My husband and I spent a large part of the day messing up our basement stairs. It's suddenly become an "urgent" project, because we are having the basement carpet installed on Wednesday, and they are going to put a runner down the stairs. The stairs are just not attractive. We first decided a nice coat of dark stain would do the trick, but it didn't cover up the pre-existing mess of old paint stains, uneven coloring, dents, old nail holes...you get the idea. We've (I've) now decided it just needs to be painted...simple (sort of?), clean and classic, black and white.
If I had more than about 30 seconds for this home project, I would love to do something incredibly fun like some of these inspiring examples I found tonight in a last minute search. But with only 2 busy days to go...and without time to even buy the paint (I'm having my wonderful handyman pick some up for me)...I think we'll just err on the side of basic.