How To Paint Stair Risers Without Sanding

How To Paint Stair Risers Without Sanding

Learn the art of painting stair risers without sanding and discover the right paint for different wood species in this informative guide.
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Learn the art of painting stair risers without sanding and discover the right paint for different wood species in this informative guide. Pro tip: if planning to install carpet stair treads, make sure you let the paint dry completely first. This will ensure proper adhesion of carpet, and also prevent damage to both your newly painted floor and your carpet treads.

How to paint stair risers without sanding:

  1. clean surface

  1. use deglosser

  1. prime surface

  1. paint

  1. finish

How to Paint Stair Risers Without Sanding   

Can you paint stair treads and risers without sanding? This is a definite yes. Painting stair risers without sanding can be a time-saving and efficient way to revamp your staircase. Here are the steps to achieve a professional finish without the hassle of sanding:

Clean the Surface   

Before painting, it's crucial to thoroughly clean the stair risers to remove any dirt, dust, or debris. Use a mild detergent and water to clean the surface, and allow it to dry completely before proceeding. This step is essential for ensuring proper adhesion of the paint.

Use a Deglosser   

If the stair risers have a glossy finish, consider using a deglosser to remove the sheen. This will help the paint adhere better to the surface without the need for sanding. Deglossers are readily available at hardware stores and are easy to apply.

Prime the Surface   

Applying a high-quality primer is essential for promoting adhesion and ensuring long-lasting results. Look for a bonding primer specifically designed for slick or glossy surfaces. This will create a suitable base for the paint to adhere to, without the need for sanding.

Choose the Right Paint   

When painting stair risers without sanding, what paint to use on stair treads plays a huge factor. Opt for a durable paint that offers excellent adhesion and coverage. Acrylic latex paint is a popular choice for its versatility and ease of application. Look for a paint that is specifically formulated for high-traffic areas to ensure long-lasting results.

Choosing the Right Paint for Different Wood Species   

The type of wood species used for your stair treads and risers will influence the paint selection process. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right paint for different wood species:

Hardwood vs. Softwood   

Hardwood species such as oak, maple, or cherry have a dense and durable nature, requiring a paint that can withstand heavy foot traffic. Softwood species like pine or cedar may be more prone to dents and scratches, so a resilient paint is essential. Consider the durability and hardness of the wood when selecting the paint.

Grain and Texture   

The grain pattern and texture of the wood can impact how the paint adheres and appears on the surface. For example, open-grained woods like oak may require additional preparation and a thicker paint application to fill in the grain. Consider the texture of the wood and choose a paint that can effectively cover and enhance its natural beauty.

Moisture Resistance   

If your staircase is located in a high-moisture area, such as a basement or bathroom, it's important to choose a paint that offers moisture resistance to prevent warping or damage to the wood. Look for paints specifically designed for moisture-prone areas to ensure the longevity of the finish.

Paint Finish   

The desired finish, whether it's matte, satin, or gloss, will also influence the paint selection. Consider the aesthetic appeal and practicality of the finish based on the staircase's usage and your personal preference. Matte finishes can offer a more modern and sleek look, while gloss finishes provide a durable and easy-to-clean surface.


Painting stair risers without sanding is achievable with the right preparation and paint selection. Additionally, considering the specific attributes of different wood species will guide you in choosing the ideal paint for your staircase. With these insights, you can confidently embark on your stair painting project and elevate the aesthetic appeal of your home with professional results.