Of all the DIY painting jobs you may encounter in the home, a wooden spindle staircase might be one you dread as you consider both the time involved, as well as the technical requirements to ensure a quality finish.

As with most DIY projects, such concerns are easily overcome with the correct planning, tools and a little bit of know-how.

Firstly, it’s important to ensure that you are starting with a clean surface free from grease and any loose debris.

A good quality sugar soap will help with this, and after mixing with some warm water can be used to clean your area ready for the next step.

Hopefully your wooden staircase is in a decent enough condition. However, if you have any cracks, holes or other surface damage then now is the time to fix them.

In most cases, small cracks and holes can be mended simply by using some wood filler and filling the damaged areas with a small scraper, allowing enough time for the product to dry completely before gently sanding down prior to painting.

More times than not your wooden staircase will be attached to a plastered, painted or papered wall area, and it’s important to protect these areas from any excess paint that might be brushed over.

If using a brush (or small 4” radiator roller) to paint your wooden staircase and spindles then you’ll likely be fine using a roll of basic masking tape to prevent overworking areas.

If however, you plan to use a paint spraying system then you will need a masking method suited specifically to this method.

This usually comes as a roll of masking tape but with a strip of polythene already attached. The tape is applied to the area where the wall and staircase meet and the polythene can then be folded out to protect against any accidental over spraying.

For our painted wooden staircase project, we chose to use ‘Greyhound’ from Frenchic’s’ Alfresco range.

If you also decide to pick one of the incredible colours from the Frenchic range, you might notice that on the application of your first coat you can see some slight brushstrokes before drying. Don’t worry though, as with all the Frenchic paints they are completely self levelling and those brush strokes will fade away as the first coat dries.

You could also use a small 4” radiator roller to apply your paint. Just be sure to fit it with a sponge sleeve before you start.

As with a paint brush, you will need to apply at least 2 coats of paint to your woodwork if using a roller.

We decided to use a paint spraying system for our wooden staircase and spindles and this meant that we would be diluting our paint

A good tip when spraying spindles is to be consistent with the direction of your paint application.

Start by spraying from left to right (or vice versa) on each of the spindles and uniformly work your way around each one.

Or in other words, spray the left side of each spindle, then the front of each spindle, then the right and so on.

In normal conditions, it’s important to allow two hours between coats even though it will be ‘touch-dry’ within the hour.

After a light sanding with some high-grade 240 grit sanding paper, you’re ready to apply your next coat.

And that’s it. It really is that simple and we guarantee you’ll find the process hugely rewarding.


If you’d like to learn more, simply click on the YouTube link below or follow the links to our partners at Frenchic Paint to explore their incredible range of chalk paints.