Everything You Need to Know About Painting Stairs

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 21 February 2024 00:00

Watch enough home improvement shows and you’ll believe you can do anything in 60 minutes or less. That includes painting stairs.

What you don’t see are the off-screen bloopers. You don’t see how often the paint color doesn’t look right with the wall finish. And don’t see how long the job really took.

Can we share a secret?

Painting interior stairs isn't the hardest home improvement job, but it’s not as easy as the Property Twins make it look. Before you sand down your stairs and slap a coat of paint on, read this post. You’ll find out everything you need to know about stair painting.  

All About the Prep

Doing the prep work may seem tedious, but without it, the paint won’t adhere to the wood.

Remove carpet and padding first, removing any nails and staples left behind. Get ready for lots of dust and debris (carpets are messy) and vacuum the area thoroughly.

Next, you sand the treads (steps) until you have a clean, smooth surface. You can use either a belt sander or sandpaper. Keep in mind you’ll need to sand the corners by hand.

Don’t forget the risers and trim. Both need sanding before you start painting.

Grab your vacuum and a few damp cloths and get rid of the sanding dust.

Pick the Right Paint

When choosing the paint and stain for your project, you have an array of options.

For a weathered look, go with a light or medium tone stain. You could also choose a natural oil finish and leave out the stain altogether.

Not everyone likes the stained look. If you’ve decided to paint stairs instead of staining, using a porch and floor paint will give you a durable, slip-resistant finish. You’ll also have a huge selection of colors!

When selecting colors a dark color for the treads hides dirt. A light color for your risers adds a pop of visual definition. Consider color matching your tread and handrails and the risers to balusters.

Painting Stairs in Order

Yes, there’s an order to painting stairs ideas. Of course, if you have a bit of rebel in you, do it in any order you like, but you may wish you hadn’t.

If you’re refreshing handrails, do them first, followed by the balusters.

Now, you’re ready for the steps and risers. Starting at the top of the staircase you’ll paint the underside of the nosing. Then paint the riser, followed by the tread.

Skip a step. Continue the process, skipping a step each time. Painting every other step lets you use the stairs why your paint dries.

Need a Stair Painting Professional?

While we can’t share everything you should know about painting stairs in this short post, you should have an idea of the main steps you’ll take to complete the job.

If you prefer to enjoy the look of refinished stairs without doing the work, call us today. We’re happy to provide a free quote for your painting project.

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