Ensuring you take your next step safely

Decorating platforms for stairs (Which one do you need?)

  • By: Gareth
  • Time to read: 7 min.

DIY ladder platform for stairs

Choosing a DIY ladder platform for stairs for your home can be a difficult decision. There are many different types of stair ladders, each with their own pros and cons.

This article will go over some of these stair ladders to help you make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

Choosing stair ladders that are sturdy enough to take your weight and have enough steps so they work well on most staircases is vital. Ensuring it reaches up to your ceiling height is a must.

Some types of stair ladder have what is called a platform. This can make it more stable for you on uneven surfaces like carpet.

What types of DIY stair ladder platforms are there?

There many types of DIY stair ladder platforms. These include foldable types, telescopic types combination types and platform types.

The most important thing to note is that you go for something which will make you feel safe and fits your needs.

There may also be requirement of a platform on the top, in this case it would make sense to buy one with an attachable platform or to purchase one separately.

Some safety aspects could also be considered like sturdy, grippy footwear to help keep you steady when using these stair ladders.

Remember not all stairs have another level below them so look carefully at how high up your ceiling is before buying! If painting, remember to wear proper work clothes (gloves, mask etc.) if needed too!

This guide should help you make the right choice of painting platform for stairs. You would also be amazed on how many great ladder accessories are available to make your tasks easier.

You can read more about them in our article on ladder accessories here.

What to consider when choosing a DIY stair ladder platform

Stair ladders are made in different ways so it is important to ensure they fit your staircase correctly.

Telescopic stair ladders are usually convenient for storage as they collapse into a very small space and act like an extension ladder for stairs but they may not always be totally suitable for all stair types.

You can read our article more fully on telescopic ladders here.

When fully extended, they will act like a traditional extension ladder for stairs. In some situations, this maybe all you need. Other more complicated stair cases may need a more flexible approach.

Some telescopic ladders have evolved from straight ladders and have gained a flexible top hinge. This gives the advantage of making a ‘A’ Frame ladder with height adjustable side frames.

Foldable type stair ladders can also be easily be stored away when not needed in a cupboard or under a bed etc.

They will not reduce in size as much as a telescopic ladder will but they are still quite compact. Foldable ladders could be termed as an ‘A’ Frame ladder but other foldable types include multi combination foldable stair ladders.

These offer the greatest flexibility as their design allows them to adapt to almost all situations.

Flexible multi locking angled hinges allow angled adjustment in difficult and tight spaces. Platform sections can also be an option possibility. They drop onto ladder sections allowing you to work from a flat walkway.

Ladder for painting stairs

Decorating platform for stairs

If you are choosing a decorating platform for stairs and painting is your prime goal, some considerations may be beneficial.

There is nothing worse than balancing or climbing a ladder with a brush in one hand and a paint pot in the other hand.

With all of this going on, you are also trying desperately to hold on and not fall.

Therefore, the stair ladder type you choose for painting a stairwell could save you time, cost, mess and above all, an injury!

A stair ladder with some platform type arrangement has to be considered as this is not only safer, it will allow you more range of movement and also allow you to work for longer periods without getting too uncomfortable.

On a side note, some stair ladder systems offer additional benefits like tool trays or holders to tools and sometimes paint pots. This allows you to have a free hand to balance, grab or carry out two handed maintenance.

If the stair ladder system doesn’t have these options, there are a number of additional ladder accessories that can be bought separately. You can read our article about some great ladder accessories here!

Stair platforms for painting suggestions

Big Red Foot 3 Way Combination Ladder

What we like:


Amazon Choice

Lightweight at only 10Kg

3 combinations include extension ladder, step ladder and stair ladder.

What could be better:

Max load capacity could of been higher than 95Kg

Our first suggestion is a simple folding ladder in its simplest form. We chose this because it boasts of 3 combinations making it perfect for use around the home and in a stairwell due to its versatility.

The 3 combinations make it possible to be used as a small extension ladder, a traditional step ladder and a stair ladder which is what we were after.

This ladder has a unique sliding mechanism that means it can change between configurations easily. It is made from aluminium which reduces its overall weight but keeps it very strong.

These ladders have a maximum safe working load of 95kg (15st) which puts them in the old ladder classification of Class 3 (Domestic).

As long as you are not over 15st or 95Kg, they should be fine. Extra wide splayed legs increase stability in any of the configurations. The big red, grippy rubber feet also increase grip and stability.

D shaped, non slip rungs help you to feel more comfortable whilst climbing and standing on the ladder.

The locking mechanism that secures the ladder safely in each of its configurations is great. These ladders also fold flat for easy storage and are very light and easy to use at only 10kg.

This ladders are designed for home/DIY use.

Telescopic A Frame Aluminium Ladder

What we like:

Telescopic plus ‘A’ frame design

Lightweight at 13.5 Kg

Max load capacity of 150Kg

Stabiliser bar to increase stability

Comes is 3.8m and 5m variants

What could be better:

As with all telescopic ladders, you need to watch your fingers when retracting!

Our next stair platform for painting suggestion is of the telescopic ladder type which we discussed earlier. The main reason for suggesting these is that they are the next progression on from the straight telescopic ladder type.

These benefit from a flexible top hinge which can transform this ladder from a locked straight ladder into an ‘A’ frame ladder.

Because the rung sections are adjustable due to their telescopic design, one side can be made shorter than the other. This means that they work great on stairs because of their flexibility.

One thing to remember with all telescopic ladders however. They are perfectly safe but you have to appreciate how they retract and when retracting, to keep any fingers or thumbs away from the rungs or they could get squished.

These telescopic ladders comes in a 3.8m version and a 5m version. The 3.8m version will have a 1.9m extended height that’s available either side of the top hinge. The 5m version will have 2.5m available either side of the hinge.

Abbey Aluminium Multi-Purpose Ladder with Safety Platform

What we like:

Still reasonably lightweight for its size at under 17Kg

Max load capacity of 150Kg

Double stabiliser bars

Hugely flexible combinations

Comes with platform attachments

What could be better:

Solid build but it means it can feel heavy.

Our final suggestion is a combination ladder type stair platform for painting that we’ve discussed. We like this one because it’s made by a company called Abbey.

For those who know the construction industry, Abbey is a very well known manufacturer and is synonymous with building quality access equipment.

We put this forward as our final example because not only is it a combination style ladder type that is perfect for stairs, it also has enough flexibility to be used all around the home and outside too.

Another great feature is that our Abbey example here comes complete with platform attachments so you can stand on a flat platform when the combination ladders are in that arrangement.

Another great feature from Abbey are the twin stabiliser bars for increased stability and wide footprint.

The specially designed hinge system clicks and locks reassuringly at various angles making it very flexible and adaptable to most situations. It is really well made and robust.

This can make it feel to some like it’s a bit heavy and awkward to manipulate.

We personally would rather have a stronger more robust system that takes a little extra time to flex. This is a very nice system that would compliment any household.

Stair ladder summary

Okay, we have covered quite a bit regarding domestic stair ladder access. We have talked about folding steps, telescopic ladders and combination ladder systems along with platform attachments.

We’ve also touched on the pro’s and con’s of stair access and points to think about when choosing a system.

We also hope that the suggestions we have put forward were of help to you and given you an idea of what is available.