Apply masking tape around the outer edges of your work area to protect surrounding walls, floors and other objects and surfaces. Apply plastic sheeting to the walls and floors below the stairs.
Pour paint stripper into a metal coffee can, filling the can half-full. Set the can down in your work area on top of a newspaper to collect any drops of stripper and protect the floor below the can.
Dab a liberal amount of paint stripper onto the surfaces of the stairs, using a low-quality paintbrush you can throw away afterward. Do not brush the paint stripper on thinly; apply a thick coat. Allow the paint stripper to set on the stairs according to the time directions on the packaging.
Hold the scraping end of the paint scraper at an angle against the surfaces, and push the scraping blade across the stairs. Wipe the paint off the scraper by scraping the blade against the inside edge of the metal coffee can. Collect all paint and stripper waste in the can for proper disposal.
Rub the remnants of paint down with steel wool to remove paint you could not remove with the scraper blade. Remove paint from small crevices and detailed wood carvings using a coarse, wire pipe cleaner.
Apply more paint stripper and repeat the steps as necessary to remove all traces of paint until you have only unfinished wood.
Things You Will Need
- Masking tape
- Plastic sheeting
- Thick rubber gloves
- Paint stripper
- Metal coffee can and lid
- Paint scraper
- Steel wool
- Coarse, wire pipe cleaners
- Start at the top of the stair case and work your way down, one step at a time. Apply stripper and remove the stripper before proceeding to the next step down.
- Dispose of the paint stripper and paint remnants by sealing the metal coffee can with the old paint brush, scraper, steel wool and wire pipe cleaner inside. Take the can to your local landfill for proper disposal.