Best Paint for Stairs Looks That Stand The Test of Time 2023

Ceilings and walls are not the only design statements in your home. Your stairs can be just as stylish! But what paint to use on the stairs?

Remember, a true staircase makeover starts with a great paint job. Being a painter for over 7 years, I have used every paint on the market.

The best paint for stairs varies with the stair’s surface, its location, condition, good or not, and your preference.

Pizzazzy and unique or classic and timeless, the right paint on your stairs can make all the difference. Here are some of my top recommendations for the best paint looks for stairs:

Surface TypeConditionRecommended Paint TypeReason
concrete or metalgood Beautiful gloss black paintsclassic, timeless and make stairs pop
wood or laminategoodsemi-gloss or high-gloss painthelp protect your stairs and make them easier to clean.
Unsure what paint to usegood or pooruse a primer and then do a semi-gloss or high-gloss paintcover imperfections & give you a nice, clean finish.

I think now is the right time to share the details that matter for different staircases. Later, I will share recommended paints and answer the most common questions homeowners ask me.

So if you already know some aspects feel free to jump on the sections that matter most to you!

Best Paint For Stairs [Factors Accounting To Quality]

Before getting on the snacks look at the best paint for stairs with a hit cup of coffee!

  1. Stairs Best Anti Slip Paint – NSL-X SU031009A-01 Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating Paint
  2. Best Stair Treads Paint – RTG Deck, Porch, & Patio Anti-Slip Paint
  3. Stairs Best Concrete Floor Paint – FixALL Skid Grip Anti-Slip Floor Coating
  4. Stairs Best Floor Paint – KILZ Low-Lustre Enamel Porch & Patio Latex Floor Paint
  5. Stairs Best Commercial Grade Anti Slip Paint – Tuff Grip Non-Skid Paint 
  6. Stairs Best Anti Slip Marine Grade Additive – Rust-Oleum 207009
  7. Stairs Best Heavy-Duty Paint – Rust-Oleum 365931
  8. Best Interior Wooden Stairs Paint – Rust-Oleum 365931
  9. Best Anti-Slip Grip for Extreme Slip Resistant Traction – Tuff Grip Non-Skid Paint

Decision-Making Factors For Your Stairs Paint

Well, who doesn’t love a good paint job? A new coat of paint can change the look and feel of your home. But when it comes to stairs, there are a few things you need to take into account.

Surfaces Accounts for The bulk of Your Decision

The choice of best paint for stairs really comes down to the surface your staircase is made from. This single factor will determine the type of paint you can use, how many coats you need, and the overall look of your staircase.

These are the main types of surfaces and their best-fit paints you’ll find on stairs:

  1. Wooden stairs – Best paint for wooden stairs is latex or oil-based paint.
  2. Concrete stairs – You can go with water or oil-based paints.
  3. Metal stairs – The best paint for metal stairs is oil-based or high-quality latex paint.

Now that you know the main types of surfaces let’s move on and see what else needs to be considered.

Condition of Stairs Is Important

The condition of your stairs will also play a role in deciding the best paint for your staircase. Here are the main types of staircases condition and their best paint suits:

  1. Good condition – You can use any type of paint.
  2. Poor condition – You should use a primer before painting.
  3. Unsure – If you’re unsure about the condition of your stairs, it’s always best to use a primer. This will help cover imperfections and give you a nice, clean finish.

Personal Preference

Finally, your preference will also play a role in deciding the best paint for your staircase. If you want a classic, timeless look, you might want to go with a semi-gloss or high-gloss paint.

If you’re looking for something more unique, you might want to try gloss black paint. This will give your stairs a modern look and make them pop.

best paint for stairs

Think of it this way, the best paint for your staircase is the one you’re happy with. So, take your time and choose a painting that you love. Anyway, do you know how much a gallon of paint weighs?

What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On Interior & Exterior Stairs?

Freshly painted stairs make a great difference, particularly in hallways, where a first impression is important. Every several years you may need fresh paint to keep them clean to minimize potential damage from scratches and dents.

Look at the various paints available for exterior and internal staircases. Ask is there any alternative to using paint on the outside? In search of the best paint for stairs you will come across all these paints:

Latex-based anti-slip coating paint

Latex is available in various colors, all of which are durable. For waterproof stairs and furniture, a latex-based anti-slip paint may be the easiest and cheapest option available. Oil and chemical paints have less popularity and less impact on environmental conditions.

Dry times for these particular colors are some characteristics that differentiate them from other paints. It’s easier for stairs to get damaged unless the paint is dried. Latex paint is extremely resistant to various uses, including water, dust, and dirt.

Porch and floor paint

Patio Floor Paint can be used on exterior staircases and patios. It has a silver color (silver and grey). The paint is durable and does not fade, peel or scuff. Mild resistance causes an uneven, thin, shiny film to form when dry.

This paint cannot move fluids without spilling as they can’t be transferred without causing a leak. Paint has a firm adhesive setting and can shrink slightly with drying. It may also have to go under certain sections to cover the screws and nails to make it look like it has all the right angles.

Eggshell Paint

Eggshell paint can be easily maintained. The paint provides great durability. Upon drying, eggshell paint forms the barrier protecting the exterior of its surfaces. Because the eggshells are soft and glittered, they can enhance your staircase’s appearance.

There’s some sparkle and reflectance, which makes your staircase sparkle in glam. The eggshell finish is just a compromise in pigment and strength. This ensures durability while keeping your stairs from appearing dull.

Semigloss paints

Semi-gloss Paint is ideal for rooms whose moisture is common, like bathrooms. The gloss finish of the product provides strong paint that can easily be washed and is a good choice for staircases. This is a popular finish for decorative hardware such as beds, staircases, and cabinetry because its shine shines the architectural features.

Quickie Steps Knack: How To Paint Stairs?

Stairs are often one of the most hard-to-paint surfaces in your house. Not only are they sloped, which makes it difficult to get even coverage, but they also see a lot of wear and tear.

That’s why it’s important to choose the right paint and prep your stairs properly before painting. Here are a few quickie steps to help you get started:

  1. Choose the right paint. When painting stairs, you want to use durable paint that can withstand a lot of foot traffic. High-quality latex paint is a good option.
  2. Prep your stairs. Before you start painting, make sure to prep your stairs. This includes sanding rough edges, cleaning the surface with a degreaser, and removing any peeling paint.
  3. Use painter’s tape. To get clean lines, use painter’s tape to mask off any areas you don’t want to be painted.
  4. Paint in small sections. To avoid getting paint on your hands or clothes, it’s best to paint in small sections. Use a 2-3 inch paintbrush to paint the edges of each step, and then use a roller to paint the rest of the surface.
  5. Let the paint dry. Once you’re finished painting, let the paint dry for at least 24 hours before walking on it.

Following these quickie steps, you can quickly and easily paint your stairs without any hassle.

Colors Disclaimer: Don’t Assume all paints are the same and will look the same when applied

The same paint can be applied to various surfaces. Sometimes, you wouldn’t apply paint outdoors in an open staircase or indoor room. Find the most effective paint for a staircase, banister, or handrail before buying the first can.

brown wooden stairs

Getting tester kits for the paint to look as nice in the pots as on your wooden stairs is also a good idea. This paint requires several coats to shine, but it’s worth applying 3 to 4 patches before choosing the perfect shade.

Common Questions Homeowners Ask

Now that you know the main factors to consider when choosing a paint for your staircase let’s look at some of the most common questions homeowners ask.

Q: Is It Better To Stain Or Paint Stairs?

If you consider upgrading your stairs, you can use a painted or stained staircase. You might think about using either. Choose the right color for the look depending on the stairs and staircases.

Painting stairs

Compared to stained stairs, the time to develop scratches and damage is shorter. Use stairs, rugs, and other safety equipment. The most efficient means for giving the staircases an upgraded appearance is to paint over old wooden stairs, rails, or handrails. If you live in a property with more modern features, consider staining the tread surfaces or painting the risers if using paint or stain.

Staining stairs

It may be difficult to stain steps because the children or dogs are busy. However, properly stained and sealed stairwells can sustainably withstand long use unless added runners.

Q: What’s The Best Paint For A High Traffic Area Painted Staircase?

A: The best paint for a high-traffic area painted staircase is semi-gloss or high-gloss paint. This paint will hold up well to foot traffic and be easy to clean. Likewise, the best paint for normal staircases is semi-gloss or high-gloss paint. 

Q: What Kind Of Paint Should You Use On the Stairs?

A: Semigloss and satin colors are used for risers and can be dangerous for treaded stairs. Choose floor colors whenever possible; they have high durability and are not slippery like other types of paints.

Q: What Is The Best Paint For Wooden Stairs?

A: Choosing the correct staircase paint and the matt finish is also a good idea. Both offer a durable, hard-worn, and easily cleaned finish that withstands years of usage. Eggshell paint can be used to paint wooden steps for better stability.

Q: Should You Polyurethane Painted Stairs?

A: Polyurethane is a flexible, tough-looking material that is versatile for numerous applications. Many homeowners use polyurethane to protect painted stair treads from excessive foot movement, causing damage.

This protects wood and gives it an elegant finish that makes clean-up easy. No substance in the polyurethane coating will penetrate the wood because it provides an effective hard coat.

It is difficult to apply polyurethane to stairs during sand drying. If you are unsure about choosing any product, you may be worried about it flaking or peeling off.

Q: Can You Sand Stairs By Hand?

A: Okay, hand sanding has many advantages over power sanding, which are usually overlooked. Always rub along grain during sanding. Whenever the finish fails, you should clean it with a scraper.

Before removing any stain, clean the steps thoroughly with sandpaper. Always restore the treads to their original appearance before painting the surface. Hand sanding helps with shape sanding.

The sanding of sanding machines can be difficult to fit into molds produced in channeling or spin-out moldings.

Q: How To Choose The Best Paint For Wooden Stairs?

A table with vases on it

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A: The paint test should be done before committing to painting stairways. I find spending money on paint very annoying, and you’d never use it for a lot of reasons. Keep a list of these considerations in mind when selecting the best color for your stairs.

Q: Should Stairs Be Painted White?

A: White paint is often the wiser choice for stairs because it blends easily with all wood stain colors and attracts interest toward natural wood floors while accenting the size of nearby walls. You may choose a white combo!

The risers are painted exactly in the same colors to match the walls, while the treads are brushed white for the walls. Instead of being dramatic, the staircase is an integral part of the whole. Keep the white riser clean by following this step.

Q: Tell Me The Best Way For Painting Stairs?

A: I will recommend painting the handles and spindles first. You can cut down the stairs with one piece of paint and switch them to rollers. Starting with the highest. Remember, bad lighting solutions can make your hallways appear darker.

Q: How To Prep your staircase for painting?

A: Preparing your staircases for wood floors will ensure the perfect finishing. Similar things will happen to our benches when we paint them! First things first: a staircase with deterioration will need sanding. 

It is done using 60gr sand on all the doors, slats and steps in the wooden steps. The surface of the sand must be clean and wiped down with wet towels. After the floor is dried use soap and sugar which acts as the coating of paint.

Q: Why Not Use cheap paints?

A: Paints cost money, but they have their own reasons for this. It’s probably not going to last as long and the paint might be peeling after several months of use. The most important thing you can do is to buy effective paint to make the stairs look like floors; Satin or semi-gloss are generally preferred though you must check with a paint manufacturer’s guide.

Back To You

Have you had any experience with painting high-traffic areas or stairs? Do you have any tips to share? And these are just a few questions that we get asked frequently about painting stairs.

If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to us, and we’ll be happy to help! Also, look at:

Satin vs. Gloss: Look At The Difference And Decide

Can You Return the Paint To Home Depot, Lowe’s & Walmart?

How Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Metal?

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