Being home with “social-distancing” is reminding me of the parts of the house I would very much like to update. I am a big fan of painting steps and not a huge fan of golden oak. After looking at the cost of replacing the railings, my second Covid-19 project became painted stair railings.
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Here is the initial view:
They were “fine”, though in desperate need of a very deep cleaning and that poor newel post had seen WAY better days.
Wanting a two-tone look, I started by taping off all the balusters with Frog Tape. This part took a while because there are so many of them and I wanted really precise lines. Burnishing the edges (pressing down on them firmly) really helps give you a perfect result.
After taping, I took a really close look at the Newel Post. The crack ran the entire length of the post. Gratefully, it was completely salvageable.
I gave the balusters a coat of Behr Marquee Ultra Pure White in a semi-gloss finish. Once fully cured (hardened), a shinier finish makes dust less likely to cling to the balusters and much easier to clean. I may regret choosing not to prime them, I honestly just forgot to do it.
While the white paint was drying, I filled the long cracks in the newel post with wood filler, then added a second coat of paint to the balusters.
I sanded the wood filler smooth and started the handrail. Did you know chalk finish paint makes a great primer? It adheres so well once the surface is clean. When painting really dark colors, I like it better than gray tinted primer because it take less coats to cover it.
I wanted an off-black color for the hand railings and shoe rail (that’s the part the balusters stick in at the bottom) so I went with Behr Marquee Cracked Pepper in a semi-gloss finish to help keep it clean and fresh.
It only took one coat to cover perfectly. You may notice I only taped certain areas off this time. Some of the spaces were so intricate that I found it easier to use a steady hand and small artist brush those sections.
When the project was complete, it was a rainy, dreary day. I cleaned up the area and tried my best to take photos (with a few “surprise helpers”).
Yes, I know I need to paint the rail over against the wall… it involves taking it off the wall (or a LOT of wall paint touch up after). Getting it off the wall requires a second set of hands (and “helpers” disappear quickly at times assistance is requested). So if it’s too distracting for you, I had a friend “fix” it:
The final hall view is much more appealing to me now and I love the painted stair railings so much, I wish I would have done it ages ago. Now if I can just find that “helper” to assist with getting that long railing off the wall…
What are you doing to stay busy at home? Do you have any big or little projects going? I jumped into a major closet remodel right after this…. I am hoping to be able to show you next week!