Re-staining a Railing & Dogs in Pants

It’s another snow day in South Carolina…what in the world??  We’ve got a few inches of icey-snowy mix on the ground, and it’s still coming.

Cobalt says nevohmind, I don’t hafs to go dat bad.Cobalt says no to snow

I worked from home today, and no one is supposed to be on the roads except for emergency purposes.  Well, we were out of coffee.  Lucky for me, and for those who have to come into contact with me today, I live with a member of the emergency services.  What a hero.  You can’t have a snow day without coffee, and I was JUST talking about that, and other related Lorelai Gilmore girl-crushness with a friend yesterday, so I was extra looking forward to it. Phew, moving on.

There’s so much I want to share from our move and our house and everything in between, but I had to finally realize I can’t possibly share it all, and I should focus on some actual DIY projects instead.  Or maybe I need to just rename this, Emily’s ramblings and a little bit about what you think you’re going to read…

Gilmore Girls Luke's

First up – the stair railing!  This was a relatively small project, but one I was itching to tackle right away because it is one of the first things you see when you walk in our house, and I was tired of letting it hit me in the face with it’s ugliness.  Because I did this project soon after moving in, I failed at taking before pictures, but I do have some accidental pictures that include the before railing in it.

It is hard to see what it looks like up close, but the stain is really worn and scratched up in a lot of places.  I originally snapped this picture to capture Captain Cleanliness in action.  I like things nice and all, but I can also be accepting of the fact that our kitchen is being worked on and we’ll have drywall dust/etc. everywhere for the time being. Nick, not so much.  He cleaned it up constantly, knowing it would be back in a day or two.  I’ll take it 🙂

stairs railing before

What the stairs looked like at move-in – banged up railings, old carpet, old paint on the walls.

stairs

To start out, the long railing was already off of the wall from when we painted so it made that one easier.  The other railing required taping off and protecting the new carpet that was put in by the time I did this project.

I used Minwax Polyshades in Tudor after browsing similar projects like this one from my favorites at Young House Love, and this one from Centsational Girl.

Minwax Polyshades Tudor

All I did for the railings and large post that I stained was give them a light sanding and 3 coats of the stain.  I waited a day between coats just to make sure it was dry, and I could have done just 2 coats but I wanted an even darker color.  After the first coat, I was a little worried that I didn’t choose a dark enough stain but after the second coat it got much deeper I was really happy with it.

First coat of stain on banister

That’s after the first coat of stain – see why I was a little worried?  It was a little light and still showing some splotchiness underneath.  P.S. this is what our garage has looked like for the past 6 weeks during kitchen reno.  Here’s the other banister after one coat:

20140104_182718

20140104_122412

Much better after another coat!

Railing after second coat

I did a 3rd coat for good measure and let it dry.  The next day I tackled the spindles. At first I thought a light sanding by hand would be fine before paint, but as soon as I started painting I knew it would be prone to chipping.  So, I sucked it up and sanded the spindles all the way down to the wood using a Mouse Detail Sander.

Sanding stair railing spindles

Cobalt knows how to be the center of everything.  Some might say he get it from his mama.

Sanded stair spindles

All sanded and a big mess to vacuum up.  Nick wasn’t volunteering this time.  Selfish.

Stair spindles ready for paint

Cobalt said he’d help though.

So, I got all the sawdust cleaned up, taped off the carpet, painted 3 coats of white (same color as the trim in all the rooms), and just like that (or 4 days and a little more work than I expected later), the railing was done!

Restained and painted railing

Until I realized that the hardware for the wall banister was still old looking.  So I took care of that with a few thin coats of Rust-oleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint.

oil rubbed bronze spray paint

To go from this:

banister hardware before

To this:

spray painted banister hardware

To – hung!

firefighter hangs things       restained banister

Finally, because it’s more fun to do a before and after this way, and because I already had this made from sending a certain sister-in-law sneak-peeks…

Refinished banister

SO. MUCH. BETTER. I think that qualifies as my first actual DIY post.  Cheers to that 😉 It’s wine wednesday after all.

AND this also qualifies as complete spoiler of the carpet I chose for the upstairs.  Shit. Should we just skip that post altogether?  Do you care what I almost chose?  Or how annoying of a process it was?  Cobalt says, Wutevoh mom, move on to moh of me aweady.

CCOTD:

In honor of today’s snow day, a throwback to December.  The image text I just entered, “Cobalt snow pants”, made me chuckle.

Cobalt snow pants

That’s my brother Ben and his marsupial.  I’ll even throw in a rare appearance from Miles…

Miles snow pants

Yes, we do in fact have another dog.  But apparently I am some kind of evil stepmother because I supposedly love Cobalt more.

Alright, off to do the snow pants dance for another snow day tomorrow!!

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