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Old 02-24-2011, 04:20 PM   #1
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Painting basement stairs


What would be the proper prep. work and paint for wooden stairs and stringers going down into a basement? Nothing has been done to them except construction. This is an unfinished basement.

Thanks in advance, rredogg

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Old 02-24-2011, 04:43 PM   #2
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I would apply Sherwin Williams Floor enamel on them. Two coats and when applying the second coat add some shark grit into the paint to make the stairs non slip. We have used this coating on a lot of basement stairs and other walking surfaces with good results. There really isn't much prep, besides making sure the surface is clean and dry.

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Old 02-25-2011, 11:20 PM   #3
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Read the label on the can. Some floor enamels recommend thinning the first coat over bare wood with the second coat full strength. I disagree with hpny on the grit additive. I don't care for the sand finish look. Most people I've done floors for don't care to address the slip issue. If you do, you can buy adhesive backed treads to provide footing. Or, cut out a rectangle from a heavy poster board. After the second coat, take some paint and add the grit. Now take a mini roller and roll inside the rectangle template. This will give you the tread grip in the color without the grit being all over the step, which looks cleaner.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:29 PM   #4
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It really depends on the wood and the sheen you are using for the paint. Really smooth wood and then a semi-gloss enamel finish can really make the steps slick in some cases. Thining the first coat can really help it penetrate the wood better and reduce the chances of peeling. We sometimes call it a spit coat.
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:54 AM   #5
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Read the label on the can. Some floor enamels recommend thinning the first coat over bare wood with the second coat full strength. I disagree with hpny on the grit additive. I don't care for the sand finish look. Most people I've done floors for don't care to address the slip issue. If you do, you can buy adhesive backed treads to provide footing. Or, cut out a rectangle from a heavy poster board. After the second coat, take some paint and add the grit. Now take a mini roller and roll inside the rectangle template. This will give you the tread grip in the color without the grit being all over the step, which looks cleaner.
Shark grit is not sand, it does not leave a textured look, you can't even really see it when its applied and it does get mixed with your second coat and applied to the areas that you want to make slip resistant. Floor enamel can become slippery, so especially on stairs I would use a slip resistant additive.
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:44 AM   #6
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Shark grit is not sand, it does not leave a textured look, you can't even really see it when its applied and it does get mixed with your second coat and applied to the areas that you want to make slip resistant. Floor enamel can become slippery, so especially on stairs I would use a slip resistant additive.
Exactly! Shark grit is awesome.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:03 PM   #7
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Thanks for all your assistance. When the weather warms up it's on my list of spring projects. SHARK GRIP, SHARK GRIP, SHARK GRIP.

regards, rredogg

"Old too soon, smart too late."

Last edited by rredogg; 02-26-2011 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:52 AM   #8
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I stand corrected. I've never heard of shark grit. It may not be around this area. I'll have to keep my eye out and ask around. Thanks.
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:34 AM   #9
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I stand corrected. I've never heard of shark grit. It may not be around this area. I'll have to keep my eye out and ask around. Thanks.
Shark Grit can be found in Sherwin Williams, its actually clear and made from recycled glass, but you can walk on it with bare feet and not even notice it at the same time it will give slip resistance. I don't use it on all walking surfaces, but on stairs I would, especially with an enamel , as they tend to be slippery at times.
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Old 03-02-2011, 01:39 AM   #10
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Nice to hear about Shark Grit. I honestly say that I also not found it. Now I am painting basement stairs. After complete this painting, I can use paint formulated for porches or floors.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:28 PM   #11
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I started this post regarding stairs. With your good advice it worked out well.
At Sherwin Williams I purchased the porch and floor paint (satin finish) and SHARK GRIP. On the final coat of the threads I mixed a pint of the paint to a portion of the Shark Grip.

Thanks again, rredogg
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:32 PM   #12
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I started this post regarding stairs. With your good advice it worked out well.
At Sherwin Williams I purchased the porch and floor paint (satin finish) and SHARK GRIP. On the final coat of the threads I mixed a pint of the paint to a portion of the Shark Grip.

Thanks again, rredogg
Thanks for bringing a conclusion to the thread Rredogg. Glad to hear it worked out well for you. This will be helpful to those who search this later.

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