Painting stairways presents a unique challenge for everyone from DIY enthusiasts to professional painters. Interior decorating is always a marriage of form and function, and nowhere is this marriage made more apparent than in your staircases. On the one hand, they’re bound to be some of the most prominent features in your home or place of business. On the other hand, they’re also objects which are naturally defined by their utilitarian nature.
What’s more, painting stairways requires working with large swaths of paint as well as smaller, subtler details. It’s a tricky tightrope to walk, which is why you’ll want to heed these tips for stairway painting success.
Let’s begin by touching on something you should not do. Tempting as it may be, unless the staircase you are working on is particularly massive or you are replacing drywall, you should probably just skip renting scaffolding. These tend to be a waste of time and money for most stairway painting projects.
Instead, you’ll want to look into investing in a good extension ladder. These ladders can, as the name would imply, be extended to various heights, making it that much easier to reach and paint different parts of the stairway. That ability to extend to different heights makes extension ladders far more versatile than scaffolding, and they’re typically far less expensive as well. Always make sure that your extension ladder is secure and isn’t wobbling around before you climb up it to begin painting.
In addition, you’ll want to look into acquiring an extension pole. This can enable you to paint hard to reach places with a greater degree of ease. As with extension ladders, you should ideally try to find extension poles which can be extended out to various lengths.
Cover the Area
As with any large painting project, you’ll want to be sure to put down drop cloths or apply masking tape to areas which you want to shield from any potential paint splatter. Be sure that the materials you are using will not allow the paint to simply seep through.
Cut in, Then Roll on
Now you’re ready to begin painting.
You’ll want to start by cutting into the stairway with a sharp, angular brush, applying paint to the corners. Once you have done that, you’ll be ready to apply paint to the middle with rollers. You’ll want to decide ahead of time what size rollers you want to use. Smaller rollers have the benefit of being a bit more maneuverable, while larger rollers will naturally be able to paint larger areas quicker.
Of course, a unique challenge to stairways is the fact that it’s not one surface, but several. Repeat the process of cutting around corners and filling in the middle spaces with rollers. There is bound to be a fair amount of repetition involved in this process. Nevertheless, with patience, you should see positive results and a neat, uniform look across your stairwell.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to breathe new life into your stairwell.
Marc Poulos began his real estate and financial services career, but he soon realized that his true passion was beautifying homes. He started working with various small craftsman shops before serving an apprenticeship with the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Chicago. His commitment to excellence won him Top Apprentice from Washburne trade school in Chicago – the country’s premier school of its kind.