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Old 08-24-2009, 03:39 PM   #1
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Painted the stairs ... .


Hello! First post and unfortunatly, its going to be about an embarressing mistake that I made.

My mom has a very fixed income. She has been rather depressed about how her foyer stairs have been looking...this is where I decided to stick my foot in my mouth.

These wood interior stairs are in a high traffic area and have not been touched for about thirty years..the carpet has been removed for a good ten years. I scrubbed, stripped what varnish was left on the stairs and sanded. The stairs treads are in horrible condition obviously; very dry and discolored from years of exposure.

I decided to sand as much as I could and paint the stairs just to look acceptable until I can come up with enough money to help her have new stair treads installed. Please keep in mind that the company I work for has shut its doors and I really can not afford to replace these stairs at the moment.

I went to the hw store and bought latex primer, latex satin interior/exterior porch and floor paint and brushes. I painted the steps three coats of a color called brownstone and 72 hours later I am looking at it and am not impressed. It is very dull and it looks -odd. Then I realized that I never put the primer on ..yeah. I have painted at least a half dozen rooms in my lifetime and have never made this mistake before. If I wasn't using such a dark color, I'm sure I would of noticed this during one of the coats ... god thats the only reason I can come up with.

So, needless to say, I am back to square one. I am hoping to heck that i can just peel away this paint like a banana (heres to dreaming!) and start over.

So after this long drawn out story, my question to you fine folks is whether or not anyone has successfully painted stairs with latex floor paint, where you satisfied with your results and did it last? Either way I need to head back to the store..the satin was way too dull and it look depressing and dirty.

Other things to consider is that my mom has taken in two big dogs that are very active so durability is a must.

If someone suggests it, I can try to stain the stairs and poly the heck out of it. The downside to that is that it is the only entrance to the house and I know in this humid weather it will take a week for a couple of coats to set. Also, If staining is the better route, I was wondering that since the wood is so damaged, that maybe I should buy some wood conditioner first?

I just feel awful, I was just trying to help and cheer her up. ack.
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:44 PM   #2
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Painted the stairs ... .


Stair treads usually get too much traffic to stand up to most paints
Maybe a painter on here can recommend something
I prefer stain on treads
Risers can be painted as a contrast
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:52 PM   #3
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Painted the stairs ... .


Hi Dave..

I live about a half an hour from you...what a hoot !!
I appreciate the response and advice

Thanks again..
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:58 PM   #4
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Painted the stairs ... .


before you beat yourself up - many floor paints are self priming and not priming wouldn't really cause it not to "shine.". With that being said, most latex floor paints will not suggest going directly over bare wood - due to wood grain raise. To combat that all you need is a light sanding to smooth out the wood. So you really didn't screw up as bad as you think. As far as what you are saying about the floor looking "odd" - I am hoping that you gave the paint a good shaking/stirring before and during use. Not doing so could result in uneven "gloss" to your finish. If that is the case, I would LIGHTLY sand the steps and give it on more good - THIN - coat. You never want to apply floor paint heavy or in high humidity conditions.

So Light sanding, good stirring of the paint, and a nice thin coat on a nice dry day and you should be fine. Just out of curiosity, what brand paint did you buy and check the label to see if it says self priming.
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:17 PM   #5
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Painted the stairs ... .


for your very kind and generous reply.

..AND you were right - I read the label incorrectly and followed the bare wood instructions instead of the worn wood instructions. The section for worn out wood states that I should of just started out with a very light coat. I applied three coats and none of them were "light" by any stretch of the imagination .. and the humidity in my area was beyond belief this week.

What I meant when I typed "odd" is that the stairs look not only dull but rubbery. It really does look like I could pull the paint off like those old colorforms I used to have a long time ago

Thank you so much for your time and thoughtful reply.
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Old 09-05-2009, 01:37 PM   #6
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Painted the stairs ... .


I have been researching painting stairs as well....One thing additional they say is that after you put your color on you should put on at least three coats of polyurethane to seal and give a shine. Pick the gloss you want in the polyurethane. I've attached one link I was looking at.
http://www.calfinder.com/blog/painti...ative-runners/

There are several other links out there as well that discuss this topic. I just googled painting stairs and came up with a ton of ideas. Good luck. Would love to see a pic of the finished product.
(if you want other sites to look at let me know I have them bookmarked)
I had friends just paint the plywood in their daughters bedroom using the Behr Porch and Floor Paint. They too put the 3 coats of polurethane on top and it looks great. That is what gave me the idea to do the stairs.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:56 PM   #7
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Painted the stairs ... .


Quote:
Originally Posted by KimD View Post
I have been researching painting stairs as well....One thing additional they say is that after you put your color on you should put on at least three coats of polyurethane to seal and give a shine. Pick the gloss you want in the polyurethane. I've attached one link I was looking at.
http://www.calfinder.com/blog/painti...ative-runners/

There are several other links out there as well that discuss this topic. I just googled painting stairs and came up with a ton of ideas. Good luck. Would love to see a pic of the finished product.
(if you want other sites to look at let me know I have them bookmarked)
I had friends just paint the plywood in their daughters bedroom using the Behr Porch and Floor Paint. They too put the 3 coats of polurethane on top and it looks great. That is what gave me the idea to do the stairs.
thank you so much kimd im still on my stair project..many setbacks and no time alone to just take the day and do it..it stinks..let me know how your project goes as well !
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:08 AM   #8
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Painted the stairs ... .


Cool your jets for a moment. If you are using latex floor enamel you need to give it a chance to cure for awhile before you start putting poly over the top or you really will have a mess. Give the surface a fighting chance. And I hope you waited at least the recommended time for recoating?
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:50 AM   #9
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Painted the stairs ... .


First Mistake was going to a hardware store for paint. Go to a paint store. Second Mistake was picking Latex Primer and Paint for bare wood that will get high traffic. You really need oil and if you can get the deck enamel, you won't need to prime. You may be able to peel it up before th paint sures as long as it is within 30 days of painting it.
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