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How to paint stairwell walls & landing

Updated February 21, 2017

Paint is an easy and cheap way to transform the rooms in your home. Most homeowners can paint a room in a few hours for less than £32. Painting the walls surrounding your stairwell and stairwell landing can be a bit more difficult than painting a normal room. The walls surrounding a stairwell can be a lot taller. Many homeowners find it difficult to set up a ladder on their staircase. A roller extension will help you to reach spaces in shorter stairwells. In addition, learning to properly set up a ladder will keep you from falling during the painting process.

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  1. Lay down dust sheets on the stairs and the landing to protect the stairs.

  2. Set up a stepladder on the landing at the top of the stairs. Lean the top of an extension ladder against the wall opposite the top of the stairs. The bottom of the ladder should rest against the lower steps on the stairs. Place a 2-by-12 board between the rungs on the extension and stepladder. Level the board. Secure the board to one or both of the ladders with a C-clamp. This should create a makeshift scaffolding that you can sit or step on to paint the wall.

  3. Apply painters tape around the doors, light switches, and other areas that you do not want painted.

  4. Fill gaps between mouldings and the walls with caulk. Spread a bead of caulk along the gaps and smooth the caulk with your finger. Let the caulk dry per manufacturer directions.

  5. Cut in along the top of the walls and in the corners of the room with a paintbrush. Spread paint on the main area of the walls with a paint roller. Connect a roller extension to the bottom of the paint roller. This will help you reach the tall wall areas along the staircase. Allow the paint to dry per manufacturer directions.

  6. Apply a second coat of paint as needed.

  7. Warning

    Use caution when working on the makeshift scaffolding. Always check the 2-by12 board to ensure that it is steady before use.

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Things You'll Need

  • Dust sheets
  • Extension ladder
  • Step ladder
  • 2-by-12 board
  • C-clamp
  • Painters tape
  • Caulk
  • Paintbrush
  • Latex paint
  • Paint roller
  • Roller extension

About the Author

Cadence Johansen

Cadence Johansen is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about travel, marriage, family relationships, caregiver support, home improvement and money. Johansen has been writing professionally since 2008. She holds a master's degree in family studies from Utah State University.

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