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Updating an Oak Stair or Handrail to White and Walnut

08 September 2010

Kimberly at Craftyland has made some beautiful changes to their stair handrail.

ever since we moved into our little bungalow just over a year ago, the staircase going down to the basement has been a thorn in my side. the oaky colour stuck out like a sore thumb next to the hardwood we put in, and the staircase is front row center in the kitchen/familyroom/dining area of the house... so it needed a makeover BADLY!! here's the proof:

i started by purchasing an orbital sander (how i survived this long without it boggles my mind!) and sanded off all the varnish from the railing. a few new sanding disks and two very wobbly hands later, it was ready for some stain. i used a gel stain which was awesome! so easy to apply because it went on more like paint than stain.

after one coat of stain
i did an extra coat of the stain just to be sure i wouldn't forever stare at it and wonder if it was dark enough. next i applied 2 coats of diamond gard varnish and moved on to the spindles. first i primed them with bulls eye 123 which meant i didn't have to sand them down to the bare wood like i did for the railing. then i applied 2 coats of paint we had leftover from when we painted our trim and wainscoting.

2 coats of stain and 2 coats of varnish
let the priming begin!
i'm so so so in love with how it turned out! now i just have to decide what i want to do with the wall heading down to the basement.. still undecided.. but for now i am just going to enjoy the transformation :)

Very nice change on the white stair handrail. 
 How do you like it?


Amanda@The Hand Me Down House September 8, 2010 at 8:18 AM  

This is fantastic! We have the same ugly oak banister in our house and I've been wanting to redo it -- this totally gives me the courage!! :) Thanks for sharing!!

Korrie@RedHenHome September 8, 2010 at 8:57 AM  

It looks great! I remember putting in an oak railing in our home about 11 years ago...I thought it was so pretty then!

Lori September 8, 2010 at 9:04 AM  

So much nicer! I really like the contrast between the dark stain and the white spindles. Great job!

Anonymous,  September 8, 2010 at 11:06 AM  

That is beautiful! I wish I had a railing to redo like this! :) Beautiful color!

Lori September 8, 2010 at 11:39 AM  

Great job! I never really knew why I didn't like my own oak bannisters. Now I know! The link to Craftyland takes me to the comments section of "Little Mac Shack" .....help!

kelley @ the eclectic owl September 8, 2010 at 12:27 PM  

That is seriously gorgeous! I really love the crisp and clean look of it all! And it look wonderful with the floors. GREAT job!

Debbie September 8, 2010 at 12:39 PM  

We just repainted (well, not really "we" as in my husband and I, more like "we" paid to get it painted!!)... and have HATED the bannister. The spindles are also painted white, but the rail part is still the oak. Now I know that "I" (yes, as in "me") need to get busy and make this "most needed" change!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!!

kimberly @ craftyland September 8, 2010 at 12:39 PM  

hi lori.. here is the link to craftyland!


hope you stop by :)

Remodelaholic September 8, 2010 at 3:06 PM  

I am so sorry about the link issue, but I fixed it now! I really hope you check out her blog!

Maridith @ Strictly Homemade September 11, 2010 at 9:19 PM  

What a difference. Just beautifuil. All of the stuff you make or remodel is just amazing. Just amazing you have so much talent!

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