How to Paint a Chevron Pattern on Your Stairs

Article Posted By: Craig Allen

of Senior Editor, The Home Depot Blog

Woman taping chevron pattern on stair risers

The staircase might be one of the last places homeowners think to decorate, but there are ways you can add some visual appeal to this under-utilized décor space. Take for instance this DIY project to paint a two-color chevron pattern on your stair risers.

Supplies You Need for this Project


In this short video, we’ll take you through all the steps of painting the pattern on your steps. This includes demonstrations of how to paint the first “base” color and how to create the chevron stencil and trace the pattern. Then you’ll see how to use painter’s tape to tape off the pattern and paint the darker color.

Once you’ve watched this short instructional video, review the instructions below for help to complete this project.


Before you add your chevron pattern, you’ll need to choose the two colors that you will use.  You’ll want to start by painting your stair risers with the lighter of the two colors, in this case, white, as a base coat.  Apply two coats if necessary and allow the last coat to dry for at least 24 hours. Next, you’ll need to create your chevron pattern by either using painters tape or a stencil, as outlined below.

Creating the Pattern with Painters Tape

The easiest and most time-efficient way to create a chevron pattern is by using 3” painters tape. Here are the instructions. If you’d prefer to use a stencil instead, please see below.

Step 1

Draw the pattern out first with a ruler and make sure it’s even.


Step 2

Following your pencil lines, tape off the inside of the triangle.


Step 3

Paint over the tape with your roller. Make sure you don’t overload the roller. If you do, the paint will bleed through the tape.

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Step 4

Remove your tape, and touch up any imperfections with your artist brush.


Creating the Pattern Using a Stencil

If you are feeling crafty, you can always make a stencil! It’s just a matter of preference. Here are the instructions to create and use a stencil for this project. On a side note, you should understand that, while we chose a chevron design for this project, you can make your stencil using whatever kind of pattern you like (Polka dots, stripes, checkers, diamonds, etc.).  You can also purchase ready-made stencils in the paint department of your local Home Depot.

Step 1

Draw the pattern onto any heavy material to make your stencil. Cardboard, card stock or heavy plastic are just a few materials that would work.

Draw the Pattern


Step 2

Cut out your pattern using a hobby knife and ruler. Keep the edges clean and straight (use a new blade if needed) so that there won’t be any discrepancies in your final project.

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Step 3

Trace your chevron pattern on to the stair risers.

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Step 4

Use painter’s tape to block off the traced area.  Put the tape on the outside of the traced area so that you can paint within the lines of the pattern. Trim off any excess tape with a hobby knife. After you are satisfied with your pattern, roll on your desired color.

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Step 5

Paint on your chevron pattern.

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Repeat the above steps for each stair until your project is complete! You can also consider painting the smaller triangles with an accent color to keep things interesting. Have fun.

Also, keep in mind that chevrons can go anywhere, not just stairs. You can paint them on the front of a dresser, on a headboard or even paint them on a wall as an accent wall. The possibilities are endless!

Go forth with this knowledge and decorate!

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