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13 Basement Stairs Paint Ideas

Your basement stairs are looking pretty ratty, but you're not going all-out to make them look nice. After all, they're only basement steps. You've decided that the easiest, cheapest, and most effective thing to do is paint them, but now you're stuck? What's the best paint to buy, and how should you apply it? Check out some of these Basement Stairs Paint Ideas to get inspiration!


1) Porch and Floor Enamel

Porch and floor enamel is designed for outdoor use, and it's designed to be walked on. This makes it an excellent choice for basement steps because many basements are used as workshops, and you're likely to be tracking things up and down the stairs. With a porch and floor enamel like this, you can waterproof the stairs and make them more durable while also creating a nice enough look. This is even more valuable for a walkout basement.

2) Concrete Floor Paint

For concrete steps, you'll probably want to use concrete floor paint to protect them. While concrete is durable, it can still crack when it's exposed to weather and moisture, such as people tracking things inside. This is most important if you've got a walkout basement or if you use the basement as a workshop and bring projects in and out a lot. Try a concrete floor paint like this to make the stairs look better than the concrete alone and to make it more waterproof and durable.

3) Wood and White

If you want your steps to stand out, either because you like a bold look or because you've got dim lighting and you want to make sure people can see each step as they walk up or down them, wood and white is a good combination. To create this, get white paint and a wood stain, and paint the stairs with the two. You can even use the instructions in this video by Claire Imaginarium to paint the stairs properly if you're not sure how to go about it.

4) Anti-Slip Paints and Coatings

If you have concrete steps, they're probably slippery, and you'll want to find a way to make them safer since falling on concrete is very painful. Even wood steps can be slippery, particularly if you use the wrong paint, but what's the right type to use? Look for anti-slip paints and anti-slip coatings like this one from Amazon to make the stairway safer and keep people from slipping and falling on steep or narrow and slippery basement stairs.

5) Sand

Whatever paint you choose, you'll want some key things; it should look nice and be safe. That can be an issue because you'll want a non-slip coating, but you might not be able to find a paint you like that's non-slip. Instead of settling for an ugly color, get the one you want and make it anti-slip using sand. Check out this article to learn more about how to make regular paint into non-slip paint.

6) Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover

If you want to paint a variety of surfaces, you might be looking for a paint that's durable enough for stair treads but also attractive to put on walls and trim. Instead of buying three different paints, get one paint like Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover that works on concrete or wood. It's designed to be durable so that you can use it for wood or concrete stairs, a concrete basement floor, and trim. This will create a more unified look.

7) Contrasting Trim

Your basement stairs probably don't need to look as pretty as other areas of the house, but there's no reason they need to be plain and ugly, either. A straightforward way to make the stairs look nice is to use contrasting colors for the trim and steps like ElCid48 does in this video. You can learn to paint your stairs this way using ElCid48's tutorial, and the bright edge will make the stairs more visible if you've got dim lighting.

8) Spray

If you're looking for the quickest and cheapest way to seal your steps, your best bet could be spray paint. With spray paint, you can just tape it off, spray the whole area, and be done with it. While it's not the most durable, it works well enough for a seldom-used basement, and it's a quick way to get the project out of the way. If you like the idea, you can check out this article to learn how to safely spray-paint your steps.

9) Light Colors

If you have a narrow staircase with limited light, you might want to use light-colored paints like this tan from Amazon since dark colors absorb light and make spaces seem smaller and dimmer. That said, you may want to avoid white since stains show on it, and you might get dirt on your clothes when you're in the basement. Stains won't show as much on a tan color like this or on any off-white color.

10) Latex Paint

As you've been looking at paints, you've probably noticed that they can be labeled as either latex or oil and wondered which option was best for you. As a general rule, you'll want to get latex paints since they're a good all-purpose choice for home interiors, and they're easier to work with. If you're hiring a contractor, this will make the project cheaper since the contractor won't have to charge as much for labor. It's also easy to wash and holds color better. Take a look at this article to learn more.

11) Stenciling

Just because you're painting doesn't mean you need to have a simple monotonous look. You can create all kinds of patterns for little cost when you paint your stairs. Check out this video by Jessica Lynn at Home to learn how to stencil a concrete floor. Your stairs will be a little different, but you can use a similar method to create interesting patterns on your basement steps. Think about doing something similar on the walls, too.

12) Flat Paint

Your basement stairs probably aren't the best material. They might have small blemishes or rougher wood than the other stairs in your house, but unless you have a nice finished basement, there's no need to replace them. Get flat paint like this when you paint over them since it can hide imperfections. Avoid glossy, eggshell, or semi-gloss paints because, while they're easier to clean, they make any blemishes or damage to the steps stand out more.

13) DIY Paint a Runner

You might have chosen paint because it's the cheapest way to make your stairs durable and waterproof, but that doesn't mean you can't make the stairs look good while you're at it. Check out this tutorial from Heathered Nest to learn how you can paint a runner on your stairs. While it's not as nice as a carpet runner, it's a cheaper way to make your stairs look nice, and it works well if you have soft pine stairs like the author of the article did.


How're you improving your basement stairs? Did any of these ideas help you figure out what your best paint option was? Please tell us about it in the comments below.


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