Stain Banister

How to Stain A Banister

Stain Banister

Stain Banister in 3 Steps.

First Step: Remove the existing finish on a banister by stripping it off.

Start sanding with a medium-grit sandpaper to remove light nicks and dents, and the existing finish. If the banister is round, wrap a piece of sandpaper around the banister so that it covers as much of the banister’s surface as possible. Sand the finish until the wood is bare. Sand the entire surface again with a medium/fine-grit sandpaper and then lightly once more with a fine-grit sandpaper.

Second Step: Stain it.

Before you stain, consider applying sanding sealer. Applying sanding sealer is similar to priming the wood for paint. When applying sanding sealer, first use a small-sized paintbrush to brush the surface, then wipe clean with a cloth. There are a couple of different types of stains to use. Oil-based stains penetrate into the wood without raising the grain but carry a strong odor. Water-based stains are more environmentally friendly and offer easy cleanup using soap and water. Water-based stains also come in convenient gel formulas that are easy to apply with less mess. Check that the shade of stain you’re using matches the other woodwork in your house, especially the woodwork in the same room as the banister. Apply a thin, even coat of stain with a cloth, sponge or medium-sized paintbrush and allow it to penetrate into the wood. Brush in the direction of the wood grain and cover the entire banister until it is wet with stain. Let it dry for a couple of minutes and then wipe off excess stain with a clean cloth.

Third Step: Seal it.

Apply polyurethane sealant to seal the new stain finish. Apply it using a cloth or with a small- to medium-sized paintbrush in smooth, even strokes along the direction of the grain. Hold the brush vertically while applying. Overlap brushstrokes when moving on to the next area. Start at a corner and work it in gradually in a consistent pattern so you don’t have bare spots. Let it dry completely (this usually takes a couple of hours). You may want to add a couple of coats. In between coats (once the last has dried), lightly sand the surface with a fine-grit sandpaper. Use a cloth to wipe the piece down or use a brush to remove any residue and debris from sanding. Apply the next coat and let it dry.

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Stain Banister

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