DIY Carpeting Spiral Stairs

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Remember a while back when I bought this rug to use as a runner on our black stairs? I never quite got around to doing the project, so all the little Jaipur runners I got from RugsUSA have been just sitting in a closet, waiting to be used.

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Part of the problem was I have been on the fence for months about whether or not I wanted to use a pattern (even a relatively subtle, neutral one) on my main stairs. I’m thinking of maybe doing a simple sisal in there instead. The spiral stairs in the mudroom needed carpeting too though, so it seemed like a good idea to use the runners in there instead, while I figured something else out for the entry stairs. Here’s a reminder of how the stairs up to my studio looked when we moved in:

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Since moving in, we’ve painted the tile floors a dark gray and paneled the walls and painted them navy. We also pulled off the carpeting on the stairs and painted the rails and treads bright white.

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We had painted the treads the same color as the rail, but they were noisy and less safe-feeling without the carpeting. I was really excited to finally get these covered last week!

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I picked up a quart of flooring glue at the hardware store and spread an even coat on the top of the tread before flipping it over on to the carpet runner.
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It was important to be consistent with my pattern placement, so I lined up the tread in the same place every time before cutting.
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I used a pair of super heavy-duty shears from Home Depot in the tool section to cut the runners. It made a world of difference to have the extra long, extra sharp blades.
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I cut the runner to be just wide enough to cover the sides of the treads. I also cut out the corners, so when I folded up the edges, there would be no extra material in the corners.
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After adding more glue to the edges, I stapled the sides in place and then trimmed away any extra rug material.
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After letting the glue dry a bit, I popped the treads back into the stairs. I LOVE how they look and feel now!
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The rug pattern was double sided, but I went with the darker side up and hopefully that will help to hide traffic stains. I’m also thinking about Scotchgarding the treads this week as a precautionary measure.
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I love how the subtle pattern looks with the wall and floor colors. I hung a few new pieces of art and added a bougainvillea tree that I planted in a brass trash bin. :)
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I also upholstered a little thrifted bench to tuck under the stairs. I love all the textures together!
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It took several hours to upholster the treads (most of the time was spent cutting), but I’m so happy with how this project turned out. It makes me want to figure out a runner for our front entry stairs right away!
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PS I popped over to RugsUSA today to try and find the link to the Jaipur runners and saw they’re having a great 75% off sale for Cyber Monday. I’m looking for a small-ish rug for our nursery (!) and I think there are some really cute contenders here. They’ve added a ton of great rug lines since the last time I shopped their site. It also looks like they’ve figured out how to take better photos of their rugs too – now you can zoom in tight and see the weave and get a way better sense of the colors. Good stuff.
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  1. Really clever and very pretty! The shot looking down is so pretty and just happy looking!

  2. I feel SO overwhelmed searching for rugs on this site (and other similar ones)….are there particular search terms you use to narrow the search??

  3. I hope you never ever ever stop blogging. You are an inspiration. (No pressure though :)!)

  4. JILL

    i have the first rug in my baby's room, with dark teal-green walls. over 9 months later and i/we still love it :)

  5. What a difference the railing color makes. The stair railing looked so traditional before but now it's so retro-fab with the white paint. The stairs look amazing and I always love the art in your home. Your girls are lucky to grow up surrounded by so many lovely things. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Kackie

    Can't believe the difference! Love it. And adore some of the rugs you are considering for the nursery. Thank you for all you share with us, Jenny!

  7. Whew, I feel overwhelmed also! Thank you for the heads up. I feel the urge to spend all of my Christmas funds on some sweet new rugs. Seriously, do Moroccan rugs ever go out of style?

  8. Did you do a blog post about painting the tile? Link? Or product that you used?? Thanks!!! :)

  9. Beautiful pattern on the spiral! Happy Nesting.

  10. We just bought a house that has a very similar staircase, and it makes me so nervous with the kids! Ours has stained wood treads, and I don't mind the look (the details on the railing is another story) but carpet would make me feel a little better with the kids. This turned out great!

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