Are the stairs in your home looking a bit rundown? Do they have peeling paints or unwanted spots? If so, it’s time to give them a fresh coat of paint.
Stairs face tons of traffic every day which leads to wear and tear. Painting them provides an added layer of protection and helps to hide flaws. In addition, using slip-resistant paint makes the stairs safer for your family.
It’s easy to get confused while choosing a paint given that the market is highly saturated with numerous types of paints for stairs. But the best paint for stairs is one that will protect your stairs from the harsh elements and make them durable & non-slip.
If you’re struggling to select paint for your stairs, don’t worry. We’ve discussed everything you need to know about stair paints including the top products and a guide on painting your stairs. So, without further ado let’s begin.
Comparison Chart For Top 5 Paint For Stairs
Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Premium Latex Paint
Country Chic Paint Chalk Style Paint
Mineral & Clay-based Wax
Montage Signature Interior & Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint
KILZ Interior/Exterior Porch & Patio Paint
Rust-Oleum Ultra Matte Paint
Best Paint For Stairs Reviews
1. Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Premium Latex Paint
Are you looking for paint that will work for both your outdoor and indoor stairs? Then, definitely take a look at the Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Premium Latex Paint.
This latex paint features a water-based formula that is suitable for multiple surfaces. You can use it on metal, wood, ceramic, and many more surfaces without worrying about durability. It comes with an impressive chip-resistant formula that keeps the paint as fresh as new for many years.
Stairs tend to get spots and imperfections over time. If you want to hide them, this latex paint will be perfect for you. The satin-smooth finish and high coverage hide spots effectively and make it the best floor paint for stairs.
Another great thing about this paint is that with one gallon of paint, you can cover over 120 sq ft area. What’s more, you can paint your stairs in a day with this paint because it takes only 30 minutes to dry.
- Impressive water-based acrylic formula
- Long-lasting scuff-resistant finish
- Suitable for both indoor & outdoor projects
- Low odor makes it family-friendly
- Effortless application & quick drying time
- Sanding is required to achieve accurate color
Undoubtedly, the best part about this color is its versatility. You can use it for both indoor and outdoor stairs. On top of that, this high-quality paint is suitable for wood, plaster, metal, masonry, and even unglazed ceramic.
So, no matter what material your stairs are made of, Rust-Oleum Painters Touch will be perfect for them.
2. Country Chic Paint Chalk Style Paint
Next, we have a brand that has been producing top-quality paints for over 80 years. It’s none other than the Country Chic Paint and their Chalk Style Paint is no exception to the legacy.
You can give your stairs a personalized touch with these paints. The unique mineral and clay-based formula results in a superior adhesion property. Hence, it is perfect for both interior and exterior wood stairs.
In addition, it comes with both primer and a topcoat which makes it one of the best paint for exterior wood stairs. Because it will be able to withstand heavy traffic without chipping off or fading.
What’s more, you get to choose from 50 amazing colors. All of the colors come with a self-leveling feature so you get to enjoy a stunning and durable finish.
Safety is a major concern when you are painting indoor stairs. When talking about eco-friendly and safe paints, this is the best paint for interior wood stairs. Country Chic Paint has made sure to exclude life-threatening chemicals like formaldehyde, phthalates, heavy metals, and other VOC. Therefore, you can safely use this paint for painting indoor stairs.
- Ensures top-notch durability
- Formulated with ultra-low VOC
- Eye-catching chalky finish
- Provides outstanding coverage
- Super quick drying time
- Available in smaller quantity
The best thing about this paint is that it’s completely eco-friendly. It doesn’t include any harmful chemicals or odors. Therefore, you can use it to brighten up your stairs without having to worry about your family’s safety.
3. Montage Signature Interior & Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint
Repainting your stairs can be a costly affair. Looking for a paint that will give the stairs maximum coverage yet not cost you hundreds of dollars? Then check out the Montage Signature Interior & Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint.
Montage paints are made from upcycled latex paints following an eco-friendly manufacturing process. Therefore, these paints are available in a much more affordable price range. Moreover, one five-gallon pack of paint can help you redo all the stairs in your house.
No matter if you want to paint indoor or outdoor stairs, Montage has got you covered. Their water-based latex paint ensures a smooth low sheen coverage. In addition, this paint can also hide spots and marks which makes it the best paint for basement stairs as they typically have more flaws.
If you are worried about mold damage, don’t be! This paint comes with exceptional mold and mildew protection. In addition, their advanced sealing technology protects the stairs from harsh elements effectively.
What’s more, you can easily clean up everyday spots as it’s completely scrubbable.
- Features eco-friendly formulation
- Outstanding low sheen finish
- Superior protection against mold
- Scrubbable water-based paint
- Available in a five-gallon pack
- Contains a bad odor
Montage eco-friendly paint offers plenty of amazing features such as mold resistance, UV protection, and high endurance. On top of this, this paint is really affordable so you can give your stairs a new fresh look without spending tons of money.
4. KILZ Interior/Exterior Porch & Patio Paint
If durability is your primary concern, the KILZ Interior/Exterior Porch & Patio Paint is for you. In terms of performance, this porch & patio paint truly stands out with its sturdy scuff-resistant finish and weather-resistant coverage.
This paint features a latex-enamel formula that effectively protects your stairs from moisture and makes it one of the best paint for wooden stairs. With this, your stairs remain protected from mold and mildew damage during summer, monsoon, and winter.
Enjoy its trustworthy and resilient coverage on your front or backyard stairs. You can hide the spots and marks of the stairs and add a low luster sheen to them. Moreover, no matter how much traffic you put them through, the paint won’t crack, peel or chip.
Furthermore, you can cover up to 400 sq ft of smooth surface using only one gallon of this paint. In addition, the paint only takes an hour to dry so you can finish painting projects in a day.
You can also apply this on previously painted surfaces. Two or three coats can effectively cover any wood or concrete stairs and make them as good as new.
- Excellent mildew-resistance
- Prevents fading, peeling, & scuffing
- Covers over 300 sq ft surface
- Great for hiding imperfections
- Works on top of old paint
- Requires priming before application
This 100% acrylic porch & patio paint from Kilz is the best paint for high traffic stairs. It comes with impressive durability and unparalleled mildew resistance. Formulated to withstand heavy traffic, this paint is suitable for both your indoor and outdoor stairs.
5. Rust-Oleum Ultra Matte Paint
Some people prefer a glossy finish while others favor a matte sleek look. If you’re part of the second group, Rust-Oleum Ultra Matte Paint will be perfect for you.
This acrylic paint comes in more than ten exciting colors and all of them will give you a velvety matte finish. Be it wood, ceramic, or metal, this paint is suitable for all types of interior stairs.
On top of that, you can increase the distressed vintage look using sandpaper at the last step.
Moreover, the high-coverage, low-odor, and easy application formula make it one of the best paint for indoor stairs.
The unique formula allows it to provide excellent coverage with only one coat. Hence, one quart of paint will last you a few projects.
What’s more, once the paint is dry it’s really easy to clean up with only soap and water. So, rejuvenate your stairs with the trendy yet vintage colors of the Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint range.
- Velvety smooth matte finish
- Superior coverage in a single coat
- Covers up to 150 sq ft surface
- Excellent for an antique look
- Doesn’t require any primer
- Not suitable for a solid finish
This is the best paint for interior stairs if you enjoy a distressed antique look. Over 10 colors with premium coverage and a chalky matte finish will make your stairs the centerpiece of your house. What’s more, one quart of paint will be more than enough to paint your stairs as it can cover more than 150 sq ft of surface.
How To Choose The Best Paint For Stairs?
Selecting a stair paint involves more than just buying paint and rolling it on. You have to consider several important factors to ensure that the paint you’re buying meets your requirements.
Therefore, we’ve put together a quick buying guide to help you in choosing the best paint for your stairs.
The first thing you need to decide is the color of the paint. It needs to be cohesive with your house & decor. Matching it to the original wood color makes the paint job much easier. However, you can paint the stairs a different color to make them stand out.
2. Paint Type
Primarily there are two types of paint: oil-based and water-based. The type of paint you should use depends on the material of your stairs and the environment they are placed in. Oil-based paints are suitable for exterior stairs as they provide optimal moisture defense. These paints give protection for up to 5-10 years.
Water-based paints are mainly used to paint wooden surface. These provide a faster drying time and better fade resistance.
Stair paints are available in several surface finishes such as full gloss, semi-gloss, satin, and flat.
Full and semi-gloss paints are easier to clean as they catch almost no dirt. However, with 85 and 70 percent shine makes the imperfections of the wooden stairs stand out. If you want to hide the flaws, go for a flat finish. This will effectively hide splits or gouges in the wood but be cautious of the fact that it will catch more dirt.
If you want a little shine with ease of cleaning, satin is the way to go. With this finish, you’ll get muted shine along with more coverage.
Since our stairs receive a lot of traffic, using anti-slip paint for stairs is of utmost importance. Both wooden & metal stairs can get slippery. Textured paint for stairs will help to make them less slippery and prevent unwanted accidents. Always make sure the paint you’re choosing has anti-slip properties.
Waterproofing is a crucial feature for stair paints. It gives the wooden stairs mold protection and metal stairs rust protection. Using waterproofed heavy-duty paint for stairs can keep water from reaching the stairs and preserve them for a long time.
This feature is more important for exterior stairs as they face rain and snow.
6. Drying Time
Considering drying time is essential as you do need to use them to get to upper floors or outside in case of exterior stairs. Oil-based paints can take anywhere from 6 to 24 hours to dry whereas water-based paints can dry in 1 to 2 hours.
So, consider how long you can stay without using the stairs and choose the paint accordingly.
How to paint stairs?
How To Paint Wooden Stairs?
A freshly painted wooden staircase can completely change the look of your house. It’s an easy DIY job that you can complete over the weekend.
To make sure you get outstanding results, we’ve explained in detail how to paint the exterior or interior wood stairs of your house. So, let’s get started.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
Before starting, gather all the required supplies you’ll need for the paint job. For preparing the stairs you’ll need a sander, fillers, cleaning solutions, sponge, and paint scraper.
Then, for the actual painting, you’ll need the paint, paint brushes, tray, paint stirrer, roller, and masking tape. Additionally, a dust mask will save you from dust and paint smell.
Step 2: Prepare & Repair The Stairs
First of all, remove old carpets from the staircase. Carpets are normally fixed down with nails or staples. Make sure you get those out too.
Then check your wooden stairs for any dents or damage. Fill the dents with wood filler and sand of rough patches using the sander.
If your stairs already have multiple layers of paint on them, it’s a good idea to strip the old paint. Use a good quality paint stripper for this and get rid of the old paints.
Step 3: Clean The Stairs
After you’re done preparing the stairs, clean them thoroughly. A cleaning solution and sponge will do the job. Before that, vacuum the dirt and dust.
Step 4: Select The Right Paint
Choosing the right paint is extremely important as stairs receive heavy traffic all day every day. This is more crucial for exterior stairs as they have to withstand environmental elements too. You can either paint or stain exterior stairs.
It’s recommended to use floor paint for stairs as they are meant to be walked on. Moreover, floor paints are less slippery. As a result, they provide more safety. However, if you’re using wood paint, make sure to get one with a satin finish.
Go through our buying guide to know all the crucial features to look for while choosing the paint for your wooden stairs.
Step 5: Add Required Additives
It can be difficult to find one paint that will satisfy all your needs. To compensate, you can mix additives to make it right for your stairs. For example, if you’ve decided on glossy wood paint, mix slip-resistant additives in it to ensure safety.
Moreover, hard coat additives can increase the durability of the paint, and dirt repelling agents keep your paint fresh for a long time. However, make sure to mix the additives properly using the paint stirrer.
What’s more, you can mix different shades of colors to get the right shade and benefits of both types of color.
6. Apply First Coat
Put masking tape on the sidewalls and risers. Start from the top of the stairs and leave one stair in between two. This will allow you to walk up the stairs without disturbing the paint and you can paint the rest when the first ones have dried.
Pour the paint on a tray and use a paintbrush or small roller based on the size of your stairs. Always apply thin coats of paint because thick coats tend to peel off faster.
7. Finish Painting
After the first coat has dried for the time recommended by the paint manufacturer, apply the second coat following the same instructions. Depending on what finish you want, two or three coats will be enough.
Remove the masking tapes and let the paint dry for the appropriate amount of time.
How To Paint A Stair Railing?
Now that the stair paints have dried, you need to tackle the railings. For achieving a flawless finish, follow the steps properly.
Step 1: Clean the wooden railing with a degreasing cleaning solution and sponge.
Step 2: After the wood has completely dried, sand the entire railing with low-grit sandpaper or an orbital sander.
Step 3: Use a tack cloth to remove the sand powders and wipe the entire railing with a wet cloth.
Step 4: Check to see if there are dents on the railing. If so, use wood filler to close them.
Step 5: Apply a good-quality primer all over the railing. Primer closes the wood pores and allows any paint to last longer. Let the primer sit for at least two hours.
Step 6: Painting railings will require smaller brushes. Use the size suitable for your railings and start by painting the banisters. Then go on to the railings.
Step 7: Let the paint dry and apply at least two coats of paint all over the railing. Also, make sure to apply a waterproof top coat on top of the paint. This will protect the handrails from stains and moisture.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
1. What Paint To Use On Stairs?
Answer: As stairs face more traffic than other painted surfaces, the paint used on stairs needs to be significantly more durable. You can use floor or porch paint that is both long-lasting and slip-resistant.
In case you’re using latex paint, cover it with several coats of water-based sealing finish to increase its endurance.
2. What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On Basement Steps?
Answer: Basement stairs don’t get used as frequently as in-home stairs. However, there may be wear and tear on them as maintenance work is done rarely.
Therefore, you should use dark shades of paint that will help in hiding the imperfections of your basement steps. Water-based floor paint will both conceal the spots and provide a semi-gloss finish.
3. Is It Better To Stain Or Paint Stairs?
Answer: Stains are more durable than paints, especially for heavy-traffic areas. However, staining stairs requires more prep work and time than painting.
Hence, most people prefer to paint their stairs as it’s both cost & time-effective. Also, you get a lot more color options to choose from and it’s easy to touch up any scuff marks.
4. Do You Need To Seal Painted Stairs?
Answer: Yes, you need to seal painted stairs to prevent scuff marks on the paint. Putting on a water-based urethane seal will provide extra protection for the painted stairs and make them last longer. After applying the seal, let it dry for at least four hours.
5. How Long Stay Off Painted Stairs?
Answer: You should apply at least two coats of paint on your stairs and wait for 24 hours after each coat. After the final coat wait for another 48 to 72 hours before walking up or down the stairs.
6. Can You Use Matt Paint On Stairs?
Answer: Yes, you can use matt paint or emulsion on stairs. Make sure the matt paint is scrubbable and suitable for wood/metal surfaces. Also, when working with this type of paint go for a neutral color.
7. How Do You Make Painted Stairs Non-Slip?
Answer: There are a few ways you can make your painted stairs non-slip. The most popular of them is using anti-slip paint while you are painting the stairs. If you’ve already painted the stairs, apply a non-slip floor varnish all over the stairs.
Other effective methods are using anti-slip additives with sealers, spraying non-slip aerosol paint, anti-slip stair tape, etc.
8. How To Protect Painted Stairs?
Answer: When the paint is still wet, avoid touching it or walking on the stairs. Cover the stair with poly covers.
After the paint has dried, you should use a water-based polyurethane finish all over the stairs. This will protect the painted stairs from damage and allow you to clean them easily.
Once you notice chipping paints or other exterior damage on your stairs, you should paint them immediately. Because the longer you wait, the more flaws will develop. As a result, the paint job will become much more difficult later on.
Painting a stair can make it a statement piece of your home. Our article has given you a complete overview of all the details you need to know to choose the best paint for stairs. So, pick the paint suitable for your stairs and give them a new fresh look.