Sunday, October 27, 2013

Banister Update or No More Orange

I have been very unhappy with the color of my banister.
To be perfectly honest, I have never liked the banister itself
but we have never wanted to spend the money to get something else.
This was the last of the orange colored oak in the house and it was taunting me. 

I painted the mantel.
We painted the kitchen cabinets white.
I replaced or painted the bathroom vanities.  
I have wanted to do something with this banister for a few years. 
I've thought about changing the newel post and I may still do that. At the very least, I thought I would paint the whole thing last summer. I pinned some wonderful inspiration. 
As I looked at it though, I felt that white wouldn't ground the space enough. 

After the big bathroom remodel, I just didn't have it in me. Painting all the trim, molding and doors in the bathroom was enough oil based paint for a while and I knew all the balusters on this would not be easy. 
I decided to go the easiest route. 
 In fact I was going to try out gel stain. I had heard and read many times on the blogs that it would cover better than regular stain. 
Ummm, no.
They had no dark colors of gel stain available at Home Depot and the sales guy talked me out of using it. 
He said it was no different than regular stain just thicker. 
Instead I opted to go for two tones of regular stain. 
I roughed up the banister with a little sand paper and then smeared a coat of Jacobean and a coat of Ebony over the whole thing.

A couple of places needed a third coat.  
I love Jacobean by Minwax.

 It's my favorite dark stain before getting to a black. 
I wanted to stain this thing rather than paint for two reasons.

It is much easier to stain something than paint it.
I also wanted to draw the color of the front door toward the stairs. 

By staining the stairs the same color as the door it will draw the eye in.
It isn't as dark as I wanted to be, but I am  pretty happy with it. 



I re-read a post from Holly at the Down to Earth Style Blog.
She hit her orange wood with black paint first. I wish I had done that to get those underlying orange tones eradicated. I did that to my kitchen cabinets a few years before we painted them. I really thought ebony stain would do the same thing but it isn't as dark as the black paint would have been. Oh well. I will probably do more to it later but for now it isn't taunting me anymore. :)
It took about three weeks for it to dry completely so I think the rest of the family would like for me to just leave it alone for a while! 

Update: I ended up painting the banister anyway. 
See it here: 
I love it so much more now.  

Linking with,
Between Naps on the Porch   
Savvy Southern Style


  1. I really like it, Katie! It definitely ads a richness to the look of the wood that you just couldn't get with paint. Your home is so beautiful!

  2. it looks great.I have never used gel stain, so I have no experience with that. I think it was a great idea to stain the stairs as the front door, for continuity

  3. What an undertaking! I hate my bannister, too, and have thought about painting it black, so far, I am way too lazy to tackle it. I love the way yours came out! It really looks great!

  4. Three weeks!! Oh my! I think it looks wonderful! Beautiful home, Katie!

  5. That made quite a difference.
    I also like that little wash stand near the bottom of the stairs. You have a beautiful home!

  6. It looks great!
    (I love the name of your blog, btw, and I'm now following :)