Monday, November 1, 2021

Oak Banister Makeovers With Gel Stain No Stripping

Oak Banister Makeovers With Gel Stain No Stripping

Hi out there again fans, Cheap Calgary Painters again. Welcome back our low cost professional house painting internet web site. In this Oak Banister Makeovers With Gel Stain No Stripping blog post we're going to cover some often used two tone banister or railing make overs that we complete for new customers a couple of times per year. 

Today I'm doing something a little different. I will not be working with track paint, or furniture. I'm going to be redoing a banister for a customer. This is a project that the customer has been wanting to do since the whole family moved into the house about 4 and 1/2 years ago. We redid the floors just before they moved in. So we have freshly refinished hardwood all throughout this floor, and it's kind of like a like a walnut color. 

So it really doesn't go with the honey oak banister that we have. The banisters are sturdy, and it's in pretty good condition, so the customer couldn't justify replacing the whole thing, especially for how much that cost. So the customer just wanted to update it with a little bit of stain, and a little bit of latex paint. 

I've used general finishes gel stain before, and I know you can use it right over finished surfaces, and you didn't have to strip, or sand it, which I was really excited about, and so was the customer because it cost them less in the end. So I decided that I was going to make a blog post for you guys if my process went well. 

I've already completed most of the banisters around the customers house using the same technique, so we should be able to get this last one in tip top shape and looking like the rest of them. This customers house have a catwalk up stairs. Lots of railings and banisters on both sides of the catwalk. I learned a lot of things along the way in our painting careers, so I wanted to share that with you guys. 

Luckily I saved this little tiny section at the bottom of the customers stairs so that I could do a step-by-step blog post tutorial for you. We're just going to update this with a little bit of gel stain and some latex paint today. So let's get started. All these items can be found at your local hardware store home Depot or Lowe's, or from a professional paint store like Cloverdale, Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Dulux, etc. 

First thing we want to do is clean off the banister. So for any parts that are going to have the stain applied, I'm going to use this mineral spirits to clean that section off. You do not want to use this on the sections where the latex paint is going to go. For that we're going to use this denatured alcohol watered down by 50%. And we're going to put that in a spray bottle. 

These are scotch pads or final stripping pads. We're going to apply either the mineral spirits or the denatured alcohol to these, and clean the corresponding parts of our banister. These blue gloves are nitrile gloves, so hope I'm saying that right. I prefer these over latex gloves. They're just a little bit stronger, and don't break as easily. You're going to need these to protect your hands from these chemicals that were using and then we're also going to use them when we stain.

So make sure you get a big box. So here I'm taking the mineral spirits and applying it directly to my scotch pad. The better idea is to get a stainless steel bowl, put a little bit of the mineral spirits in there,  and dip your sponge in there. So the next thing you're going to do really is easy. Just rub this all up and down the portions that you're going to stain. 

As you can see it's kind of dripping all over the floor, so do make sure that you cover up the floor and the carpet with protective covering before you get started. This step is really important to make the stain adhered correctly. As you can see there is a lot of gross stuff sitting on there so do not skip this step okay. Now we're moving on to the portion that I'm going to paint in latex. 

So I'm taking that denatured alcohol water down 50% in my spray bottle. Spray it directly on a cloth. I'm wiping all that section down right here. As you can see this one is very dirty as well. So make sure you clean it up. The reason we're using the denatured alcohol versus the mineral spirits is because mineral spirits and water-based paints do not work well together. 

So I just want to make sure that everything's going to adhere to the best ability. So that's why I'm using two different products here. So all that's drying. I'm going to go ahead and tape off all my areas that I want to protect for my stain. My stain is a oil-based stain, so it is heavy duty pigmented, and I do not want it getting on anything, because once it gets on stuff ,it is very difficult to get off. 

So make sure that you're protecting everything. You also want to make sure again that you're protecting your carpet, and your flooring underneath your banister. At this point we really don't have to worry about any of the stain getting on parts of the banister that we don't want it to, because we're going to cover those up with primer and latex paint. 

So don't go crazy and be super sloppy, but you do not have to tape off the spindles below the banister. Next you're going to want to make any repairs, or fill any nail holes that you might have in your banister. So just take a basic wood filler, and a putty knife, and just fill up all those holes, and let it dry. Holes usually need two coats of wood filler to get the hole filed and level with the rest of the surface. 

Check the drying time on the can of your wood filler. Once it's all dry you can go ahead and sand it. I am using a 220 sanding pad. Just a smooth everything out, and get it ready for finishing. Sorry about this crazy lighting change, the sun's started going down on me right now. What I'm doing is getting all that dust off that we created from sanding. 

So I'm just using a paper towel to dust this off. You could use a tack cloth, or anything like that just get all that residue off for a clean surface okay. Final prep step before we start staining is we're going to take that sanding pad I just used, and give the wood just a light rub down. You're definitely not taking off any finish. Just roughing it up just a little bit to give that stain something to stick to.

And finally you're going to take that damp paper towel or tack cloth, and just wipe down any remaining dust that's on the banister before we break out the stain. We are finally ready to start staining. So here I am opening my can of a general finishes gel stain. It's in the color antique walnut. They do have a variety of shades. 

Java gel is it's most popular color I believe. Which is a little darker, but again I'm trying to match it to my floor, so I did select antique walnut. It's a very thick gel-based oil-based stain, so you want to make sure that you wear gloves. And you want to give it a great big stir before you start applying it the items. 

I'm going to need for staining are these paint rags. I got these at Home Depot or Cloverdale, I can't really remember which one. A big bag of rags will last a good painter for years and years. They're really interesting, they are lint-free, which is the key. They almost feel like a paper towel. They're all dried out, but they are actually cloth once you wet them. Very very cool. 

And I'm going to use this applicator. It's just a foam brush. These are like 79 cents at the hardware store. So I'm going to take my foam brush, and I'm going to dip it in my gel stain. And I'm going to pick up that lint free cloth, and I'm actually going to turn this into a polishing pad. So what I'm doing is putting some product on here. 

As you can see, just painting it on, getting that cloth nice and wet, and you will see what I'm going to use that for in just a second. So I am diving right in. I have dipped my foam applicator into my gel stain again, and I am just painting that on. I'm going to paint this on the handrail as well as the newel post and the balusters I am leaving to paint with latex later. 

So again I'm just going to do a nice coating all up and down here. You want the stain to set a little bit before you start wiping it off, so make sure you take this in sections. You could pack the stain on really thick, and just leave it. Kind of almost like a paint. I don't like that look myself, so what I'm doing is actually taking this polishing pad and wiping most of the stain off. 

I'm using a very light hand, and since I do have some stain on, my rag is actually pushing some of that stain back into the grain. When you're doing this you want to make sure that you are going with the grain of the wood, so it doesn't get all funky and streaky. And make sure that you don't have any big blobs, just rub it in all really well with a light hand.

So now I'm just zooming you in a little closer during the exact same thing that I did on the handrail. I have sped this process up a little bit just so this blog post doesn't end up being a 30 minutes long read for you. Obviously take your time, and be as methodical as you want to be. This process does take a while to get the hang of it, so I recommend starting in an area that isn't seen that much, 

Work your way down to the most heavily viewed area of the banister. On this first day of staining you're also going to stain underneath the handrail. You'll only have to do one coat under here. We just want it to match everything but you really don't have to pay a lot of attention under here, just make sure you do this on the first day, 24 hours before we do any more coats. 

I ended up doing three coats on this piece just to match what I had done upstairs. If you like the way it looks after one coat or after two coats please feel free to stop there. It's really up to you how deep you want the stain. The process is going to be exactly the same for each additional coat, so just follow all the steps that we went over on day one. 

Just a little side note. Make sure you dry out these applicators and rags each day outside before you are throwing them away here. I'm doing one last tight shot for you in real time, just so you can get a feel for how this goes. This is my last coat. Putting on my third coat so you can see how this process here will deepen this up. 

So now to achieve the color that I want with the stain, after three coats so I'm going to let this dry again for 24 hours, then I'm going to be begin to prep the banister for priming and painting. So at this point I want to protect any pieces of the banister that I do not want to get covered with paint or primer. So I am going to tape underneath the hand rails at the spindles, or the balusters, and I'm also going to tape the wall to make sure I don't get any white paint on my wall. 

And I'm also going to protect down by the posts. So again just cover up any of those sections of wood that you don't want to get white paint on. This is the 3M sketch blue pre-taped painters plastic. It is actually a painter's tape and drop cloth in one, so you just paint, then put the painters tape on like you normally would, and then you can pull out this really nice big drop cloth. 

So amazing. For priming today I'm going to be using this Zinser Bullseye 2 multi-purpose primer and sealer. And I'm going to be using this Wooster short cut angle sash paintbrush. It's the best brush to use to get in between the spindles. The handle is really going to get in the way. The reason I selected this primer is it is a water-based primer so it makes brushes and everything really easy to clean up. 

It's also stain blocking, and the best part is that it sticks to any surface without sanding there's no real special way to apply this. You're just going to paint it on like you would a latex. I do recommend going with the grain because it just makes things a little easier, and it will hide some of your brush strokes. You could thin down your latex paint with water to rid yourself of brush strokes. Pro painting tip.

You are going to still be able to see some wood coming through so don't think this is going to completely cover whatever wood you have underneath. I only did one coat of primer. You're more than welcome to do two, I'm just a little bit lazy, so that's why I did one, just to make things easier on yourself. Make sure that you don't have any huge globs or drip marks, so you won't have to sand those later when it dries

This is ready for top coat. After 1 hour of drying for the top coat. I'm going to be using Sherwin-Williams Pro classic interior acrylic. This is water-based, so again it's easier to clean up. I have this on hand because this is what we use to paint our trim. This is a high-performance coating. It's not yellowing, and it was stands a lot of wear and tear. 

So it's perfect for a banister, and the best part is this formula goes on smooth without brush marks because this paint is a little on the thinner side than other thicker paints. You can also have the paint store or the hardware store tint this paint to any color that you want. I like a really bright white, and so do most of my customers. So I actually did not tint it at all 

I'm going to be using this general finishes high performance top coat, and flat. It is water-based, so it's easy to clean up, it looks kind of milky. All you have to do is stir it up, and then you can start applying it with a foam brush. So you're just going to dip your foam brush right into the can, and apply this in a very thin coat. 

It is milky white and consistency, but then it dries down a very clear, and flat. Just make sure when you're going along that you don't have any drip marks, or really noticeable bubbly white patches. You really don't want to overwork this, so as you're putting it onto a area, just really smooth it out and then move right along and do not go back over it and try to fix it in a couple of minutes because it will have already kind of set, and you'll just make a big mess. 

This stuff you could actually do right after you're done staining. The only reason I painted before I added my top coat is because I did the top coat all at one time, so I did the catwalk in the upper part of the customers banister, as well as this little section all at the same time. General finishes recommends doing three coats of this top coat or more. 

We did three on these heavily used areas, and then on areas I know where people aren't going to be using the handrails much on the catwalk, I only did two. General finishes also recommend sanding in between your coats with a really fine sandpaper like a 400. I tried to do this and it started scratching my stain and taking some of it off, which I was not happy about. If you keep your work area clean and the dust low, you can probably get away with out sanding. 

So I decided not to sand in between coats. I don't know if that's going to affect you, but again it's up to you if you want to sand between the coats or not. And here's a little tip for you in between coats. You can save this foam brush, and just stick it in a Ziploc bag. Squeeze all the air out of it and you can reuse it and reuse it until you're done. 

Dry time for this top coat is two to four hours. If it's a little cooler, you're going to want to wait eight to 10 hours to recoat it, so here is just one more shot of me putting on my final and third coat of top coat.  As you see, it goes up really wet and shiny, but this does dry down to a very flat finish which I really like. 

So this project is finally complete for our customer. From this honey oak banister to a two-toned beauty. I'm really happy with how it turned out. I do want to warn you guys this project isn't for the faint of heart. You do need to enjoy painting, and you do really need to take your time and be methodical with it. 

It's not something you're going to be able to knock out in a couple of days I actually it took me about a full week to complete. Look at those couple hundred spindles. Each one is perfect. Hope this Oak Banister Makeovers With Gel Stain No Stripping blog post on our 1/2 Price Pro Calgary Painting internet web site helps you with your painting and staining projects. The best way to get the best results is to call in a professional to paint your banisters and railings and spindles for you. The Pro Calgary Painters can be reached @ (587) 800-2801. You could get yourself a free painting estimate or a free painting price quote in a phone call.