Paint the risers using paint and a paintbrush, leaving the treads bare. This gives a unique stepped look to your stairs, as the wood of the treads contrasts with the vivid coloring of the risers. Paint the risers to match the décor in your home, or paint them stark white for a very clean and modern look.
Paint your risers, then cover them further with decals. Decals give you a number of shapes to play with, ranging from geometric to curvy and organic, and they give your stairs a whimsical touch. Consider the shapes that you like to decorate with, and repeat them when choosing your decal designs.
Cut contact paper to match the size and shapes of your stair risers, and stick the paper to the risers. Contact paper is typically used to line shelves, and because of this, it is sturdy and stain-resistant. It also comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, and it is an inexpensive solution when you want to cover your stair risers.