How to Paint Staircase Spindles

Updated February 21, 2017

Staircase spindles are commonly made of either wrought iron or wood. Painting your staircase spindles should prove to be an easy task for those with a few spare hours. Use a high-quality metal primer and paint for metal spindles. If you're painting wood, use a primer and paint made for wood.

Clean the surface of the staircase spindles. If they are new, chances are they'll only need to be wiped off with a damp cloth. If you are painting over an existing surface, it may be necessary to scrub the surface thoroughly. If you are painting new wood spindles, sand down any rough spots using fine sandpaper. It's important to make sure that any surface you paint is as smooth and clean as possible to ensure an optimal finish.

Cover any area near the spindles that you want to avoid painting. If the spindles are not yet installed, spread out a dust sheet and place them on top. If the spindles are already on the steps, use painter's tape to cover smaller spaces and a dust sheet or newspaper to cover the stairs.

Paint the primer onto the spindles with your brush and allow to dry for as long as the instructions on the can suggests.

Paint the spindles. Once the primer has dried, apply the paint making sure to cover all areas.

Remove the painter's tape, if used. It's important to do this before the paint dries to avoid potentially peeling some of the spindle's paint away.


Common colours are white for wood and black for wrought iron. However, don't feel like you have to stick with tradition.

Things You'll Need

  • Spindles
  • Paint
  • Damp cloth
  • Sandpaper
  • Dust sheet
  • Painter's tape
  • Newspaper
  • Primer
  • Paint brush
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About the Author

Sarah Schreiber has been writing since 2004, with professional experience in the nonprofit and educational sectors as well as small business. She now focuses on writing about travel, education and interior decorating and has been published on Trazzler and various other websites. Schreiber received a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications.