Painted wood staircase

In an older double-storey home a wooden staircase is a traditional feature. If you are looking to remove carpet or update a staircase, here's a way to dress up a wood treads and risers for a modern look.


If you know there are wood treads and risers underneath a grubby carpet, removing this to reveal the wood beneath allows you to add a new dimension to a staircase, or even add a modern touch to a dated home. There will be some of you who want to restore the original wood and that will require some sanding, fixing up any holes with wood filler and sealing or varnishing to finish. If you want to paint the stairs... read on.

More often than not you may be disappointed by what you find underneath the carpet. Not all stairs are fitted using quality-grade wood. If this is the case you will need to put in some time to sand and fix up if you want to paint.

Remove the carpet strips and then use wood filler to fill any holes. Larger gaps or chips can be repaired with 2-part epoxy putty such as Alcolin QuikWood. Sand down with 120-grit sandpaper and then move up to 180- or 240-grit sandpaper to prepare for painting. Vacuum away any dust.

After all the prep work has been done and you are ready to paint, consider your options. You could use a normal water- or oil-based enamel to paint the stairs, or go for a more permanent option and use Prominent Paints Polyurethane Floor Coating. The latter option might cost more upfront, but at the end of the day the project will withstand wear and tear and last far longer.

The product comes in a standard range of colours but can also be tinted to your choice of colour. The product dries to the touch in 6 hours, and completely dry in 72 hours (at 25°C with relative humidity of less than 55%), so you will need to paint the staircase in steps if you need to use the staircase. Follow the manufacturer's recommended guidelines for application for a successful project.

Paint the sides and faux trim on the walls to start. This paint is extremely tough and it will allow for regular and easy cleaning of this area when it gets scuffed.