The Stairs are Done, and I'm so Glad... {Home}

We aren't seeing red these days, thanks to a bit of paint.

It's not that our stairs made us angry (okay, maybe annoyed) but they were literally red and ugly. And we looked at those red stairs for over four years since we pulled up old, stained carpet from the stairs soon after moving in. So we were left with what was underneath which, believe it or not, was an improvement (I wish I had a picture). 

Mixed with that old, retro, linoleum basement floor and all that yellow paint.. it really looked like you were walking into a dungeon. 

The stairs were in really bad shape. Protruding nails, rough, beat up.. so I took a hammer and made the nails flush again and used a hand held sander to smooth it all down. Then using the floor paint we applied to the basement floor, I began with the perimeter of the stairs.

However, we ended up taking a break from the stairs and decided to do the basement floor first (so we weren't concerned with wet stairs). So it stayed like this for several weeks until we wrapped up our basement project. When I returned to the stairs I decided to rough in the grey stripe down the middle.

It was very time consuming because in order to still escape the basement I painted every other step, waited for that to dry, put on a second coat, and then repeated on the alternate steps. We don't have an access to the basement other than the stairs so I was limited and I always painted from the top down so that I didn't risk stepping/sitting in wet paint. Plus I could see under the lip of each step if I worked my way down.

When the grey stripe was complete I moved on to taping out the perimeter of the stairs.

I didn't sweat being completely exact. On each step I used the tape measure to double check that I was in a quarter inch range (the perimeter is just under 5 inches). And as you can see, the size of the perimeter was determined/guided by the stripe at the base of the stairs.

It took 2-3 coats to complete the edges given that I was painting over a dark red and some grey paint from when I roughed in. When I pulled up the tape I had a few touch ups to do on the grey stripe.

Painting stairs = not my favorite thing to do. It's awkward to slide up and down the stairs and it requires a constant exchange of a brush (to get the nooks and crannies) and a small roller (to smooth everything out). Plus, I'm barely balancing a small paint tray... it's amazing nothing crashed down the stairs (especially me).


But I'm so glad I went for it and it's done. It's a huge check off our to-do list.

In the spirit of sharing nearly everything.. if I was to do this project again, I may go with a darker stair. I'm noticing our light colored stairs show dirty feet, grass, dust, and dirt somewhat easily so they may require weekly cleaning, at least in the summer months (ie. wipe down and vacuum). The stairs also may require occasional paint touch ups since we have a busy family. It will be interesting to see how it holds over time. The upside to a bright, airy step is that it keeps our basement looking clean and happy.

We know that there are other more durable options (ie. carpet, a runner), but we used what we had on hand and it's been a very affordable project that we're pleased with.

Have you painted a stairway or floor? How has it held up over time?