As a central aspect of your Colorado home, the appearance of your staircase can have a big impact on your interior. Painting or staining your staircase railings is a single project that can make a huge difference in the look of your home.
But, with its irregular shape and various parts, staircase railings are notoriously tricky to paint or stain. That’s why we’ve compiled our best tips for painting and staining staircase railings in your home. With these tricks, you can revitalize your staircase in no time.
Painting Staircase Railings
What Type of Paint To Use
For your stair railing, it’s smart to opt for durable, long-lasting paint. The railing will endure more wear-and-tear than the average wall in your Denver home, so the paint should be made to last.
Interior enamel paint is a great choice for staircase railings. This type of paint has a sleek, glossy finish and is entirely opaque. It’s also dependable and long-lasting for interior surfaces.
How To Prepare The Railings
Follow these tips to properly prepare your railings:
- Use blue painters tape to avoid getting paint on the wall.
- Protect your stairs and floors with plastic sheeting.
- Move any nearby furniture so that it isn’t hit by dripping paint.
- Clean the railing with soap and water. Let the surface dry completely before moving on.
- Sand the railing to help the primer stick.
- Apply an even coat of indoor paint primer to the railing. A coat of primer will add durability to the final coat of paint while improving its appearance.
How To Paint The Railings
Paint the various parts of the railing in this order:
- Top of the upper rail
- Underneath the upper rail
- Spindles, one side at a time
- Base of the railing
Adhering to this order will save you from having to do touch-ups, given that paint from the upper rail is likely to drip onto the spindles and base. Also, note that the spindles will likely take more time to paint than any other part of the railing. Residential painting services in Denver can speed up the process.
Keep these tips in mind as you paint the railings:
- Completing two coats will improve the durability and appearance of your paint job.
- Painting the spindles in a down-to-up motion can reduce the amount of paint that drips.
- Use a high-quality paint brush, ideally a professional-grade residential painting brush, to avoid brush marks.
Staining Staircase Railings
What Type of Stain To Use
Two main stain varieties are available: oil-based and latex. While these stains differ in many ways, both function to protect wood surfaces.
Oil-based stains are generally used for exterior projects. This is because they have a stronger smell and can create a larger mess during the application process.
That being said, oil-based stains also appear more natural, leaving the wood grain visible. This is largely because oil-based stains soak into the wood entirely. This creates a less solid look than what you can achieve with latex stains.
Oil-based stains generally take between four and five hours to cure (dry completely to be ready for use). The oil in the stain won’t dry, however – it will just seep into the wood.
For an oil-based stain, use a pad paint applicator, bristle paint brush, or synthetic filament paint brush.
Latex stains have a more paint-like quality than oil-based stains. The color of this type of stain appears brighter and more vivid. Latex stains are also easier to apply. You’re more likely to attain a uniform finish with a latex stain than with an oil-based stain.
Latex stains have a significantly shorter cure time than oil-based stains – around two hours. This provides added convenience, especially for interior applications like staircase rails.
For a latex stain, use a polyester or nylon paint brush.
The preparation process for staining is just about identical to that of painting. Protect the surrounding area, including the walls and nearby furniture. Sanding is especially important for staining wood, as it will open up the wood pores to absorb the stain. Don’t skip this step. Otherwise, the stain won’t adhere to the surface of your staircase railing.
Should I Use a Primer?
You can apply a primer before you use wood stain, just as you would with regular paint. However, the use of a primer isn’t as important for wood stain as it is for paint. Since the stain leaves the wood grain visible anyway, the primer isn’t necessary to achieve an opaque layer. However, applying a stain before you apply primer can improve its durability.