Monthly Archives: February 2015

Updating Banister Handrail

Cheap & Easy Ways To Update Your Home

Banister & Handrail

Two years after we refinished our hardwood floors, we finally got around to updating the banister handrail.  It wasn’t that we didn’t need or want it done – it was that we thought we had to hire a professional for the job and that was pricey. But while waiting for the professionals to update the bathroom and having no control over it; I decided to take control of what I could do rather then worry about what I couldn’t do – updating banister handrail was something I could handle.

Although I was initially nervous over starting, now that I am on the other side I can’t believe how quick and easy the project was – WHAT TOOK ME SO LONG???

Quick and Easy Directions



Sanding: Who wants to actually sand??? Do yourself a favor and use Klean Strip Liquid Sander on the areas you are going to gel stain.

1.   Apply Klean Strip liquid sander in small circular motions focusing mainly to degloss and degrease.
2.   Let it dry
3.   Apply second coat if needed
4.   Let it dry

painting spindlesChalk Paint: No need to sand or prime if you are painting spindles using chalk paint. It does have a bit of sticker shock but you don’t have to waste time and money with sanding and multiple primer coats – which cuts down on overall cost.

(I used pure white color to match my baseboards)

1.   Paint the spindles, using a foam brush. I thought it best to paint the spindles first as it is easier to tape off the spindles later
*Note: don’t stress over the first coat – there will be streaks but it will come together as you apply additional coats. Just make sure there aren’t any drips or areas thicker then others.

*Note: if you need to take a break in the middle of painting you can place your brush in a plastic bag and store it in the fridge for future use without cleaning. This is very helpful when painting with kids around.

2.   Let it dry!!! The chalk paint dry’s fast so don’t rush it! Wait until fully dry before applying next coat.

3.   Apply second coat.

*Note: don’t stress you might need more coats so just apply cleanly avoiding drips or puddling, it comes together cleanly and without brush strokes as you continue to coat.

4.   Let it dry

5.   Continue to apply additional coats as needed, letting it dry between coats. Mine took three coats but the lady at the store said some woods would need up to five coats.

6.   Let it dry.

7.   Tape off white spindles to prepare for gel stain.

Gel Stain: This stuff is so easy to work with, make sure to ventilate.after

(I used java and black gel stain)

1.   Work in small areas applying the gel stain with a foam brush, paint the gel on the use the side of the brush to wipe off excess and rub gel into the wood.

2.   Let it dry! The gel stain takes forever to dry – don’t rush it! Sometimes it took longer then 24 hours to dry – I think it might have been the moisture in the air from the weather.

*Note: if it is still tacky wait for it to dry. There will be no tackiness to the wood when ready for the next coat.

3.   Apply next coat as directed above.

4.   Let it dry!!!

*Note: I thought that three coats of java stain would produce an almost black but it never got dark enough so I applied Black over the java, using two coats to make sure I covered all areas.

Wax: I had never heard of using wax as a top, protective, coat. But it seemed like a good alternative to the poly finishes and looked more natural. (I used clear)

1.   Apply a thin layer of wax rubbing the wax into the paint completely using a rag or wax brush

2.   Remove any excess wax

3.   Let it dry over night

4.   Buff with a microfiber cloth until desired shine is obtained.

Now I need to change the carpet 🙂

before:  before