How to Paint Wooden Stairs

Written by dawn roberts
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How to Paint Wooden Stairs
Painting your wooden steps is a straightforward project for the average do-it-yourselfer. (steps 1 image by Samuel Birkan from

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.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Painters' tape
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush(es)

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  1. 1

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

  2. 2

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

  3. 3

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

  4. 4

    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.

  5. 5

    Apply a second coat.

  6. 6

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

  7. 7

    Peel off the tape.

Tips and warnings

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

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