You may once ask yourself how to paint a stairwell without hiring professionals. We all know that a stairwell definitely plays an indispensable role in your house.

However, what will you do when your staircase is getting old and out-of-date but your budget is telling you that you cannot afford to hire a painter?

We know that you are on the horns of a dilemma. That’s why in this article, we are going to show you the way to paint it step-by-step so that you can create your own home dream stairwell.

Let’s check it out now!


Before diving into the detailed instruction of how to paint a stairwell, let’s see what you will have to prepare for this process:

Smoothen the Surface

PreparationActually, if your paint surface is still smooth and in good condition, it’s okay for you to skip this step. You just need to paint over it to save your time. However, if it peels, or has a bumpy, uneven and patchy surface, you’d better strip it off to ensure the smooth-finished surface.

There are two options for you to do this. First, if you use the chemical stripping product, please read and follow its directions labelled on the packaging carefully.

As this product is pretty toxic, we advise you to wear protective clothing or equipment during the process as well as operate it in the well-ventilated area. Moreover, when you’re done, don’t forget to clean the surface to ensure that all the excess chemicals have been removed.

For the heat gun method, keep the gun far away from the surface about 2 to 3 inches and hold it. When the paint cover is soft and melts, scrape it off with a paint scraper or a putty knife.

Next, fill small holes and imperfections like nail holes with wood filler. And, with bigger ones, plaster can help fill them perfectly.


SandingSanding is an important step as it enables the new paint to be more durable and stick longer.

To do this, you should choose the sandpaper with the grit rating from 200 to 400- grit. Next, just quickly rough it through the whole painting surface. Don’t try to make it completely smooth as it’s unnecessary in this step.

With the rougher surface, you should add more pressure and sand it more thoroughly so that the full cover can be flat and even. This can also be done with an electric sander, or a sanding block.

See Also: How to Remove Paint from Wood without Sanding


CleaningThe last step to finish the preparation section is cleaning. What you need to do here is to wipe out all paint’s dust that may have appeared from those previous steps. You might not know this but a clean surface also contributes to a durable paint cover.

Plus, you can try multiple household cleaners and brushes to get rid of old stains and remaining greases. Then, let it naturally dry or use a clean, dry rag to wipe it off.

How To Paint A Stairwell Step by Step

Apply Primer

Apply PrimerChoosing and applying a good primer is a must when it comes to painting anything as it’s the connection between the old surface and the new paint cover, allowing you to create such a long-lasting finish.

A roller can come in handy but sometimes, you might find it difficult to apply primer and paint on it as it is too big for small spots, and patterns, especially on the railings and trim.

To fix this problem, we advise you to just use a roller for the large surface and try using paint brush or spray paint to paint small angles.

Apply Paint Coats

Apply Paint CoatsEach primer might need a different amount of time to fully dry so remember to read the directions carefully. Next, you can apply final coats.

Depending on the paint quality and texture, the number of layers will vary. However, normally, you might need 2 to 3 layers to cover the whole surface smoothly and perfectly.

One thing that you should always keep in mind when painting is that you can apply the next coat only when the previous one is completely dry!

Some Useful Tips For You

Some Useful Tips For YouHere are some useful tips and hacks for you to avoid encountering difficulties during your painting process:

  • Choose the suitable kind of paint: wood paint combined with satin paint can provide you with a shiny surface, but floor paints are also highly recommended for you as they are more durable and less slippery.
  • Always start with trims and handrails first to prevent drips from ruining the staircase’ finished surface.
  • Cover the surrounding area with old cloth
  • If you want to paint a multi-color staircase, you can use the painter’s tape to shape the colors and make the boundary between them.

See Also: Must-Have Painting Tools When You Paint

Some Fresh Idea Painting For Your Stairwell

Some Fresh Idea Painting For Your StairwellIf you still do not have any new ideas to repaint and decorate your staircase, these are some stunning suggestions and color-mixing for you to consult:

  • Ombre stairwell for a big fan of aesthetic art:
  • Rainbow stairwell for those who love colorful things:
  • Boho staircase for you if you’re into vintage patterns:

Final Thoughts

If you are fed up with your current stairwell as it is as old as the hills, ugly or too boring, instead of just looking at it and sighing deeply, why don’t you consider it as a giant white paper and freely refresh it with new paint colors and patterns? You will heave a sigh of relief soon!

Anyway, thanks for hitting the bottom line of this article. We hope that after reading it, you have completely understood how to paint a stairwell.