Painting or refinishing cantilever stairs

I have been asked to refinish cantilever stairs. Should I remove them or just paint them where they are.

Cantilever stairs come in an assortment of styles so removing them would depend on the process for completing the job.

If the stairs your working on would be easy (or cost effective $$$) to remove then go ahead and do so.

Once the stairs are removed take them to your shop for refinishing or setup a work area outside of the home. Doing so keeps your customer from having to put up with the inevitable mess or smell.

The advantage of removing cantilever stairs is being able to conveniently finish both sides of the treads without having to test your acrobatic abilities. Working from a ladder and sitting (or kneeling) on stair treads can become very old after a few hours.

Problems to consider would be access to the second floor for the home owner and the time it will take to remove and replace the stairs once they are done.


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