How to Paint Stairs and Walk Up Them When Your Done!

As we were painting the basement ceiling and the basement floor, we naturally wanted to paint the basement stairs, too.  Painting my way up the stairs seemed awkward and painting my way down the stairs would mean that I would be trapped downstairs until the paint dries.  Uhhh, no!  Didn’t have time for that.  


How to paint stairs and not get trapped downstairs while the paint dries.

Ken thought it a ridiculous idea, and I’m sure it’s not how the professionals do it, but neither of those reasons were a deterrent for me.


Here is a before shot.  The stairs were covered in the grungiest blue carpet, which was pulled up to reveal basic wooden stairs that needed a good scrubbing.


1-1/2″ blue painters tape

Paint brush or roller


paint-stairs, diy-stairs-painting-tip-

Clean stairs.

Run a strip of thick blue painters tape down the center.


Paint only one side of the stairs.  Starting at the top and painting downwards worked well for me.




Remove tape, asap, and let paint dry, making sure to only walk up and down the stairs on the unpainted side (which goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway!!)

Paint the other side of the stairs, overlapping the brush or roller onto the already painted side.

Let that side dry, making sure to only step on the previously painted side.



stairs painting

Do the professionals paint their way up the stairs or down?  Do they get trapped?

I’m still curious as to how they do it, and by no means is this stair painting project a professional one, but at least I was able to get on with the rest of my tasks for the day.

You can see basement update posts, here.

Hoping this tip helps if you’re considering painting your stairs!




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


12 Responses to How to Paint Stairs and Walk Up Them When Your Done!

  1. Anne@DesignDreams January 12, 2015 at 7:35 am #

    LOL – great tip!!! Wonder how many people have gotten stuck doing a similar project??


  2. Cheryl in Wisconsin January 12, 2015 at 9:49 am #

    Now everything looks so fresh!

    When I did my basement steps I just did every other one, in two stages. Which reminds me, they need another round. Not fun!

  3. Feral Turtle January 12, 2015 at 10:31 am #

    A great post Amy. I really love how bright and clean the white looks. I do wonder how the pros do it?

  4. Sharleen January 12, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    PERFECT. !!! Love this Amy.

  5. chris aka monkey January 12, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

    i saw the title to this post and started giggling i could see you hopping up and down the stairs…i guess every other one would work for me i have long legs xx

  6. Tuula @ The Thrifty Rebel January 12, 2015 at 9:41 pm #

    Love the makeover Amy! Your stairs look so fresh and new. Great job!

  7. Danni@SiloHillFarm January 13, 2015 at 6:37 am #

    I never once thought about that as a problem! Of course, I have never painted stairs either! Looks lovely, all nice and bright!

  8. Sherry January 13, 2015 at 9:57 am #

    I knew you were smart! And now I’ll never doubt you again! This information is brilliant! I have to rip carpet off of our stairs… (have no idea what’s underneath) and paint them. I’m so glad you posted this.

  9. Doreen@househoneys January 14, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

    You’re brilliant Amy! Truly! I never painted stairs, bu aside from painting every other one, who knew this could be done?! Great idea!

  10. Christina January 25, 2015 at 10:18 am #

    Brilliant! 🙂 And truly the easiest solution I never would have thought of, so thank you! 🙂

  11. Caroline January 27, 2015 at 10:40 am #

    Very smart idea. I have to paint my basement stairs soon and I will definitely be using this trick. Thanks!


  1. 17 creative ideas for painting stairs - March 20, 2015

    […] then, when I discovered that painting half the staircase at a time was pretty convenient and allowed us to keep using the stairs while the paint was drying, I think I […]

Leave a Reply