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I just purchased a new home and the center piece of the home is a curved stairway. The color of the banister is a walnut color.

We would like to darken the color to match the kitchen refacing job we will be doing. We would like to make it into a cherry or espresso color.

I've asked several painters to come out and provide some quotes, some just flat out won't provide a quote where as others have provided several other "options" to darken it.

I've been given options such as:

- Lacquer shade: no idea what this is and couldn't find much mention of it on the internet. Was told it would give a "furniture" finish and the painter wasn't too clear when i asked if i would lose the grains.

- Shellac: don't think this will make it much darker

- Varnish tint: Can't really find much on this...? Was told that it would darken the existing coat of varnish.

- Minwax polyshades: Found this from my own research, seems to get mixed reviews.

Of all the painters only one warned me that with the traditional staining method it might not be possible to get all of the old sealer off where it might have absorbed deep into the grains. In those areas it won't be affected by the darker stain color and there may be blotches of the lighter color.

Could any of you provide some inputs to these different methods, or any other options that i might have?
 

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Do you have any companies in your area that specialize in refinishing wood? look under wood refinishing in the yellow pages. All the methodsmentioned probably work. it just depend son what that painters experience is. A wood refinishing specialist probably has much more experience.
 
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