If you’re repainting several spaces inside your home and the basement stairway is one of these, you’ll have at least two specific areas to consider. The most labor-intensive will be the stairwell itself, especially if the walls extend high above the steps and the ceiling seems almost out of reach. But you’ll also want to be prepared to put paint on the steps themselves if they’re wooden steps that haven’t seen a fresh coat in some time.
For now, it’s probably best to focus on the most efficient way to get consistent coverage on the walls and ceiling without putting yourself at physical risk. Leave the steps for another time at this point. Some homeowners will simply take a close look at the space and immediately call a professional painter. This might be the best option if you’re not comfortable working at height or you’re not comfortable with using extended poles to reach the ceiling and those faraway corners.
Professional is always the answer when you have the funds to make it happen. But if you don’t, there are some tips and methods that will make painting that stairwell much easier. Keep in mind that these methods can also work for an interior stairwell that leads to an upper level. Before getting to the physical act of painting, consider whether you’re going to paint the ceiling of this area the same color as the walls.
If so, you won’t have to feel the stress of trying to cut into the corners where ceiling and wall meet. If you plan to put a lighter color or white on the ceiling, you’ll need to practice with your setup and your extension poles to get this just right. It’s also important to understand how important light colors will be in this closed space. You can do a lot to keep the area from looking too dark by choosing the right shade of paint.
Use Ladders Correctly
Once these preliminary plans are in place, it’s time to actually get started. You might want to invest in an adjustable ladder, one of the type that resembles a step ladder but allows you to adjust the height of each side separately. This will let you keep the steps (and you) level while the ladder stands firmly on steps of different height. Don’t rely on using unsafe blocks or a similar method to raise the legs of one side to equal the other. Always be safe.
You can use a straight extension ladder by placing it on a lower step and leaning it against the wall opposite the stairs. If you put a small step ladder on the upper landing, you can use a sturdy board set firmly on the two ladders so it’s level.
Use an extending pole with a roller attached to get the majority of the surface painted (walls and ceiling). You can try a brush clipped on the end to paint the corners or you can buy an edger that will attach to the pole. These can be purchased for just a few dollars. Those small pad-like devices can be great timesavers. However, you set up, do your best to stay safe.