As professional decorators – such as Scott Anson Painters and Decorators Ltd. – know all too well, painting a staircase can be tricky. However, with the proper preparation and techniques, it can be done successfully.

Clean and Prep

Cleaning and prepping the stairs before painting is important to ensure that the paint adheres well and the finished product looks smooth and professional.

First, you should sweep or vacuum the stairs to remove any dirt, dust or debris. Next, clean the stairs with mild detergent and warm water. Scrub any stains or marks with a stiff-bristled brush, then rinse the stairs with clean water and allow them to dry completely.

Sanding the stairs is crucial, as this will smooth out any rough spots, creating a surface to which the paint can adhere. Filling any cracks or holes with wood filler is also critical, but it is important to ensure that the filler is completely dry before you sand it down with fine-grit sandpaper.

Mask Off Areas

Masking off areas you don’t want to paint is essential to ensure a clean and professional paint job; using painter’s tape will ensure that you don’t get paint on the opposite surface. The tape should create a sharp, clean edge where the paint will stop, making it easier to achieve a professional-looking paint job.

Apply a Primer

Applying a primer before painting stairs is a good idea. If the surface is too porous the paint will draw into it, meaning that – unless you apply a number of coats of paint – the colour may not be as vibrant. Applying a primer can stop this from happening.

Primer can also be used to cover up stains, enabling the colour coat to shine. If you don’t have much knowledge of the condition of your stairs before painting, you should always apply a primer.

Paint the Stairs

Decorators should begin early in the morning, preferably when family or housemates are out for the day, because the paint will take at least a few hours to dry.

It is always best to start at the top of the stairs and move down to avoid becoming stuck upstairs. Use a small roller for a flawless finish, then cut in with a smaller paintbrush.

Final Touch Ups and Remove Tape

To finish, wait for the paint to dry and then remove the masking tape. Then, give the stairs a final vacuum.