How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Staircase?

If you’re considering painting your staircase and wondering about the cost, you’ve come to the right place. Painting a staircase can breathe new life into your home and create a fresh, updated look. The cost of painting a staircase can vary depending on factors such as the size of the staircase, the number of steps, the type of paint, and any additional details or finishes you choose. In this guide, we’ll break down the cost of painting a staircase and provide helpful tips to help you budget for this project.

how much does it cost to paint a staircase

Factors that Affect the Cost of Painting a Staircase

Painting a staircase can be a fantastic way to breathe new life into your home and enhance its overall appearance. However, the cost of this project can vary depending on several factors. In this section, we will explore the key factors that can influence the cost of painting a staircase.

1. Staircase Size and Complexity

The size and complexity of your staircase play a significant role in determining the cost of painting. A simple, straight staircase with few steps will generally be easier and quicker to paint, resulting in a lower cost. On the other hand, a more intricate staircase design with twists, turns, and landings will require more time and effort, increasing the overall cost.

2. Surface Preparation

Before painting can begin, proper surface preparation is essential for a long-lasting and professional finish. Factors such as the condition of the existing paint, the presence of any imperfections or damages, and the type of material the stairs are made of (wood, concrete, metal, etc.) can impact the preparation process. If extensive sanding, filling, or priming is required, it will add to the overall cost.

3. Number of Coats

The number of coats required to achieve the desired result also affects the cost. Generally, applying multiple coats of paint will provide a more even and durable finish. However, each additional coat adds to the time and materials needed, which can increase the overall cost.

4. Paint Quality and Finish

The quality and type of paint chosen for your staircase can significantly impact the cost. High-quality paints often come with a higher price tag but offer better coverage, durability, and a more professional finish. Furthermore, if you opt for specialized finishes such as gloss or matte, it may increase the overall cost.

5. Accessibility

The accessibility of your staircase can also affect the cost. If your staircase is located in a hard-to-reach or confined area, it can make the painting process more challenging and time-consuming. This may lead to additional costs due to the need for specialized equipment or extra labor.

6. Additional Factors

There are a few other factors that can influence the cost of painting a staircase. These include the need for any repairs or surface treatments, the complexity of any decorative elements, the use of primer or sealant, and the inclusion of any additional services such as handrail or baluster painting.

In summary, several factors can impact the cost of painting a staircase. The size and complexity of the staircase, surface preparation requirements, number of coats, paint quality and finish, accessibility, and additional factors all contribute to the overall cost. By considering these factors and obtaining quotes from professional painters, you can get a better understanding of the expenses involved and make an informed decision for your staircase painting project.

DIY vs Hiring a Professional for Staircase Painting

When it comes to staircase painting, homeowners are often faced with the dilemma of whether to tackle the project themselves or hire a professional. Both options have their pros and cons, and it’s important to carefully consider your abilities, time constraints, and the desired outcome before making a decision. In this section, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of both DIY painting and hiring a professional for staircase painting.

DIY Staircase Painting

Many homeowners choose to take on the task of painting their staircase themselves in an attempt to save money. DIY painting can be a rewarding experience, allowing you to personalize your staircase and add a touch of your own creativity. Here are some advantages of DIY staircase painting:

  • Cost Savings: Hiring a professional can be costly, and by opting to do it yourself, you can save money on labor costs.
  • Flexibility: DIY painting allows you to work at your own pace and on your own schedule. You can take breaks as needed and spread the project over multiple days.
  • Control and Customization: When you paint the staircase yourself, you have full control over the color, finish, and overall design. You can unleash your creativity and create a staircase that complements your home’s aesthetic.
  • Learning Experience: Taking on a painting project can be a great learning opportunity and a chance to acquire new skills. It can give you a sense of accomplishment and pride in completing a project on your own.
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However, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks of DIY staircase painting as well:

  • Time-Consuming: Painting a staircase can be a time-consuming task, especially if you are not experienced. It requires careful preparation, multiple coats of paint, and drying time between each coat.
  • Skill and Expertise: Achieving a professional finish requires skill and expertise. If you lack experience in painting, you may encounter challenges such as streaks, drips, or uneven coverage.
  • Safety Concerns: Painting a staircase involves working at heights and potentially using ladders or scaffolding. If you are not comfortable or confident in your ability to work safely, it may be best to leave it to the professionals.

Hiring a Professional for Staircase Painting

While DIY painting offers cost savings and a personal touch, hiring a professional for staircase painting can provide several advantages:

  • Expertise and Experience: Professional painters have the knowledge and experience to achieve a flawless finish. They have the necessary skills to handle any challenges that may arise during the painting process.
  • Time-Saving: Hiring a professional allows you to save valuable time. They can complete the project efficiently and in a timely manner, minimizing disruption to your daily routine.
  • Quality Results: Professionals have access to high-quality materials and tools, ensuring a superior finish that will withstand the test of time. They are trained to pay attention to detail and can achieve a smooth and durable paint job.
  • Reduced Hassle: Painting a staircase requires meticulous preparation, including sanding, priming, and taping. Hiring a professional eliminates the hassle of these tasks, as they will handle all the necessary prep work.
  • Safety Assurance: Professional painters are equipped with the necessary safety gear and have the expertise to work safely at heights. By hiring a professional, you can avoid the risk of accidents or injuries.

Despite these advantages, there are a few potential downsides to hiring a professional for staircase painting:

  • Cost: Hiring a professional painter can be more expensive than DIY painting. However, it’s important to weigh the cost against the quality and convenience they provide.
  • Limited Control: When you hire a professional, you relinquish some control over the design and creative aspects of the project. You will need to effectively communicate your vision and preferences to ensure they align with your expectations.


Ultimately, the decision to paint your staircase yourself or hire a professional depends on your budget, time constraints, skill level, and desired outcome. DIY painting offers cost savings, flexibility, and a chance to personalize your staircase. However, it requires time, patience, and the willingness to learn new skills. On the other hand, hiring a professional provides expertise, time savings, and a high-quality finish. Consider your priorities and evaluate the pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your needs.

Tips for Saving Money on Staircase Painting

Painting a staircase can be a daunting and expensive task. However, with a bit of planning and some cost-saving strategies, you can transform your staircase without breaking the bank. In this section, we will explore some tips and tricks on how to save money on staircase painting.

1. Plan and Prep

Before starting any painting project, proper planning and preparation are essential. This will help you avoid unnecessary expenses and ensure a smooth painting process. Begin by assessing the condition of your staircase and determining the type of paint and materials required.

Take the time to thoroughly clean your staircase before painting. Remove any dirt, dust, or debris that may affect the paint’s adhesion. Additionally, fill in any cracks or holes in the woodwork, sand any rough surfaces, and tape off areas that you want to protect from paint splatters.

2. Choose the Right Paint

Choosing the right paint can make a significant difference in terms of cost and durability. Opt for high-quality paints that offer good coverage, as they may require fewer coats and provide better resistance to wear and tear. Consider using paint with a semi-gloss or satin finish, as these options are more affordable compared to high-gloss paints.

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If you have a limited budget, consider purchasing mis-tinted paints. Mis-tints are premixed paints that did not match the desired color. They are often available at a discounted price and can be a cost-effective alternative for staircases.

3. DIY vs. Hiring Professionals

One of the most effective ways to save money on staircase painting is by doing it yourself. Painting a staircase can be time-consuming, but with proper planning and patience, it can be a rewarding DIY project. By eliminating the cost of professional labor, you can significantly reduce your overall expenses.

However, if you lack the necessary skills or time to tackle the painting project, consider hiring professionals. While this may incur additional costs, professional painters can ensure a high-quality finish and save you from potential mistakes or rework.

4. Optimize Paint Usage

Minimizing paint wastage can help you save money on staircase painting. Here are a few tips to optimize paint usage:

  • Measure the area of your staircase and calculate the amount of paint needed.
  • Use a paint tray with liners to avoid wasting excess paint.
  • Invest in quality brushes and rollers that allow for smooth and even application, reducing the need for additional coats.
  • Seal the paint cans properly between uses to prevent the paint from drying out.

5. Reuse and Recycle

If you have leftover paint from previous projects, consider reusing it for your staircase. Repurposing paint not only reduces waste but also eliminates the need for additional purchases. Ensure that the paint is still in good condition and matches the desired color scheme.

Additionally, consider recycling or repurposing old brushes, rollers, and other painting supplies. Cleaning and maintaining these tools properly can extend their lifespan and save you money in the long run.

6. Follow Proper Maintenance

Proper maintenance can extend the lifespan of your staircase paint, reducing the need for frequent touch-ups or repainting. Avoid excessive wear and tear by implementing preventive measures such as placing mats or runners on high-traffic areas.

Regularly clean your staircase to remove dirt, dust, and stains. Use mild cleaning solutions and avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the paint. By taking good care of your staircase, you can save money in the long term by avoiding costly repairs or repainting.


Painting a staircase doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. By planning ahead, choosing the right paint, optimizing usage, and following proper maintenance, you can save money while achieving a fresh and vibrant staircase. Whether you decide to take on the project yourself or hire professionals, these tips will help you cut costs and make the most of your staircase painting budget.

Importance of Proper Preparation Before Painting a Staircase

Painting a staircase can be a great way to refresh the look of your home and give it a new lease of life. However, before you dive into the painting process, it is essential to properly prepare the staircase to ensure a successful and long-lasting finish. Proper preparation not only enhances the overall appearance of the staircase but also helps to protect it from wear and tear, ensuring the longevity of your paint job. In this section, we will explore the importance of proper preparation before painting a staircase.

1. Surface Cleaning

The first step in preparing a staircase for painting is to thoroughly clean the surface. Over time, dirt, grease, and grime can accumulate on the stairs, making it difficult for the paint to adhere properly. By cleaning the surface, you remove any existing contaminants, ensuring a smooth and clean canvas for painting. Use a mild detergent and warm water to scrub the staircase, paying close attention to corners, crevices, and any areas with visible stains.

2. Removing Old Paint

If the staircase has been previously painted, it is essential to remove any loose or chipped paint before applying a fresh coat. Failing to do so may result in an uneven finish and premature peeling of the new paint. Use a scraper or sandpaper to gently remove any loose paint, taking care not to damage the underlying surface. For stubborn paint, a paint stripper may be necessary. Once the old paint has been removed, sand the surface to create a smooth and uniform texture.

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3. Repairing Damaged Areas

Inspect the staircase for any signs of damage, such as cracks, holes, or dents. These imperfections can affect the appearance and durability of the paint job. Fill in any holes or cracks using a suitable wood filler or putty, and sand the repaired areas to ensure a seamless blend with the rest of the staircase. Additionally, if there are loose or squeaky steps, secure them before painting to prevent any future problems.

4. Sanding and Priming

To achieve a flawless finish, it is crucial to sand the entire staircase after the cleaning and repair process. Sanding helps to smooth out any rough areas, remove any remaining paint residue, and improve the adhesion of the new paint. After sanding, make sure to remove any dust or debris with a vacuum cleaner or a tack cloth. Once the surface is clean, apply a coat of high-quality primer to create a strong foundation for the paint and ensure better color coverage.

5. Choosing the Right Paint

When painting a staircase, it is important to select the right type of paint that can withstand constant foot traffic and provide excellent durability. Opt for a high-quality, water-based paint that is specifically formulated for high-traffic areas. These paints are designed to resist scuffs, stains, and fading, ensuring a long-lasting finish. Additionally, consider using a paint with a non-slip additive on the steps to enhance safety.

6. Applying the Paint

Before you start painting, make sure to protect the surrounding areas, such as the walls and flooring, with painter’s tape and drop cloths. Start by cutting in the edges using a brush and then use a roller to apply the paint to the larger surfaces. Apply thin, even coats, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next. This will help prevent drips, streaks, and uneven coverage. Consider applying a second or third coat for better color saturation and durability.

7. Finishing Touches

Once the paint has dried, inspect the staircase for any imperfections or touch-ups needed. Use a small brush to carefully fix any areas that require additional paint or touch-ups. Finally, apply a clear topcoat or sealant to protect the painted surface from daily wear and tear, ensuring that your staircase stays looking fresh and vibrant for years to come.

In summary, proper preparation is essential before painting a staircase to achieve a beautiful, long-lasting finish. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that your paint job not only enhances the aesthetics of your staircase but also provides durability and protection against daily use.


How much does it cost to paint a staircase?

The cost of painting a staircase can vary depending on factors such as the size of the staircase, the type of paint used, and any additional prep work required. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $300 and $800 for a professional to paint a standard staircase.

How long does it take to paint a staircase?

The time it takes to paint a staircase can vary depending on the complexity of the design and any prep work needed. On average, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days to complete the painting process.

Can I paint a staircase myself?

Yes, you can paint a staircase yourself as a DIY project. However, it is recommended to have some experience with painting and proper preparation techniques to ensure a professional-looking finish. Additionally, using the right tools and materials is important for a successful project.


In conclusion, the cost of painting a staircase can vary depending on several factors. The size of the staircase, the complexity of the design, and the type of paint used all contribute to the overall cost. Additionally, hiring a professional painter will incur labor costs. It is advisable to request quotes from multiple painters to get an accurate estimate. While DIY painting may seem cost-effective, professional painters can ensure a high-quality and long-lasting finish. Remember to factor in the cost of materials, such as paint, brushes, and drop cloths. Ultimately, investing in professional painting services for your staircase can enhance the overall aesthetics and value of your home.

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