Painting old gloss painted staircase

29 Apr 2012
Reaction score
United Kingdom
Hi, just looking to paint our old wooden staircase ( spindles etc). Looks like it was painted in gloss white which is yellowish now. I want to put satinwood over it.
I will get dulux or johnstones.

1. Its quite tricky to sand all small bits of spindles. Is there any advise on how to do it quickly (I am not a picky person so can live with few imperfections rather than spend hours and hours sanding it down). What shall I use to sand it. Just sandpaper in hand?

2.aftwr sanding do I need to use an undercoat or just straight with two coats of top coat? If so what undercoat do I use.

3.what brush shall I use?

Last edited:
Sponsored Links
Nylon sanding pads make life much easier when used on spindles - something like those in the link below, in the suitable grade for you requirements, which are available in many places, including Halfords.

You could also avoid sanding altogether and use a high grip primer/ESP as a bridge coat between gloss and satin. Be sure to sand any existing ugly bumps or runs out first.

If you just go with sanding, providing no bare wood is exposed, you can just go with 2 coats of satinwood, as it is self undercoating.

As for brushes, if you use water based satinwood, use a good synthetic brush with dampened bristles. For oil based, I prefer natural bristle but synthetic is also suitable. Purdy are the brand generally recommended within the trade, but there are many good brushes out there - just avoid cheap!
You can also buy a liquid called "Gloss Off" This takes the shine off the gloss and etches the surface ready for what ever you put on next.
Krud Kutter Gloss Off


  • krudkutter_gloss_off.jpg
    53.8 KB · Views: 413
Sponsored Links
I will try the gloss pads on my spindles as these will be repainted White so very helpful tip thanks. As I want to varnish the hand rail ( have four sets of stairs in a Georgian house). Any tips on the best way to remove the old glos paint without damaging the wooden hand rail? Cheers sh
Did exactly the same thing - painted over a yellowed gloss staircase with Dulux Satinwood. 1 coat of Zinsser Cover Stain and then the Dulux over the top. Job Done.

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local