How to Finish a Wooden Spiral Staircase

Lead Image for How to Finish a Wooden Spiral Staircase
  • 4-10 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-100
What You'll Need
Wet cloth
Primer paint
Vacuum cleaner
Paint, varnish or stain
A heat gun or paint stripper
Sealant (i.e. polyurethane)
Paintbrushes and rollers

You can finish a wooden spiral staircase with paint. When you paint the staircase, you will not just enhance the look of the wooden staircase, but also the appearance of those rooms that face the staircase. Keep in mind that if you are going to paint an old staircase, you need to replace the old paint with the new paint. On the other hand, if the staircase is a new one, you can start painting directly on the wood.

Selecting the Paints

You must be very careful when you select the paint you need to finish the staircase. You can choose a paint that will fully cover the staircase’s underside. On the other hand, you can choose a stain or varnish to enhance the natural appearance of the wood.

Stripping and Sanding Old Paint

Before you start the painting job, you need to remove the old paint first. You can use a heat gun to make the paint softer so that you will remove it much easier with the liquid paint stripper. You can then use sandpaper in order to remove any unstripped paint left behind. Sanding is an important part since it prepares the wood for the painting job.

Using a Vacuum Cleaner and a Wet Cloth

After you have stripped and sanded the old paint, use a vacuum cleaner to clear the residue. Wipe the wooden surface that you have stripped and sanded with a wet cloth.

Applying the Primer Paint

Apply the primer paint on the wood by using a variety of paintbrushes and rollers. You can select paintbrushes with foam, hair or even fiber. Allow the primer paint to dry for the manufacturer’s recommended time, or at least six hours.

Applying the First Layer of Paint

It is now time to start the painting job by applying the first layer of paint or stain. If you want, you can choose the same kind of paintbrush you used earlier to apply the primer paint. You are advised to start painting the top and then paint all the way down to the bottom of the wooden spiral staircase. After you finish, you need to let the paint dry.

Applying the Second Layer of Paint

Apply another layer of paint to the wood and let it dry all through the night. If you are using stain or varnish to finish your wooden spiral staircase there is no need to apply a second layer.

Applying Sealant

After you have finished the painting job, cover the painted parts of the staircase with sealant. The sealant will protect the staircase from damage. You are recommended to use a polyurethane sealant and apply a minimum of three layers. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see how long you need to wait after you paint one layer and before you can paint the next.