How To Refinish Banisters

The main purpose of banister is for security. This protects people from accidentally falling from stairs that can cause severe injury or even death. Aside from this, a banister also adds style to the house. There are simple banisters and there are also those with intricate designs. These are also made from different materials like wood and iron. Wood has been a favorite material in making banisters. Wood banisters give the house an elegant and classic look. There are several woods that can be used for banisters such as red oak, white oak, walnut, hickory, mahogany, beech, maple, poplar and jatoba or Brazilian cherry. If you have a wood banister, years will age away its elegance. Good thing there’s refinishing. With this, your banister will shine and be as elegant as before.

Here are the steps on how to refinish your banister.

  • Prepare the things that you will use in refinishing your banister. These are polyurethane gloss, painter’s tape, newspaper, brush, sandpaper and stain. Remember to wear protective gears like goggles and gloves when working with chemicals to make sure you’re protected.
  • Cover stairs and everything under the banister. Use painter’s paint and newspaper to cover these. This is to prevent these from getting stained and accumulating dirt from debris that you will get in the process of refinishing.
  • Remove old finish from the banister. This is important so that the new finish will adhere to your banister properly. There are different ways on how to remove the old finish from your banister. The most common way is by using sandpaper. Sand the banister carefully to remove its old finish. Make sure to do this on all parts of the banister even the parts which have intricate design or irregular shapes. Aside from using sandpaper, another way to remove old finish is by using a wood stripper. Steel wool is used with the stripper. Choose a stripper that is made from citrus. This is more acidic which makes it easier to remove old finish. Bleach solutions used at home can also be used. Extra elbow grease must be added to the solution. If you use bleach solution, sand the banister after removing old finish to smooth the surface. Wipe the banister to make sure it’s clean.
  • Stain the banister. Applying stain to your banister is challenging because it can’t be taken outside for staining. Do not remove the cover that you put earlier as this will protect your stairs and everything under the banister from being stained. There are stains, which are liquid type and are usually used for staining woods. However, find a stain, which is gel based so that it will not easily drip and it will easily stick on the banister. Apply a thin layer of gel stain on the banister. Let this dry before applying the second coating. Like the first coating, this should only be thin. Let this dry then apply polyurethane to make it look glossy as well as serve as a protection on the wood. Aside from stain and polyurethane, you can also use varnish on your banister.
  • Let the banister dry. Make sure to apply stain carefully to avoid bubbles. If you see any bubbles forming because of drips, smooth this immediately with your brush.


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