DIY expert shares six steps to paint a staircase

Styled UK share tips on best interior colour combinations

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A staircase is a huge part of a home, and is often one of the first things a guest notices when they enter a home, meaning it is important to keep it looking nice and fresh. One way to do this is to give it a fresh lick of paint every few years, especially if you have children or pets. Michael Rolland, DIY expert from The Paint Shed has shared top tips on how to paint a staircase for a professional and smooth finish.

1. Prepare

The DIY expert explained: “Before you can even think about painting your staircase, you need to be prepared to remove any carpet that was in place. So any carpet that was previously on it needs to be removed.

“Any broken or chipped areas need to be repaired with wood filler to make sure the finish is as smooth as possible.

“You can paint both bare wood and painted wood, but if the stairs are very old and have many layers of paint on, you might want to strip them back before using a paint stripper, a heat gun or sanding.”

2. Clean

After DIYers have completed the preparation, it is time to give the staircase a good clean which can help ensure a professional finish at the end.

Michael recommended going over the staircase with a damp cloth before then using a vacuum. He added: “This should do the trick and make it nice and tidy, removing any remaining dirt before painting.”

3. Sand the stairs

The DIY pro noted: “To ensure the staircase is smooth, you will need to sand it. This will make the job of painting much easier.

“An electric sander is ideal to maximise efficiency, however the old fashioned way will still do the job.” Sanding a staircase can be tricky but it is important every section is reached and sanded properly.

4. Pick your paint wisely

While Britons can use any type of wood paint, those designed for flooring are “best”, according to the expert as they are a lot more durable.

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However, don’t rush into choosing the paint because if you get it wrong, it’ll provide a lot more work in the long term. Test the paint on small areas of the staircase, which can always be painted over later on.

5. Primer

Stairs are a high traffic area in the home, and receive a lot of wear and tear, meaning a good primer is “crucial” when it comes to painting the wood.

Michael said one layer should be sufficient, and once the primer has been painted on, wait until it is dry before going in with any paint, which usually takes around four to six hours.

6. Time to paint

The DIY expert continued: “You’ve chosen your paint, and now it’s time to start. You should start painting early and preferably when everyone is out for the day.

“It’s important you paint multiple layers of paint on your staircases, as this will last much longer than just one single layer.

“You’ll need to factor in drying time which can be around four to six hours to be touch-dry and then longer before you can walk on it.

“Three layers should be enough but it is different from staircase to staircase. When painting your stairs, start at the top and work down so you don’t get stuck upstairs.”

With so many paint colours on the market, it can be hard to know which colour is best suited for a staircase, or which will look the best.

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According to the pro, there are several trending staircase colours at the moment, including white, grey, and even no colour at all.

He said: “More and more people are leaning towards a more simple staircase and classic white does exactly that. A classic white staircase gives a clean, crisp look and is also more versatile, matching with any aesthetic and other colours throughout the home.

“White can hide imperfections in the wood as well as letting other elements throughout your home shine. Hallways tend to be darker areas of the home so choosing a white can help brighten up the space.”

A lot of people are also saying goodbye to any sort of colour on their staircases, opting to polish the natural wood instead. This can give the home a more classic look by taking advantage of the character the house has.

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