You Should Paint Your Stairs. Here’s How To Do It Right

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY The Havenly Team

Fill 1Created with Sketch.

Published on May 17, 2018


Several Hours


$ $ $ $

Skill Level

Have your stairs seen better days? Depending on the quality and how roughed up they are, sometimes painting your stairs can be a better (and cheaper!) bet than attempting to re-stain or re-finish. It’s a perfect choice for modern farmhouse enthusiasts, and if you’re going for a unique and modern look, you can also get a little creative with your color / design choices. Lucky for you we’ve pulled together our top designer tips for getting the painted staircase look of your dreams.


Bold black brings a modern touch to a traditional staircase.

Sand away any existing coatings / paint so you have a nice smooth surface to work with. If there are any dings or divits in your treads / risers, fill them with wood putty and sand smooth.

After sanding, vacuum the entire staircase and baseboards to get rid of any dust and wipe away any dirt and grime.

If you’re using more than one color, apply two coats of your base color first and allow to fully dry. When taping off the base color, ensure tape is flush against the surface, then paint a light coat of the base color over the tape edge, sealing the edge and preventing any bleed through of your second color.
And it’s as simple as that! When all coats are fully dry, pull up any tape and stand back and admire your handywork.
  • If you need to traverse your staircase in the middle of the project, paint the steps in sections or skip every few steps so you can still get up and down the stairs without tramping over your hard work!
  • Use a semi-gloss finish for a durable and easy-to-clean look.
  • Smaller tools like a small roller and trim brush work better for these small spaces!
  • Choose a paint with a built in primer for added durability.

Words by Shelby Girard