Open riser staircase paint ideas - need advise

18 Apr 2012
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United Kingdom
As part of recent refurbishment, we installed an open riser staircase like in the picture but in a narrow hallway which leads to the rear extension with nice garden views through a bi-fold patio door.

The idea was that when we open the front door, the stairs don't block the view and make the hallway feel narrow but rather let light through and allow us to see the garden - just to feel a bit spacious.

Due to a tight budget, we went for a softwood stair which my fitter says will not look good varnished like oak or other hardwood would. His recommendation is to paint it.

Any ideas on the paint scheme we can use? We want to stick to neutral colours such as white, black and dark grey. And we don't mind having the strings in one colour and the treads in another. Also the hand rail and posts.

I have read that a white window frame draws eyes to the frames so it's not easy to see beyond it whereas black would "disappear" and we automatically see beyond them. Does the same apply to the stairs? Should I do the stringers in white and treads in dark anthracite? Or reverse that, or just all white or all black / dark grey?

Any advice would be very helpful. The walls are white and the floor is a matt light concrete effect porcelain.

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fully open risers dont comply with building regs unless a 4"/100mm sphere cant pass though any area on the stairs or handrails
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In one house I lived in many years ago the fully open tread meant it was possible to put feet so far under the step in front that your shins would occasionally collide with the next step. Made me not a fan of open staircases

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