Remember this hideousness?


As we work on getting the family room fixed up, one of the biggest impact projects we undertook was to remove the carpeted stair treads (they were grody, stained, and all-round nasty), and to repaint the badly scratched and stained metal staircase.


Here it is half painted and already looking much nicer minus the awful stained carpet. We used Rustoleum Hammered Dark Bronze spray paint. That stuff is seriously amazing. You spray it on (after cleaning and priming of course), and moments later, it curdles into a beautiful hammered finish. It looks much more expensive and professional than just a simple smooth finish.


Ah much better! With the dark bronze color I feel like it looks more industrial-modern rather than dated-80s. We also painted the stair treads but we intend to fill them in with stained wood treads.


It’s hard to show you in a photo what the hammered finish looks like but this gives you the general idea. It is MUCH nicer than a smooth finish…that speckling is ALL paint, folks! It helps to camouflage imperfections in the underlying metal nicely.

We’ve still got a lot to do in this family room but we’re starting to feel like we’re really getting someplace! Can’t wait to see the finished product!



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3 comments on “Before and After: Painted Stairs”

  1. I’ve been thinking of doing exactly this to our spiral staircase but am a little wary of getting in over my head. So glad I found your post! Do you know anything about the durability of the Rustoleum? We well be putting our house back into rental at the beach and want it to hold up with little maintenance. Thanks!

    • Hi Erin!

      Thanks for your question! We honestly don’t use the spiral staircase that much (the loft up there is unfinished), so the Rustoleum works for us. BUT if you want it to stand up to wear and tear, it probably isn’t the best choice, honestly. Anything hard (metal tools, sharp corners of furniture) will scratch it. If I were renting I’d get it powder-coated (though it’s a hassle). Or be prepared to do a lot of touch ups.


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