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Old 03-26-2013, 03:34 PM   #1
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Paint vs. Stain, someone make up my mind




Basically, the question is should the handrail, newel, and shoe be painted to match the trim and doors, or stained. The trim and doors are "walnut bark." The floors are tiger bamboo, and will have some parts carpeted. The stairs will be carpeted. My wife likes the wood grain of stain. Stain has its merits in durability as well. It would hold up better to hands touching it and not need repainting as paint might.

My wife likes the white balusters - so that's decided.

However, being that it would be the only wood grained thing anywhere, it's hard to make it not stick-out. Holding sample pieces of our flooring and trim up to our other staircase, it looks very awkward. I think I'd need a walnut colored stain very close to the trim color, so it wasn't a total mismatch... then you run into the sometimes-fail of something looking so close that it just stands out not being the same.

(Doors are not painted yet)


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Old 03-29-2013, 12:39 AM   #2
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Paint vs. Stain, someone make up my mind


Never, ever, ever paint nice wood. Never, ever paint reasonably decent wood. Paint only crappy pine or something like it.

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Old 03-29-2013, 10:04 PM   #3
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Paint vs. Stain, someone make up my mind


Avoid painting anything.

For some reason, some people have a hard time coping with wood. I've never really figured it out.

If you want something painted, just build it out of plastic and then leave it bare.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:41 PM   #4
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Paint vs. Stain, someone make up my mind


The rails, newels, and balusters are hemlock. Cap of the knee wall is poplar. So, not exactly a precious wood project. I'm now considering just doing an oil rubbed finish. If I do that and don't like it, can I just prime over the oil rub?
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:13 AM   #5
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Paint vs. Stain, someone make up my mind


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Originally Posted by hyunelan2 View Post
The rails, newels, and balusters are hemlock. Cap of the knee wall is poplar. So, not exactly a precious wood project. I'm now considering just doing an oil rubbed finish. If I do that and don't like it, can I just prime over the oil rub?
Of course you can prime and paint over anything. I have said on this site many times, I got paid handsomely for stripping paint off woodwork. And, then I hired strippers, some women, that did it faster.

Are you sure you cannot live with the natural wood? If not prime and paint on I guess.

What do you really have against Poplar and Hemlock by the way? Stained and finished nicely both are quite beautiful, IMO.

You cannot rub oil over what you have. Your might look into acrylic gel stains. If your have a real woodworking supply house near or at least a real paint store? Go there for help.

You are are going to have to clean and scruff up the surface.

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Old 03-31-2013, 01:20 AM   #6
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Paint vs. Stain, someone make up my mind


The ONLY advantage to paint.....easier to patch/touch up.....

A stained wood along with a few clear coats is going to give you a much longer lasting surface....while looking much better....

Poplar can be made to look like a lot of woods....

Oil rubbed? Low maint, easy to touch up....just rub on more oil....
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:37 PM   #7
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Paint vs. Stain, someone make up my mind


I don't have a problem with the wood looking like wood, it's just that I'm not sure that look goes with the rest of the room, being that nothing else is wood look down in the basement. nothing wrong with Hemlock and Poplar, but it's not as sacrilegious to paint those compared to oak or some other "nice" wood (maple, walnut, etc).

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