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Jul 24 / jfletcher

The Dark Stained Risers.

While I was walking the new season of Arrested Development, I noticed some very pretty stairs in the background of this scene. It’s not the best picture (it’s a screen shot from the computer) but let me explain whats going on. You see, what we have here is Buster having a meltdown in front of some stairs. Stairs with dark stained risers. Which I have never seen before (or at least noticed) so I instantly filed this away for future projects. I always love the contrast of treads/risers on stairs. It’s necessary. I ultimately end up painting the risers white in all my client’s homes.

Which is what I did at my house. Very poorly. I didn’t sand properly, or tape properly or even paint properly. And I’ve never liked it.


It’s a mess.

So today, I asked my flooring guy Luis to stop by to test out the dark stained riser idea. But guess what? I didn’t like that either. Neither did David. But we both liked how the natural wood looked against the treads once Luis sanded off the paint (which you can kind of see on either side of the dark stain sample). So, we’re going to do the reverse. Dark stained TREADS with lighter RISERS. Treads are what you walk on, risers run perpendicular to that. Probably should have mentioned that sooner…anyway…

My stairs are going to look something like this. It’s not a great indication but it’s pretty close. Minwax’s English Chestnut on the treads, and Natural on the risers. It will be subtle, but the contrast is there. And hey, if I hate it I’ll just paint it white again. The right way this time.

Photo credits: Netflix, Me and Minwax.


  1. Bethany / Oct 26 2014

    I am interested in seeing the finished product. Im considering this idea for our stairs!

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