How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Staircase?

Suppose you're thinking about painting your staircase. In that case, you should be aware of how much you'd eventually wind up spending on this sort of project, particularly if you're debating whether to do it yourself or hire a professional painter.

painting staircase

Do you have one or even more staircases throughout your house that could benefit from a fresh coat of paint?

Do you want to paint your stairs but are unsure of how much it will cost?

We can paint a clear picture for you here!

Here we will go over the costs of painting a staircase and when hiring an expert to paint your staircase, consider the various factors that may affect the overall cost.

While it may appear simple, there are a few difficulties you may face while painting your stairs. Here we will discuss some things you should consider before you start painting.

Time – You should expect to spend a significant amount of time trying to paint your staircase. You'll probably have to paint each surface individually and work on it over several days.

Game plan – It is all too easy to get caught up in the middle of a job. To avoid ruining your work, make sure you know the order in which you're painting each surface.

Risks - Painting staircases can be dangerous due to the heights involved. When necessary, use a ladder properly, and follow any other health and safety suggestions.

So how much do you need to budget for with the staircase painting costs?

The multi-angled nature of stairway design and construction can quickly add up when painting the structure. The average cost to paint a staircase with minimal preparation is between £350 and £450.

An expert stairway painting project, such as priming and painting a 63.5 m2. Stairway with handrails and balusters costs around £400 for the average homeowner.

The cost of adding a single colour paint to a 52 sq. ft. staircase with handrails can be as low as £225 or as high as £700 to prime but also paint one staircase and try to land covering 74.5 sq. ft.

Each staircase post will cost you between £3 - £17 per linear foot on average. Most stairways have one or two posts at the bottom that range in height from 36 to 42 inches.

Posts are an essential component of a secure, aesthetically pleasing stairway. Stairway painting projects frequently include the painting of these posts.

To avoid paint drips just on the rest of the stairwell, painters must cover the surrounding area. A few coats are required to achieve the desired nice, smooth colour. Because posts are smaller than walls and stairs, painters usually use a brush.

On average, homeowners pay £4 to £12 per linear foot of a professionally painted staircase. Most stair railings are 5 to 10 feet long and span the entire length of the staircase.

The cost of the painting project may differ if a special type of paint is needed or if the railing has an intricate design that necessitates small brushes and more time.

For example, painting a wrought iron railing may be more expensive than painting a wooden railing.

If the railing is being painted at the same time as the balusters, spindles, and risers, it may even be best to leave it until the end so that the staircase can be assembled and the task ahead of time.

When painting wood stair railings, primer and a finishing coat help to keep the colour in place for a longer period.

Staircase Painting Prices

The table below will break down the costs of painting a staircase:

Job Cost
Paint a staircase with minimal preparation £350 - £450
priming as well as painting £400
Adding a single colour paint £225 - £700
Staircase post £3 - £17
Professionally painted staircase £4 - £12 per linear
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What are the Supply Costs for Staircase Painting?

There is no better place to start if you want to make a great first impression in your home than in the hallway. As the very first space you see when entering a house, a hallway is always in need of a makeover.

paint cans

Giving the stairs and bannister a fresh coat of paint is a simple way to upgrade an entrance. Consider the following points if you want to build your own staircase.

Begin early in the morning or when the rest of the family is in the garden as well as busy downstairs and won't need an entry for a while. Or begin after the kids have gone to bed for the night. That is, you may have to paint over a period of several days.

You should give enough time for the paint to dry completely before walking on it. Because the longer you let it dry, the more durable it will be. You'll need to plan around the fact that your only toilet is upstairs.

Paint sequentially, beginning at the top and working your way down. Based on where you want to end up, you don't want to be stuck on the wrong floor. This may seem obvious to do, but it is easy to be caught off guard.

Here we will go over the supply costs for painting a staircase. So, if you want to DIY the project, you will find everything you will need here.

You will need to buy a rust-oleum chalky finish floor paint. This will cost you £30 or £12 per litre, depending on how much you will need. You'll also need a sander; electric sanders are by far the most convenient way to achieve a smooth, fine finish on your woodworking project.

Small sander machines provide a high-quality finish to furniture as well as craft projects, preparing them for painting or refinishing.

When bulks of material need to be removed, more effective tools use different motions to strip surfaces quickly and efficiently. This will cost you between £18 and £40, depending on the quality you desire.

You'll need a dust mask to keep from inhaling particulates from the materials you're working with. Face masks are an essential part of staying safe on the job site or at home while performing DIY tasks.

They are a low-cost, high-effective way of ensuring you don't breathe anything hazardous. They cost £3 - £23.

You will need a paint scraper; this will cost £4 - £10, depending on the brand. Wood filler to fill any gaps will cost £4 - £12. With the correct paintbrush or sprayer, you can make your painting project look fantastic.

The right paintbrush or sprayer for the job can make all the difference. A paint sprayer will cost between £30 and £46, and paintbrushes will cost between £6 and £15.

With the correct paintbrush or sprayer, you can make your painting task look fantastic. The right paintbrush or sprayer for the job can make all the difference.

A paint sprayer will cost between £30 and £46, and paintbrushes will cost between £6 and £15. The paint for your staircase will cost you £20 - £40 depending on the brand and how much you will need for the job.

The table below will break down the supply costs to paint a staircase.

Supply Cost
Rust-oleum chalky finish floor £12 per litre
Small sander machines £18 - £40
Dust mask £3 - £23
Paint scraper £4 - £10
Wood filler £4 - £12
Paintbrush £6 - £15
Paint spray £30 - £46
Staircase paint £20 - £40

What are the Additional Costs of Painting a Staircase?

When having your staircase painted, you might decide that you want to have additional work done to your home or notice that other costs have added up to increase your overall cost. In this section, we will go through the different additional costs so you know what to expect.

Cost to Paint Interior Doors

Whether you're DIY or hiring a professional painter to do it, you'll need to begin by measuring everything which needs to be painted. For example, the average cost of painting an inner door is determined by the size of the door, the number of doors to be painted, and the local labour rates.

painting doors

Most interior doors cost between £50 - £200 to paint. Doors that open to the outside, on the other hand, can be more costly, costing up to £200 - £300. The cost of glossing a door varies depending on what type of paint is used and the number of coats needed, but it should cost between £60 and £100 per interior door.

While you may be able to recoat some painted doors and achieve a satisfactory finish, you will not be able to save the paintwork on others. You'll need to consider hiring a paint stripping or 'dipping' service to get rid of all that goopy, lumpy old shine—door stripping costs between £15 and £25 per door.

For more information, please refer to our guide on the costs of painting interior doors.

Painting and Decorating

When redecorating, consider how much interior painting will cost for different jobs. Painting a room, for example, can range from £180 for a small bedroom to £600 for a large living room.

You must consider the cost of painting and decorating other fixtures, like skirting boards, which cost between £180 and £350, and window painting, which costs around £400 and £1,500. Painting doors, which costs between £220 and £1,600, and repainting kitchen cabinets, costs between £600 and £1,000.

Wallpapering is another significant decorating expense, with prices ranging from £180 for a small bedroom to £600 to strip as well as hang the wallpaper, while inner cladding ranges from £1,500 to £2,500.

A typical quote for hiring a painter and decorator for important decorating works like painting or wallpapering many rooms ranges from £100 to £300 per day.

For smaller painting jobs such as painting door frames as well as kitchen cabinets, they may start charging £15 - £40 per hour.

If you're only painting a small bedroom, it should only take one day; however, if you need any wallpaper or paint eliminated, you'll need to add another day. The job usually takes three to four days if you want the tradesman to remove and substitute any furniture.

A two-bedroom terraced house can be redecorated in five days, a three-bedroom semi-detached house in seven days, and a five-bedroom detached house in fourteen days.

For more information, please refer to our guide on the costs of interior painting and decorating.

Painting House Exterior

The cost of outer painting is determined by the scope of the project. Render painting, for example, can range from £600 to £1,200, while painting the outside of a house can range from £500 to £1,500.

painting house

To improve the appearance of your exterior, you may want to have your soffits and fascias painted, which costs between £700 and £1,100, as well as your external windows painted, which costs between £200 and £400.

Repainting garden walls costs between £100 and £320, while repainting fences costs between £100 - £340 and painting decking costs between £120 and £430. Painting outdoor woodwork, including a shed, can range from £100 to £350.

The duration of an external paint job is also important because tradespeople are paid by the hour, so the bigger the project, the longer it will take and the higher the costs.

If you want to hire someone to paint your home's smooth exterior walls, a terraced house should take 3 to 5 days, and a semi-detached or detached house should take 4 to 5 days.

This varies depending on the tradesperson you hire and your location in the United Kingdom. To paint outside walls or outdoor furnishings, a painter and decorator will typically charge between £100 and £300 per day.

This varies depending on whether you work as a sole proprietor or as part of a corporation and your location.

For more information, please refer to our guide on the costs of painting the exterior of a house.


Unsurprisingly, the bigger the staircase, the higher the cost of painting a staircase. Of course, this is not always the case, but a larger staircase will frequently necessitate more materials and will take a little longer to maintain than a relatively small staircase.

This, however, is unlikely to be a substantial financial consideration.


The time taken to complete the job may or may not influence the overall cost, and it depends largely on how the tradesperson works. In some cases, a contractor will be paid a lump sum upfront, and in others, they will be paid by the hour.


The cost of living in your location will influence the cost that individuals or businesses set, as will supply and demand levels in your area.

Another factor to consider is how quickly nearby providers can arrive at your property. Their gasoline costs will rise as their route lengthens, increasing your total payment.

Tradesmen Costs for Staircase Painting

Since many staircases parts can be painted, this must be considered when calculating the final cost.

tradesman painting stairs

The staircase may or may not have walls, treads, stairs, posts, handrails, ceiling, spindles, and handrails. Because paint can cause stumbles when climbing the stairs, stair treads are rarely painted.

For this reason, they are rarely included in the cost of painting stairs. Each product can be painted individually later or as part of a larger project. In most cases, a painter will complete the entire paint job at once to ensure that the stairway looks its best when finished.

Over the phone, a painter will be unable to provide you with an accurate quote. They must inspect the current paintwork and determine whether there are any access issues at your home. Therefore, ask some questions to make sure you're ready for anything.

So, what factors need to be considered when looking for a skilful painter at an affordable price? You are free to offer to pay cash for any work done if you are not pressuring the painter to avoid paying taxes.

It usually means that you will not receive a receipt and, consequently, no guarantee for the service provided.

Keep in mind that most painters start charging by the hour, so the more items that need to be painted, the longer it will take the painter to complete the job.

A professional painter can estimate the cost of a job by determining the size of the job and factoring in all aspects, such as the walls, treads, risers, posts, balusters, spindles, and stairways as well as ceilings that may or may not need to be painted.

Additional work such as painting staircase spindles and painting staircase walls can add additional costs on the price of the job.

When you hire a painting company, you are paying for understanding, convenience, cost of labour, and a higher-quality painting job. Hiring a painting contractor to relieve stress is well worth the extra painting costs for some people.

You contractor may also be able to provide you with some staircase painting ideas to help bring your space to life.

Another critical point to consider is the fee of a tradesman—a usual quote for hiring a painter range between £100 and £300 per day. Smaller painting jobs for staircases are typically charged at a lower hourly rate of £15 - £40.

Rates for tradesmen per day, on the other hand, range from about £150 to £300, with charges in London and the South-East occasionally approaching, if not surpassing, the higher amount.

Because paint must dry between layers, the paint used may influence how long each room takes to complete. Painters and decorators frequently collaborate on larger works.

Hiring a single tradesperson may have seemed to be the most cost-effective option. However, this almost always means that the job will take more time, save little or no time, and, in some cases, cost more.

If you decide to hire a painter, then you will have advantages such as:

  • Long-lasting, higher-quality results.
  • They have a keen eye for the destruction that needs to be repaired.
  • They have a keen eye for the destruction that needs to be repaired.
  • They've been educated on how to stay safe on the job.
  • They've been educated on how to stay safe on the job.
  • They can complete the project quickly and effectively.
  • You won't have to worry about your stairs because they'll be taken care of.

The table below will break down the labour costs for painting a staircase:

Labour Cost
Average painter day costs £100 - £300
Painter hourly rates £15 - £40
London painters £150 - £300 per day

How Long Does It Take to Paint a Staircase?

Once you've decided to give your staircase a fresh coat of paint, you may begin to wonder, "Do I have the time to complete such a time-consuming task?" or "Can I do this any faster?"

The solution to the first two questions is yes; painting your staircase is not really something you can do yourself, but it may be a task that is easier than you think. Painting stair spindles can be divided into four steps:

  • Cleaning
  • Sanding
  • Painting
  • Primer application

It's up to you whether you want to repeat these steps as a mantra as you work; it may give you extra motivation to keep going. Here we will go through the duration to paint a staircase so you know how much time you should put away for this task.

It takes about 8 hours total, spread out over four days.

Taping the areas all around the staircase to help the rest of the balustrade from unintended paint drops usually takes two hours. The staircase requires three coats in total, depending on the colour; your spindles may require less.

The first coat usually takes three hours, the second coat two hours, and the final coat only an hour because all that has been needed is a touch-up.

The table below will break down the duration to paint a staircase:

Job Duration
Painting a staircase 8 hours over four days
Taping the areas and painting 2 hours
First coat 3 hours
Second coat 2 hours
Final coat 1 hour

Types of Staircase Paint

Painting the staircase is a great way of converting your hallway, as well as being a great project for inexperienced DIYers. Most staircases are made of wood, which lends itself well to painting, so what are the best paints for stairs?

When you are painting your stairs for the first time, there are some important rules to follow to make sure that the final product meets your expectations.

Selecting the perfect paint for your stairs is also critical if you're buying a carpet runner and stair rods or bars to maximise the appearance of your staircase. Nothing is worse than installing beautiful runners and bars on stairs that were poorly painted or painted with cheap paint.

Whenever it comes to painting the stairs, floor paint seems to be the best option because it is very durable, cleanable, and stain-resistant, or a high-quality matt or high shine emulsion. Floor paints come in a variety of colours; make sure to select one that is appropriate for wood floors.

It's worth investing in a decent quality brush for your stairs because it will make painting the edges well easier and will leave fewer brush marks, giving you a better overall finish.

Here we will go through the different types of staircase paint and their pros and cons, so you know what to expect and figure out what type of paint is best for you!

Slip Resistant

Stairs benefit from a long-lasting, slip-resistant porch or floor paint. However, if you intend to use standard latex paint, coat it with several coats of water-based polyurethane to enhance its durability.

Slip resistant

Oil-based polyurethane lasts longer, but it yellows with age, tends to take longer to dry, and generally includes more chemicals, which means more fumes.

Wait a couple of days after painting before using your stairs. If you can't wait, finish only every second step that week and the rest the second week; mark the functional treads with painter's tape, and be prepared to carry any young children or pets up and down as needed.


  • Long-lasting


  • It takes a while to finish
  • More chemicals
  • It can go yellow


Paint sheen is just as important as colour. High-gloss paint is much more washable as well as durable than matte paint, but it emphasises flaws. Choose semi-gloss paint unless you intend to sand the stairs sleek and prevent them from high-heel scuffs or pet-claw scrapes.

If you aren't using floor paint, add paint traction rubber grit; mix it into the paint or sprinkle it onto each step between coats. The sand-like rubber is more comfortable on bare or gloved feet than other types of grit, like aluminium oxide.


  • Washable
  • Durable


  • It can feel gritty

Coloured Paint

Dark treads hide wear and dirt, whereas light risers add visual definition. Colour cues can be found in the railings, like matching the stairs to a stairway and the handrails to spindles.

coloured paint

Alternatively, scan the surrounding decor colours and choose black and white, dark grey and pale grey, or brown and beige stairs to match the room's current flooring or colour scheme.

If you want, you can blend open-design stairs (those without risers) into the background by painting them to complement the surrounding wall colour or put an appealing stairway on display in a contrasting colour.

Consider the stairs to be a blank canvas if your design choices include bright colours, wildly vivid abstract art, or hipster edginess. After deciding on stairway artwork, paint the stairs and risers a complementary base colour.

Set your creative side on just the risers, for example, by stencilling or painting meaningful words in an appealing font.

Alternatively, use three, four, or more standout colours to create a floral spiral, geometric "waterfall," or scenic pathway on the entire stairway. Anyone can become an artist with the help of stencils and stamps.


  • Dark hides wear and dirt
  • Lightens room


  • Not suitable for everyone


Q: What type of paint is best for a wooden staircase?

A: Semi-gloss or satin paints have been typically preferred for risers, but they can be hazardous when used on stair treads. When possible, use floor paints because they are non-slip and much more long-lasting than other types of paint.

Q: Is it hard to paint a staircase?

A: To ensure a long-lasting, tough finish, use suitable floor paint when painting stairs. Select a water-based floor paint that can be put directly to wooden floorboards, concrete flooring, and over existing paint or varnish.

Q: What prep is needed before painting a staircase?

  1. Step 1: Examine for Nails and Place Dust Sheets

Cover any surrounding areas with dust sheets before beginning any work on your stairs. If you are painting your stairs for the very first time and previously had carpet, check for and remove any nails or staples. After this, use a paint scraper to remove any loose paint and sweep the stairs.

  1. Step 2: Stairs Should be Sanded

You'll need to sand your stairs to get the best finish. The stringers - or sides - are usually already painted. If this is the case, depending on their condition, you can sand them with medium to fine sandpaper. A 120-grit sandpaper should suffice.

If the treads as well as risers - the steps - are not painted, they must be sanded with coarse sandpaper (80 grit). Using an electric hand sander will speed up and simplify the job; when you're finished, clean or vacuum the stairs to remove any dust.

  1. Step 3: Plug Holes

Now, search for any holes or areas that need will need to be filled, and fill them with a high-quality wood filler like Ronseal High-Performance Wood Filler. Small gaps between treads and risers are common on older stairs. Fill in the blanks to complete the look.

Once the filler has dried, use fine-grit sandpaper - 180-220 will suffice - to smooth out the stairwell. Check the sanded areas with your fingers to see if they are smooth enough. If not, try again.

  1. Step 4: Clean the Stairs of Debris and Dust

To begin, sweep or vacuum the stairs to eliminate any dust. To remove any debris and dust, use warm water, a mild cleaning detergent (washing up liquid will suffice), and a clean cloth (you can also use sugar soap). Allow the stairs to dry completely after washing. Allow at least 24 hours.

Q: Should you paint with a brush or a spray?

A: You should spray one side of the stair treads while leaving the opposite side unpainted so that you can always get up and down the stairs.

When that side is dry, you could move on to the other. I apply at least two coats of paint to the stairs to provide a protective layer.

Q: What paint is the best?

A: While any wood paint can be used, those designed for floors are the best because they are more durable. Of course, it must be walked all over. If you do decide to paint the wood, a satin finish may be more forgiving.


Author: Emma M

I am a Liverpool-based freelance writer with a degree in Media and Communications. I specialise in product reviews, home improvement and DIY content. I am also experienced in social media management and content marketing.