How to Paint Wooden Stairs

Preparation is key if you plan to paint your wooden stairs. Paint normally requires about a day or two to dry, which means you must clear out an entire floor of your home. Overall, the project is a fairly simple one that you can accomplish in about an hour, not including drying time, for the average length staircase. If your stairs are already painted, remember to remove the paint before you start, which you can do with fine sandpaper.

Vacuum the stairs to pick up any loose dirt that could be swept into the paint.

Place the painter's tape along the sides of the steps near the wall.

Paint the steps. If possible, begin at the top and paint steps in descending order, using long, even strokes.

Allow the paint to dry, which could take about six hours before you can apply another coat. Read the manufacturer's instructions on the paint can to be sure.

Apply a second coat.

Allow the stairs to dry for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours.

Peel off the tape.


An employee at a hardware or department store can tint your paint when you purchase it.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Painters' tape
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush(es)
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About the Author

Dawn Roberts has been writing professionally since 1996. Her stories have appeared online and in print. She has also been heard on various radio stations. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Pennsylvania State University and was awarded the Hearst Award.