I'm painting the stairs going down to my basement that previously had carpet. After removing the carpet, they are like bare, new wood. Unfortunately, the treads were nailed with common nails (not finish nails) and I cannot set them down enough to fill over because that would probably split the wood. My plan is to drive the nails flush and paint over them. Should I use an oil based primer since it will be going on metal nail heads?

  • Consider removing the nails and filling.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 22:20
  • Those nails are probably structural. Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 23:28

1 Answer 1


They make special paint for stair treads that has anti-slip properties, I would use that. It's typically thick enough top cover the nail heads, but they may work themselves up over time.

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