help me.painting/staining the staicase

Found 9th May 2010
can anyone offer advice?i would like to paint/stain/varnish (not sure which one is best?easiest) my interior staircase.the stairs are painted white which i guess is white gloss,i really dont want to go through the whole process of sanding down etc,just want to get the job done and have it looking nice.any help greatly appreciated. julie xx
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hi julie

if you are wanting to re gloss lightly sand down then apply a satin white finish with a brush. this is the easiest way to look clean and tidy a fresh look for the summer.

if you have more time you need to strip off the white paint and any other layers sand down this will take time and alot of effort. i did this on mine then i stained. but to be honest it would have been easier to replace with new the effort went on for days and the final look is ok but i still had some bad areas which were difficult to take off. so when i stained the spindles there was variations in the colour.

my advise is to repeat the colour white. or buy new if you can afford then stain it to your chosen finish expensive but looks brand new

regards belinda:whistling:
hi, i cant afford to replace the staicase,and as i am renting from a housing association i dont want to do any thing dramatic which requires permission,could i sand lightly manually?also could i paint the risers with a brownish/walnut gloss and the other bits white?dont no what there x
Pay someone else to do it.
which type of paint?im doing this myself,so sorry for all questions,just dont want to have to re do it x
I'd stick with white - brown paint on white doesn't look the best. Also use satin paint - it's not as 'shiny' as gloss paint.
Dulux Quick Dry Satinwood Gloss Paint - Just Walnut - would this cover the white?x
Hi Julie, well if the stairs have already been painted white, then that really narrows the choice down to re-painting, as you can only stain or varnish bare wood, which 'wood' mean a lot of sanding/stripping (no not sort lol!).
As they are already painted, a light sand over should be fine, although obvioulsy any major defects will need filling and sanding, the main thing is to make sure they are completely dust/dirt free to achieve a good finish.

Your paint choices are basically using oil based or water based (acrylic), I personally use Acrylic as oil based gives me a bad migraine even with plenty of ventilation.Both have their pro's and cons which are basically as as follows...

Oil Based is harder wearing, and gives a nice glossy finish, however it takes upto 3-7 days to fully dry/harden (which could be a problem if you want to use the stairs!), and the chemicals give off a strong smell, which isn't good for you! you can mask the smell using a cut onion or a dish of white vinegar (yeah I know, sounds mad!) but this only hides the smell, it doesn't get rid of the fact that you're breathing in toxic chemicals (VOC's).Clean up using white spirit.

Acrylic gives a nice satin finish, is low odour, and drys in about 2-4 hours, and clean up is easy, everything can be washed with soapy water, however it's not as hard wearing, so you'd expect to do it all again sooner.

Ultimately a staircase gets a lot of traffic, so you wouldn't expect the paint to look good for ever anyway, so if you're basically looking for a quick freshen up, I'd use Acrylic paint.Just give everything a light sand (important for paint adhesion), clean it all down thoroughly, and then give a coat of quick drying undercoat, give it 2-4 hours to dey, the follow with a coat of quick dry satin.It'll look good, won't smell, and it can all be done in the same day!

Be sure to use decent brushes, there is no point going to all this time and effort using something out of poundland! it'll look crap, and the bristles wil get in your paint.A good brush, won't cost a lot, and will give a really nice finish, just take your time!.For speed you could use a mini roller on the treads, but it won't look as good.

Despite their size, the big sheds ie B&Q don't always offer the best deals for the average home user buying small quantities, I'd go to Wilkinsons, they have good prices, and even their own brand paint is generally good, and they do stock some good brushes.If you have paint left over keep indoors, as it'll keep for a while, and be useful for touching up, if you put it in the shed, the cold and frost will make it unusable (not a concern at the moment, unless we're due a naff summer!)

Hope this helps, and good luck! don't hesitate to ask if you need more help.
thank you very much for the detailed reply.few lightly sand-can i use a sanding sponge or something similar-i.e not an electric sander.
what is acrylic paint?does it come in different colours?
what is quick drying undercoat?
the quick dry satin-is this the one i mention above?
sorry total novice,u could never tell x
Don't use a machine for a light sand, literally, just a bit of fine/medium sandpaper (use a block to help if you wish), with a wiping down type action, nothing major, unless there are bits that need more sanding obviously.Ultimately it all depends on how good you want it to look, but more time spent on preperation will give you better results (usually!).If the exisiting finish isn't too bad, it's possible to miss out the undercoat, which will still give a good 'tidy up' finish, but won't look as good or last as long as using undercoat as a base.For the ultimate finish, give 2 top coats (Satinwood) with a very light sand in between, although this would take 2 days.

Acylic paint, is simply water based paint, which is why it's quick drying.Satinwood, can be oil or waterbased, so check the label.If you're not sure just check it's drying time, and if you need to clean with white spirit.Satin finish I think looks better than gloss in this sort of case, as it won't show any defects as badly, in the same way that matt is better than silk for bad walls.

Hope it all goes well, and I'm sure it'll look great when it's done!:thumbsup:

Ask if you need more help of course!
thanks,off to focus.we dont have a wilkensons nearby,will let u no how i get on x

thanks,off to focus.we dont have a wilkensons nearby,will let u no how i … thanks,off to focus.we dont have a wilkensons nearby,will let u no how i get on x

No problem, Focus are usually pretty good for choices of paint and wallpaper.

Yeah, be nice to hear how you got on, and you'll get a lot of satisfaction when it's all done, better than paying people like me to do it! :thumbsup:
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