Source: Martha Stewart
Wallpapering stair risers is an affordable way to introduce a pattern you love to a space.
Resources: Bardini wallpaper, by Nina Campbell, $160 per roll, osborneandlittle.com.
Clear water-based varnish
Cut the wallpaper -- a typical stairwell will need only one roll -- to cover the front of each riser, and then apply according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Protect the paper from scuffs and scratches with two or three thin coats of a clear water-based varnish, painting it on with a foam or soft-bristle brush.