Sometimes painting a stairwell can be a challenging task for both learners and expert painters.

The work becomes too tricky more so when you can’t set up a ladder along the staircase to reach the stairwell.

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But you can do this task simpler through building a longboard, and a scaffold from two ladders. You can also make a stair leveler from plywood and some short boards. From there, you can use a long brush to cut the edges then apply paint using a roller brush. And you will save your money rather than hiring an expert.

1. Start By Constructing a Scaffold

Make sure you cover the railing and the stairs using drop cloths. Even if you are careful while painting the stairwell, there are high chances that some drips of paint will fall on the rails and stairs. And when they dry up, the place might look untidy and boring.

  • As you start the preparations, take many precautions while walking on the stairs, more so if they are constructed with wood. The cloths used in covering them can make them slippery.
  • Make sure you remove all removable fixtures and hanging pictures on the staircase walls before you begin painting.
  • Position a step ladder on top of the stairs
  • If you want to construct a stable scaffold, you must use ladders on floors beneath and above the stairs that you will be painting. Using a step ladder is the best solution and must fit perfectly on top of the stairs.
  • Position the step ladder and make them parallel with the stairs. Place them at least 15 centimetres from the topmost stair to protect you from any risk of falling.
  • You can also add some weights or cinderblocks on the inner part of every ladder leg to stabilize the ladder and keep it safe from moving.
  • With that done, add an extension ladder on the bottom of the stairs against the wall. You will do this as there might not be enough room to fix another step ladder on the lower side of the stairs that can be used to make a scaffold. Therefore, be sure to prop the upper bottom of an extension ladder against your stair wall.
  • Propping the bottom side of the extension ladder against the stairs make it angled enough to help you climb easily.
  • Again, positioning the extension ladder to make it’s rungs uniform with your step ladder rungs will level your scaffold.
  • Also, cover the top arms of your ladder using a foam or cloth to protect the wall.
  • Lay flat a 5.1-cm x 30.5-cm board across the ladders. Make sure you look for a board that is 30 cm wide and 5.1 cm thick. The board must be long enough to allow you to set one side on the step ladder then the other one on an extension ladder.
  • Finally, that will be your scaffold where you will stand when painting the stairwell.
  • Fasten the thick board to your ladder rungs on both sides using clamps. This will prevent it from slipping immediately; you stand on it. Furthermore, you can use nails on the underside on both sides where the board will rest on the rung.

2. Construct a Stair Leveler

  • Start by taking depth measurements of 3 stairs. The leveler must be deep to allow it to span at least three stairs.
  • Immediately you finish constructing a leveler, set it on any position within the stairs then use it as a platform. Furthermore, place the extension ladder on the beveller then support it against the wall.
  • After setting the stair beveller, you can easily climb on top of the beveller then paint the stairwell.

3. Painting the stairwell

  • Using a cloth and a broom, dust the stairwell before you start painting. Ceilings are raised in places that are prone to cobwebs and dust accumulation. This can make it hard to paint.
  • Remember to wear a dust mask then use a rag to wipe all dust off the area. If some parts are hard to reach, lay a cloth on one end of the broom, then clean these places.

After that, wrap the walls using a plastic sheet. Even if you are painting the walls using a uniform color, you must protect them from any drips that are prone to drying on the wall’s visible bumps.

  • You can use a painter’s tape to stick the plastic sheeting on the walls; doing this will make the tape even with the upper side of the wall against the ceiling.
  • When done with wrapping a tape, ensure you mask away any fixtures on the ceiling. If you want to keep the fans, smoke alarms, and lights safe from accidental painting, ensure you cover their edges using a painter’s tape. But you must only use the tape only on the fixture and make sure it doesn’t cover any part within the ceiling.
  • Start painting using an edging tool. At this point, an edging tool is preferred than a roller as it allows you to paint the edges of the stairwell without necessarily pushing it on the wall.
  • Roll the edging tool against the grooved area of your paint tray to get rid of excess paint that can cause drips.
  • After that, paint the inner side from the section you cut in using a roller. Run the roller along with the grooved areas of the paint tray several times after dipping it inside the paint. Doing this helps in squeezing out excess paint and enables you to avoid unnecessary drips.
  • If you realize that the ceiling is still far, even while standing on the scaffold, add an extension pole to the roller. For corners and edging, place the paintbrush to the far end of the extension pole.
  • Keep on painting and edging in parts until you finish painting the ceiling. You can move your ladder with one side to help you reach the other side. It’s recommended to do the whole painting in a single session to prevent the paint from drying unevenly, leaving unsightly laps or ridges.
  • Test whether the paint is dried through rubbing the area with a clean and dry cloth to check whether the paint will come off.

Immediately the paint dries, remove the painter’s tape then start painting the walls when necessary.

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