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Old 08-29-2007, 10:34 PM   #1
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Paint choices for wooden staircase railing


I am moving into my first home and one of the first things I plan is to change the flooring (cherry color) and change the white walls to tan colored paint with a hint of yellow. The thing I am worried about is the railing on the stairs. I have a feeling that it would look ugly in white. See pic.

Is it possible for me to change this to a darker shade, say rosewood or mohagony? Do you I have to remove the existing paint first by sanding it? I hope not. Because sanding all those railings seems like a tough job. Your thoughts are much appreciated.

Am I looking at stain paints here?
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:03 AM   #2
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There are two ways to accomplish your goal. One is to strip the paint, sand and stain. The second would be to paint over the white with a faux wood finish. Painting something to look like realistic wood is an art and I've seen it done horribly and done so well you never even knew. If you want to DIY gets some books/DVDs and practice, practice, practice. Good luck.


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Old 08-30-2007, 09:49 AM   #3
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Nothing wrong with white as your trim color. Your stairs will pop and be a great focal point. stringers / balusters / posts.

To bad the hand rails are painted white. There is a reason they were painted. 1. a lot easier for the painter or 2. hand rail is finger joint

Know that stripping painted wood to take a stain will be very labor intensive.
Even after much effort you will not remove all the paint that has soaked into the grain of the wood.

Faux wood paint as advised above

or paint hand rails to match the dominating shade in your new cherry flooring.

Be sure to post an after picture taken from the same angle

Good luck.
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Old 09-01-2007, 08:42 PM   #4
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Do NOT waste your time trying to strip those balusters- you will be cursing yourself about 2 days into that job.

Painted rails actually look nice against darker walls, but if you want something close to wood without trying faux work, paint the rails a dark tan, then apply a coat of Dark Mahogany Gel stain (we use ZAR). Let it set up a few minutes, then wipe off lightly with cheesecloth. Now, it won't have the grain when you look up close, but it will certainly feel like wood when you look at it.

Good Luck,
Bay Area Painting Contractor
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