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Stair Master: Decorative Stairs

Our wood surfaces adornment assault continues! I showed you some of the finished landings in an earlier post. Now I’m happy to report that the connecting staircases are finished as well and they are GAWDeous!


My ever-abler new studio assistant, Melissa, did all the actual staining work on the decorative stairs so is now an official “stair master”. You can imagine by looking at all that pattern on all those stairs that this was quite a bit of work!


There are 24 different border patterns used. I was able to set up the colorways first in Adobe Illustrator to try and get some nice balance and contrast over the length of each set of stairs.


The stair treads themselves are alternately stained a dark brown and a warm black and they look great from above as well but it’s the view looking up that is extra special. On a technical note, we have been using Bona’s Traffic for the topcoat and used this on the cork floor as well. It’s a bit tricky and pricey but lays down a lovely soft satin finish that has already proven it’s worth as a very durable topcoat for a commercial setting.


  1. OMG!!!! These stairs are amazing! I love that each one is a different pattern and yet they all go together. They are so much more interesting this way. Once again Melanie you go over the top!! I cannot wait to see all this in person. Soon!

  2. Absolutely beautiful! Melanie, can this sealer be used to seal a painted floor?

  3. Thanks Rhonda-I am getting ready to release the 2008 class schedule so keep an eye out!

    Carol-Yes. According to the product info the Traffic can be used over existing topcoats. I don’t think it is co-solvent but to be safe I put a couple thin coats of Aquaguard over my art-then the Traffic. Some other water-based topcoats that always come up as highly recommended are BMs Stays Clear and Ceramithane. Google them!

  4. Thanks Melanie… I will keep my eye out for them!

  5. That stairway is absolutly stunning! I am looking at my stairs in a new light!!! What an inspiration…!
    Thank you for posting~
    Debbie Bosworth

  6. Hi,

    Just found your blog…Love the stairs you did!
    Great Job, very creative.



  7. Lesley Cangialosi

    Absolutely stunning, I hope to visit your studio for a class sometime this year!


  8. WOW WOW WOW. absolutely gorgeous! as is the rest of your blog. holy moly, i can’t get over it. really spectacular. well done.

    i have enjoyed my visit. (obviously!)

  9. Many thanks!!

  10. Hi. Here via Maryam’s. Wonderful work. Being Greek,and an Archaeology graduate working in interior design, I have to express my admiration. Excellent. Well done.

  11. I honestly have never seen something so amazingly stunning! It’s B-U-T FUL!

  12. Why-thank you!!

  13. Nice post. designamour.com is kiler.

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