I finally tackled those outdated ugly orange oak stair banisters! What a difference it makes, right? It really is very easy to do, and it barely even cost a thing – I spent maybe $50 at most. Take a peek at some of the before and after pictures…..
Be SURE you have some gloves to wear before you start staining. I found some at Lowe’s for just a few dollars, several pairs in a package. This stain does not come off your hands very easily. I did have mineral spirits close by and it came in pretty handy at times. Using your foam brush, paint on the gel stain making sure to catch any drips or clumps. This stuff is really thick, but goes on smooth. The directions on the can say to paint a coat on, let dry a few minutes and then wipe off. I did that at first as you can see here in this picture above. It made a huge mess and I felt like it was counter productive. The rest of the project, I ignored the “wipe off” step and it worked so much better. I did the first layer of Java in just a few hours and then waited until the next day to do the second coat. After two coats, I felt pretty good about how it looked, and just did some touch ups here and there where I felt it was needed.
After I was happy with how the java looked, I started priming the spindles. This was the trickiest part of the project. I used a small art brush and free-handed all the edges where the spindles met the Java stained wood. I used a foam brush for the rest of the spindle. Any other brush I tried left tiny splatters of white on the freshly stained java. Um – NO. The foam brush was the best. I did 2-3 coats of primer, and then three coats of paint. Put on a great audio book or listen to some podcasts. It was a great time to catch up on some of my favorite homeschool podcasts! If you want to listen to some great ideas on education, have a listen to some audio recordings from the Circe Institute. My favorite was “A Contemplation of Nature” – WOWSA. Have a listen – and happy painting.
Here’s a funny – I had a rub-on decal just above the stairs that I wanted to remove to finish painting the gray wall color over it. My sweet Banana offered to take over for me and when I stepped down off the ladder, I just happened to stop peeling at a very in-opportune time. We had a really good laugh over it though!
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