April and the Bear Blog
DIY Interiors


It took all my might to not call this post ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and sure look instead I’ve put it into the bleedin’ introduction – anyway, this is about painting yo’ stairs. Not the most difficult task in the world but for those who would like a little guidance – read on. After much mulling about what to do with the stairs, the Bear and I decided to spruce them up with some white paint  – we wanted to make sure to not conceal their beautifully bare and mottled state too much and hence took this as our inspiration.

Inspiration from glorious Image Interiors 

You’ll Need:

  • Floor Paint (we chose Johnston’s Trade Paint – definitely one of the more durable brands)
  • Tape Measure
  • Duct Tape
  • Stanley Knife
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • White Spirits
  • Paint Brush
  • Reams of Patience

Music to work to: Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat by FatBoy Slim but in our heads we are replacing ‘Rave’ with ‘Paint’. Wild, I know.

Awesome Femme we are channelling: Real life awesome artist Tracey Emin.

First things first – clean your stairs. Dust, Wash and Wait. Once they are dry we can start mapping out the area that we are going to paint.

Measure the width of your first step. You’ll need to decide how much of the step you want to leave paint free in the centre. It makes sense to leave enough space for a person to walk comfortably up and down whilst the paint is drying. We decided to leave 40 cms in the centre of the walkway, which left 20 cms on either side. Measure and mark these measurements with a pencil along all the steps.

Then with your duct tape, follow your pencil marks and make a border. Once this is complete – check that the lines look straight and correct any bendy booboos.

Then get to painting! This whole process will probably take you the better part of a long weekend. Most floor paints will suggest you wait 8 – 12 hours for painting that second coat which really means COAT NO. 1 on Saturday and COAT NO.2 on Sunday. Cancel your Sunday Roast trip to the Mothership’s abode – we are DIY-ing! 

Please make sure to remove the duct tape straight after you have painted as otherwise you will have some serious paint bleed. If you do find yourself with some paint bleed – use your Stanley knife and a ruler to fix this – like below . Donezo.

Top Tips:

– Don’t go over-board with too much paint. If you put too much on your paintbrush – it will DRIP AND LOOK GROSS (this is particularly true for the risers).

– Do be patient and wait until the next day to do your second coat, otherwise the coat will not go on smoothly and your lovely stairs will resemble the grainy texture of gone-off porridge.

– Do take any precious jewellery off BEFORE cleaning your brushes with white spirits – I did not and now own and operate an ombre-style engagement ring.

– Do not have a party/ large gathering of people over to house immediately after painting stairs – it will not end well for anyone.

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