché recipe have three what I will call love birds in the process of coming to life. There going to really be quite cute and a great use of an old burnt out lightbulb.
    Looking forward to seeing your finished stairs and again Thanks for your inspiration.
    Winecountry Jim

    • Jim, I really like that bird on a lightbulb idea. Are you going to use something to weatherproof your birds?


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