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What Is The Best Paint For Indoor Stairs?

Alright, you might have painted your ceilings and walls, but how about your stairs? Stairs are one of the sophisticated places to add paint. When it comes to selecting paints for indoor stairs, you might want to consider the best options. We have consulted some painters and looked into this topic thoroughly to help you choose the stair paint.

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The majority of people pick satin or semi-gloss paints as both are long-lasting and radiant on hardwood floors. These kinds of paints are also generally used as floor paints.

  • Semi-gloss – It is extremely resistant to moisture, unchallenging to clean, reflects some amount of light, and is excellent used on stairs, washrooms, doors, and kitchens.
  • Satin paint – is water repellant and is better compared to matte paints. It could be used both indoors and outdoors and provides an aura that adds depth to a room and hides flaws.

Whether you go for something else like matt, gloss, or varnish is absolutely up to you, just as long as the paint can bear the floor traffic. Go on reading as we answer some questions that will guide you to decide better with regards to painting stairs.

Modern illuminated wooden staircase indoor, What Is The Best Paint For Indoor Stairs?

Is it better to stain or paint stairs?

When you consider giving the stairway a makeover, you may be contemplating either using paint or staining your staircase. Maybe you're considering if you can use both. Whether you choose to paint or stain your staircase, remember that the appropriate colors can transform not just the look of your steps but also the interior of your home.

Staining Stairs

Entryway of an old restored Victorian style home

If your steps get a lot of foot traffic regularly because you have busy kids or dogs, staining them is the most realistic solution. However, correctly stained and sealed stairs and railings can withstand heavy use for years, and even longer if a runner is added.

Painting Stairs

Blue painted stairs in an old school

When compared to stains, painted stairs have a shorter timeframe before developing scuff marks or damage. To keep your painted steps from being damaged, try using stair runners. Among the most cost-effective ways of providing your staircase a transformation, is to paint over old stained wood risers, spindles, and handrails.

If you have an older property that has been upgraded in terms of design, consider staining the treads and painting the risers if you opt to use both paint and stain for your stairway. 

Should stair risers be painted white?

Wooden staircase interior decoration in modern house

White paint is always the wisest option for stair risers because it blends with any wood stain color and it draws attention to the natural wood staircase while also emphasizing the size of the nearby walls and surfaces.

You can also have a white and off-white combination--the risers are painted the same color as the wall, while its treads are painted white to match the room's frame. Instead of making a dramatic statement, the staircase becomes a part of the entire space.

Follow these actions to keep the white risers clean:

  • Spray a rag with an all-purpose cleaner.
  • Scrub the stair risers carefully and in a circular motion with a cleaning solution rag.
  • Then, using water, moisten another rag to wipe away the cleaner.
  • If your stair riser is wet, use a towel to dry it.
  • Check your stair risers for any dark patches that are not visible.

Should you polyurethane painted stairs? 

Construction worker fixing wooden stairs with polyurethane spray gun

Polyurethane is a versatile, tough, and long-lasting substance with many applications. Many homeowners use polyurethane to preserve their painted stairs from heavy foot activity. This not only protects the wood but also gives it a glossy finish that makes cleaning a breeze. In essence, nothing can penetrate polyurethane-coated wood since it provides a lasting hard coat.

If you need to use the stairs while the finish is drying, applying polyurethane to new stairs can be challenging, but you can get over it by coating only about once a step at a time.

It's also easy to choose a product that will flake or peel off if you're not cautious. To pick the best non-slip polyurethane for wood stairs, you must evaluate several variables.

Can you sand stairs by hand? 

Male hands polishing wooden step with sandpaper

Yes, you can do it, and hand sanding has several advantages over power sanding, which is often overlooked. Always sand along the grain when sanding by hand. If the previous finish refuses to come off, scrape the corners with a scraper.

Before you begin staining, sand the stairways thoroughly to remove dirt, debris, and even old paint. Make sure to repair, sand, and stain your steps before putting a new finish.

The ability to hand sand shapes and tight places is another reason why hand sanding is so important. Even detail power sanders will have a hard time fitting inside molding profiles generated by channeling or spindle molding.

Last-hand sand before sealing will always produce a superior surface than finishing with a power sander, since no matter how fine the grit, the power tool will leave scratch marks. You can also fine-tune areas that may require special attention but are too small for a power sander.

Is it essential to link your staircase and flooring?

Most homeowners prefer the concept of aligning their staircase to their flooring, but it is more significant for your staircase and flooring to coordinate than to match.

There are many possibilities for coordinating the two, such as using materials and finishes to create a perfectly blended design, however, there are other ways to achieve a cohesive and visually beautiful style.

If you want a unified look, have used the same species of lumber and stain for the flooring and stair sections. This is the most visible way to match your flooring and stairs.

Another option is to coordinate simply one or two stair sections to exactly match your floor. You could, for example, match only your steps and railing to your hardwood and mix in painted baseboard trim and risers. To get a unified look, not everything must match.

To Conclude

Before designing your home, consider your staircase because it provides a clear and unique first impression of your property. Even on ancient and unsightly wooden staircases rust can be removed by sanding with sandpaper. Refinishing wooden stairs is indeed a time-consuming operation.

Sanding wooden steps is required whether you plan to paint, stain, or expose the finished product. It is simple to begin, but it requires time and careful attention to complete properly. Make sure you've got the necessary effort the first time. Repainting, sanding, and staining stairs will help them endure longer and wear better.

For more DIY tips, check out our related posts: 

How to Paint or Stain Plywood Stairs? [4 Steps] 

How To End Baseboard At Stairs