Monday, September 7, 2015

How to Stain Oak Banisters

Tal and I finished our banister makeover!

Over the last 3.5 weeks, we have transformed our stair banisters from honey oak to black...

...and we love the results!

To get started, I used some Clorox Wipes to wipe down the banisters:

Then, Tal and I spent a couple hours taping the spindles:

Next, Savannah and I used some 220-grit sandpaper  to lightly sand off the varnish (in the direction of the wood grain). Then, I used some Clorox Wipes to wipe off the dust (and then let the banisters dry):

Tal and I did three coats of General Finishes Gel Stain in Java. We put a latex glove on one hand and then used a gym sock to wipe on a thin layer of stain. Tal and I let the stain dry 12-24 hours before we applied the next coat.

A few days later, Tal and I applied two coats of poly (General Finishes Gel Topcoat in Satin) with a gym sock. We waited 12-24 hours in between each coat:

Over the last week, I have spent about 8 hours doing touch-ups and painting the spindles white:

Staining our banisters has been a lengthy and time consuming project (especially with two little girls). Over the last 3.5 weeks, Tal or I have spent 1-2 hours most nights working on the banisters or spindles. However, the end result is beautiful! For less than $75, our entry feels instantly updated. Tal and I are glad we completed this messy project before we get new carpet (hopefully in a few months!):

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