How to Paint Plywood Stair Treads

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Stairs can get worn out over time through constant use and traffic. If your stairs are in need of some refinishing and you don't want to use carpet or tile, try paint! If your stairs are made of plywood, paint can give them a new life and completely change the look of your house. Also, the paint is much easier to change than some other covering or finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood filler
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Vacuum
  • Painter's tape
  • Paint brush
  • Paint roller
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Water-based urethane
  • Fill any cracks or indentations in the wood with the wood filler. Apply this with the putty knife so that the holes are filled slightly higher than the surrounding wood.

  • Sand down the wood filler so that it is even with the rest of the wood. Then sand the entire tread to get a smooth and even surface.

  • Clean up any dust and debris using the vacuum. Make sure your working area is as clean as possible.

  • Apply painter's tape on the wall and the riser right next to where it meets the tread. This will protect the walls from getting paint on them.

  • Apply primer around the edges of each tread with the paint brush. Once this is complete, use the roller to apply primer to the rest of the tread. Let the primer dry for a few hours.

  • Repeat the process of applying the primer with the paint, working around the edges with a paint brush and then finishing the treads with the roller. Let the paint dry for two to three days.

  • Repeat the painting steps one more time using the water-based urethane. This will protect the surfaces you just painted. Apply three coats per tread for adequate protection. Remove the painter's tape once the urethane is dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are worried about getting paint where it is not wanted, get the widest painter's tape you can. The wider the paint, the more forgiving it will be.
  • Before you put the urethane on, make sure that your stairs do not need an additional coat of paint.
  • Remember to wear the proper safety equipment when handling the urethane, as it is a chemical and may cause harm if you get it on your skin or in your eyes.

References

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