Step By Step: 5 Practical Tips for Painting Stairs

Industry Observer with RenovationFind

A staircase can either be a breathtaking focal point or an unfortunate eyesore. When it comes to making a positive first impression, a coat of paint can go a long way. Especially for a beat-up staircase that's in need of some TLC.

Stairs get a lot of foot traffic. They have to be able to weather some serious wear and tear. That's why painting stairs isn't as straightforward as it seems. Here are some tips for making your staircase makeover last.

1. Painting Stairs: How to Make it Last

There are so many options to choose from when it comes to painting stairs. You can choose a warm stain to bring out a staircase's natural wood grain. Or you can paint them a bright color to really make them pop.

Whatever coat you choose for your space, you want to be sure it's going to last. If you also paint the spindles and banister of your stairs then you should use a separate paint or stain.

For your stairs' steps, you will need a paint that is going to be able to withstand the constant traffic. That's why we recommend using a porch and floor paint. It's best to choose a low luster color so dust won't stand out. Glossy paint will only make for slippery treads, so a matte finish is best.

2. Riser, Spindles, and Banister

Ready to freshen up the rest of your staircase? When choosing a color for your banister, a darker color creates an elegant look that stands out. For spindles and risers, white is a clean neutral that will brighten up any space.

For these parts of your stairs, choose a paint that is semi-gloss. This will give the color a beautiful finish without being overly shiny. We recommend choosing one that already has a primer in it to help the paint stick and last.

The quality of the paint you buy will ultimately make a huge difference in its lifetime. So don't skimp on your paint. It takes a long time to paint a staircase, so the less often you have to redo it, the better.

3. Clean It Up 

Before you even begin your paint project, it's important to thoroughly clean your staircase. This means wiping down all the surfaces and corners.

Don't rush it! Staircases collect a lot of dust and dirt. You don't want that making its way into your paint. You'll be glad you took the extra effort to wipe it down in the long run.

4. Order is Everything

Once you choose your paint and have it ready to go, you may be wondering what order you should begin painting? One trick is to paint every other tread, wait for them to dry, then paint the ones in between. This will allow you to still use the stairs throughout your project.

Another aspect to consider is where you are painting your lightest colors. It is easier to cover-up white with darker color paint. So after you have completed painting the lighter parts of your stairs such as your risers and spindles, you can tape these off and begin painting the darker accent colors. 

5. Right Tools & Tape

The spindles are probably the trickiest part of painting your stairs. They are going to require a lot of patience and time.

There are so many angles and edges, it's easy to slip up. Tape not only makes your project easier but also helps you finish faster. Use tape sparingly when possible to save on time and money. If you have the right tools, such as a small trim brush and narrow roller, you won't have to use quite so much tape.

You should also paint with a wet paper towel nearby. No matter how careful you are, there's always a chance of messing up.

Fresh Look

Painting stairs can change the look of an entire room! However, it can be a time-consuming project and not everyone has the time to tackle it by themselves.

If you're dreaming of a new look for your stairs but can't do it yourself, then we can help! Check out staircase painters in Calgary and take your staircase from eyesore to stunning. It's more affordable than you think!

Read >>>>> 10 Ideas for painting stairs



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Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

A staircase can make or break a room.  Thanks for these great tips.

Dec 01, 2019 05:13 PM #1
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Renovation Find very good helpful list of tips for painting stairs.

Dec 01, 2019 05:17 PM #2
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Thanks for the wonderful tips. I am not stupid enough to even consider painting my steps. Way too hard

Dec 01, 2019 08:23 PM #3
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi Renovation Find, Thanks for sharing these great tips for painting stairs.  We're looking at refinishing ours - not sure what we want to do yet.

Dec 01, 2019 08:53 PM #4
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