Latest News and Articles From the A & T Carpentry BlogA quick guide to painting your staircase
Painting your stairs may seem a major job, depending of course, on the size and number of flights involved. It can be challenging, but here are a few hints and tips to get you started.
Make a Plan!
Start by writing a plan so you ensure the job goes smoothly. Look at the task ahead, is there a carpet to consider, what is the current state of the paintwork and what preparation is needed? Are there areas that need to be masked off to prevent overpainting (or to keep lines straight)? Who will need to use the stairs whilst you are working? What kind of finish are you looking for? What do I need to buy? If you consider all these points before you begin there is a good chance the finished result will be to your expectations and will last well.
Always remember the painter who painted a floor without thinking; He started by the only door and painted until he got to a corner of the room, leaving himself no way to escape! This may sound obvious but if you have painted your stairs from top to bottom and the only toilet is upstairs …. get the picture?
Having decided on your plan it’s time to start. Remove or mask any carpet and cover vulnerable areas to prevent paint spotting. If your painting skills are less that perfect it will be worth using masking tape along any edges you want to avoid painting, giving you the professional look . Sand down the areas to be painted using a fine grade paper, noting any areas that will need to be filled with a suitable filler. When you have finished, vacuum the area and clean with a damp cloth. Taking time at this stage will give a good result and finish.
Decide where you want to be when you are finished painting, you wouldn’t want to be stuck on the wrong level. Look at the drying times on the paint you are using and remember – the longer you leave it before walking on it, the harder the surface will become.
Painting is the most rewarding part, getting the right paint is essential. There are several floor and stairs paints available, always choose the best you can afford. Floor paints are flexible and will withstand frequent traffic. Read the instructions and safety information before you begin and always follow them, paying particular attention to any potential hazards. There will be a guide to coverage on the tin, try to buy enough to complete the job as there may be a slight colour variation between batches if bought at different times.
The number of coats needed will depend on how each coat is applied. It is better to have two or three thin coats than try to cover an area in one thick layer. Follow the paint manufacturer’s advice on the drying time between coats. Take special care when painting spindles as runs can form around the join between the handrail and the top of the spindle. Don’t be tempted to overload the brush with paint.