Painting a stairway is a quick way to refresh any home and create a whole new look. However, the complexity of painting stairs and stairwells makes this a more expensive painting job in most cases. There are many parts of a stairway that can be painted, and your total project cost will depend on exactly which elements are included in the new paint job.
The cost to paint a stairway involves the cost of paint and related materials, prep materials and cleanup supplies. If you choose to have professional painting done, you’ll also have to factor in the cost of labor, which varies from one region to the next. It may be more cost-effective to do a full paint job or include the stairway in a whole-house painting project, but it can definitely be done as a project of its own.
Stairway Painting: mid-range paint and primer for a 12-foot stairway.
|Item||Unit Cost||Quantity||Line Cost|
|Paint: mid-grade latex paint||$25-$35 per gallon||1||$25-$35|
|Primer: mid-grade||$10-$30 per gallon||1||$10-$30|
|Supplies: tape, plastic sheeting, brushes, rollers, trays, etc.||$15-$50 per job||1||$15-$50|
|Labor Cost||$50 per hour||7||$350|
|Total Cost||$33-$38 per foot||12||$400-$465|
Other considerations and costs
- This cost estimate is for painting the walls in a stairway only. You can also have the stairs painted and/or stained, which has similar costs for labor and materials but may require additional detail work due to the corners and angles of the stairs themselves.
- Taxes are not included in this estimate.
- Permits are not usually required for interior painting but check with your local municipality to be sure before starting any home improvement projects.
- This estimate assumes a straight stairway that will only require one gallon of paint. If you need more paint for a larger area or opt for an oil-based paint instead of latex, your costs will vary.
- Professional painting labor can be quoted as an hourly rate, based on square footage, or per job, depending on the company. If you get quoted a job rate, be sure that the cost breakdown is comparable.
- You can save a lot of money on the cost to paint a stairway if you have basic handy skills and can do the work yourself. After all, materials are only a fraction of the cost of this project.
- If you are painting, staining, or refinishing the actual stair treads, make sure that you use durable materials designed to hold up to foot traffic.
- If you choose a DIY paint job, you may need to rent or purchase a ladder to safely reach all areas of the stairway. Do not prop the ladder on the stairs without another person there to spot you while you work. This can be very dangerous.
- Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2019.
- Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
- Literature review of DIY Web sites.