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DIY: Re-Painting The Front Steps Of Your Home's Exterior

By Megan Rutherford | August 12, 2013

Like so many homeowners out there I am guilty of neglect. As a renter your home maintenance worries always seemed to be carefree… But unfortunately, as a homeowner you always have a long list of home maintenance and improvements to do. I have been putting off the project of sprucing up my front steps with a fresh coat of paint but realize that if I put it off for too much longer then the winter season may be upon us leading to even more issues of painting in colder weather. So after much procrastination I have decided to bite the bullet and get the job done.


Your front porch is what welcomes visitors into your home so it is important to keep it looking nice. The first thing to consider with this project is if the steps are concrete or wood. Mine are wood so this is what I will focus on in my writing. Fortunately for me the prior owners left a treasure chest of leftover paint so I won’t have to try and match the color, determine how much paint I need and make a trek to the paint store to get it. All that is really necessary is a paint cloth or piece of cardboard (yes, I will admit that I am a messy painter), paint brushes, painters tape and last but certainly not least the paint!

Now for setting up the project once you have all of the supplies on hand…First off I am going to wash off the steps. You can do this either with a pressure washer if you have access to one or just a regular garden hose equipped with a spray nozzle, the main purpose of this is to get rid of any dirt and grime as well as take off any of the loose and peeling paint. You may also utilize a wood cleaner purchased from your local paint or hardware store in this step. If there is a lot of peeling paint then you may want to consider scraping, sanding or replacing the steps (and railing).

If you do not know the correct paint color and are trying to match it then just paint a small section as a test and make sure to compare the two-colors in daylight to see if they match close enough. You may also want to consider priming the steps first to ensure a more even coat and longevity of the new paint. After you have painted one coat allow it to dry for 24 hours preferably without any foot traffic on it then decide if it needs a second coat.

My last word of the wise to you is to consider your escape route. Don’t paint up the stairs only to realize the front door is locked. In my case I am going to paint down the steps to the sidewalk and make sure to put the dogs away so that I don’t get any paw prints on the nice new paint job. Happy painting!

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