Stair skirts are like baseboard for your stairs. They add a polished touch to staircases and are especially important to have (I think) on wooden staircases. You'll see them running along the wall like classic baseboard and also under the side of the stairs when there's no wall (these are called outer skirts).
My stairs didn't have any skirt, and I wanted to fix that since I ripped all the carpet off and was trying to pass my stairwell off as a finished space. The problem was, real stair skirt seems sort of complicated and time consuming to make. I prefer to avoid complicated.
Problem solved: create faux stair skirt using a small piece of moulding. Brilliant, I tell you.
First, decide how how tall you want your "stair skirt" to be; measure this distance from a step near the bottom and a step near the top (making sure to measure at the same location on each step, like the front of the tread's bullnose). Mark these spots and use a chalk line to create a perfectly straight line running the length of the steps.
In the case of corners, get creative. We drew a couple options for the line of trim going around the wonky corner to help us decide what to do.
In the end we decided to go with option 1 because we felt that it looked less choppy and broken up when viewed in the space as a whole.
After you've got your chalk lines drawn, cut your moulding and tack it to the wall, then caulk it. The caulk will hold the moulding to the wall securely once it dries.
I chose to skim coat the wall underneath the piece of molding with spackle and then sand it smooth to eliminate the wall's texture and help continue the illusion of a solid piece of stair skirt once it's painted.
My stairwell project still isn't complete, so unfortunately I don't have a finished photo to share. In the meantime, here's a shot of the faux stair skirt and stairs while I primed them last night:
Seems easy enough, right? Don't let it fool you, working on staircases sort of sucks my will to live. Just a teensy bit.
Regardless, I'm excited to see how this whole thing turns out... hopefully I'll be sharing some photos of the finished product in a week or so!
Update: Here's the finished faux stair skirt...
While you're here, go take a look at the big stairwell reveal...