Sometimes a lot of elbow grease and very little in the way of supplies can have a huge impact. In this case, I’m talking about refinishing staircase banisters. This was something that I tackled early on because the honey oak colour was not my style.
My neighbour refinished her banister and this gave me the confidence to try it myself. This was a lot of work (especially since we have two staircases) and it’s messy but it was worth the effort!
I used leftover paint as a primer on the spindles followed by a topcoat of the leftover kitchen cabinet paint.
I chose a very dark, almost black stain for the railing. There’s a Canadian company, Saman, that I like to use because the stain is water based and it had the topcoat mixed into the product.
This photo is from when we first moved in and before any of my painting & moulding projects.
Here it is after using a stripper to remove the varnish followed by sanding. This is an important step because without the necessary preparation and removal of the varnish, the stain won’t go on the wood evenly.
This is the finished banister.
This is how the staircase that leads to the basement looked when we first moved in. Here I started by painting the walls a lighter colour and then we added a large, statement light fixture.
This is the view from the basement.
The view from upstairs.
The finished banister.
If you look through previous posts there are lots of other photos that show the finished banister from other angles.
Today I’ve got a tutorial and reveal of the completed board & batten wall, created in collaboration with The Home Depot Canada. Since I’m usually learning as I go, The Home Depot staff are who I rely on to answer questions and give advice for whatever project I’m working on.
These are the steps that I followed. It’s important to measure, plan, keep lines level and plumb, nail into studs when possible and when in doubt – ask for advice!
Removing the baseboard was my first step because it was thin and wouldn’t look right with the pine boards. I used a flathead screwdriver to pry it off and it came off much easier than I expected.
Next, I marked all of the studs and finalized the placement of my vertical boards. These boards I had cut to length at The Home Depot Canada. Since I live close to the store I planned to start with only these 1″ x 4″ Pine Select boards and then return to have the horizontal pieces cut. When choosing boards make sure to get ones that are straight. If you don’t know how to check, just ask for assistance. If the boards are warped it makes it more challenging to attach them to the wall.
I used 1 1/2″ spiral finishing nails which were recommended to me since they have more grip than a regular finishing nail. For some boards that don’t stay on the wall flush, I used a few dots of Construction Adhesive to make sure they held.
The next step was to take the measurements between the boards before heading back to get the horizontal pieces cut. The policy is us that you pay after the first two cuts but if you visit when it’s not too busy the staff usually go above and beyond. Having a sketch helps to remember which pieces go where and what lengths are required.
When I got home I started figuring out spacing on the wall. I did have to adjust a couple of boards with my hand saw because I had taken the wrong measurement.
I started with the top pieces and made sure they were in a level line. It turns out that our basement height is quite uneven so to create a level line across the top I left a gap (which will later be covered with moulding). These smaller pieces are held up with 2 -3 nails. Along the bottom edge, I wanted to make sure that in the future if we were going to replace the flooring it would be possible to easily remove the bottom boards.
Painting the bottom pieces before adding them to the wall would have made it much easier. To save yourself some hassle, paint them first!
Where the boards intersected I used a wood filler and sanded once it was dry.
When it comes time to paint, if you’re using a product that has a primer built in you can paint directly onto the wood. Along all of the edges where the boards meet the wall, I ran a strip of caulking along it. I have a caulking gun and have found it to very worthwhile to have. It allows you to purchase tubes of caulking or construction adhesive which are easier to apply than little containers that you squeeze out.
After final sanding, painting and caulking.
This reveal wasn’t about changing everything in the room. The paint colour stayed the same but now the basement has a feature and interest that it didn’t have before.
Thank you to The Home Depot Canada for helping make this vision a reality! If you have an idea of a project but don’t know where to start they are a wonderful resource of information and guidance.
Here’s a little reminder of where it started and some of the steps along the way.