How to Paint Exterior Fiberglass Steps

I have a rather tacky looking set of fiberglass steps on the outside of my manufactured home. Can I paint them? If so, how should I go about it? -Barbara

Hi Barbara,

Fiberglass can be painted successfully. You have to look at it as though you were painting plastic. The concern with this particular project is that you’re painting steps that will be used on a daily basis, so the treads will become worn and need recoating over time.

Here’s how to go about painting your fiberglass steps:

  • Sand: Use medium grit sandpaper sand the steps to remove any slick sheen. You want to sand them until they are smooth to the touch and have a dull finish.
  • Clean: After sanding, dampen a rag with mineral spirits, and wipe down the steps to remove any sanding dust.
  • Prime: Choose a good quality, exterior, oil-based, bonding primer for your undercoat. Tinting the primer the color of your topcoat will help with coverage.
  • Paint: Topcoat with two coats of quality, exterior, 100% acrylic latex paint. To keep your steps from becoming slippery when wet, add non-slip sand texture additive to the topcoat. But don’t just dump any old sand in there, ask in the paint department for texture additive for paint.

Good luck with your project,


Further Information


  1. I’d like to paint my 2002 Buick Le Sabre car roof. Cloth came off and now it’s an unfinished fiberglass. Will these simple directions work for something like that?


  2. I am an artist painting an oudoor fiberglass or pvc ( not sure) statue that will be exposed to salt air… what paint do you recommend? Kris


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