The Genius Way Joanna Gaines Uses Shiplap To Dress Up A Staircase

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It's no secret that Joanna Gaines is a huge fan of using shiplap to create accent walls. (Here's what you should know before you decide to recreate it though.) Since this material is so quintessentially farmhouse, it always creates the perfect look in every home Gaines redesigns. Perhaps you're a fan of shiplap but you don't have an empty wall to add it to. If so, you could include this material in a unique area of your home: your staircase.

Gaines included shiplap planks on a staircase in season 5, episode 17 of "Fixer Upper." "Since this isn't your average farmhouse, I wanted to incorporate something unexpected with the pattern on the stairs," Gaines wrote on Magnolia. "I wanted to find a unique way to update this 100-year-old staircase and set the tone for the design in the rest of the house." Her solution is to install small, diagonal pieces of shiplap onto each of the staircase risers to create a chevron pattern, while also preserving the beautiful dark wood tone of the treads.

The benefits of shiplap stairs

For Joanna Gaines, the main reason why she included this shiplap detail in the 100-year-old home on "Fixer Upper" was because of the location of the staircase. "The stairwell is the first thing you see when you walk in the front door," she added. Therefore, this design element creates a place for your eye to land as soon as you enter. Before deciding to add this feature to your own staircase, consider how visible it is to the high-traffic areas in your home.

If you do decide to add shiplap to your staircase risers, this design element will come with a number of benefits. Typically, staircases are basic and boring, but this will give your home an unexpected look that could make it more desirable. Because this design features vertical lines, it draws the eye upwards and makes the staircase appear more grand. It will also fully establish your style and the history of your farmhouse home. Finally, if you have an open floor plan and shiplap is used in some of the other rooms, adding this feature to your staircase could make your design feel cohesive.

How to add shiplap to your stair risers

In order to create this look, you'll need to cut pieces of shiplap and attach them to your risers. To determine how large the pieces need to be, measure the length and height of your risers and use that as a frame of reference. Each piece should be cut at a 30-degree angle with a miter saw, and the two pieces in the middle should have a 90-degree angle in the middle, to create a straight line. You can attach them with a finish nailer and complete the look with caulk and paint.

There's also another way to create the same look that requires much less work — in fact, it doesn't involve shiplap at all. You could simply use a black permanent marker to draw on the chevron pattern, which will make it look like shiplap from afar. To do so, cut pieces of cardboard to use as stencils so that your spacing is uniform. Then, find the middle of your stair and draw a straight vertical line, continuing out with diagonal lines from there. Similarly, you could purchase vinyl stair riser decals that provide the same look from Amazon