My 1923 house has a wooden railing where the handrail has been painted a
number of times, and the last 'job' was a very poor attempt at an antiqued
grain. The newel posts are the same. The bottom one is loose enough that I
want to remove it, but the one at the landing is solid, and has its base
extended down to a point where I don't want to play with it. I want to get
the finish off the handrails, and I don't like strippers, I prefer to use a
scraper. I would however, consider having the pieces dipped if it is the
only alternative. Under the handrail are 2 starwheels like we had on drum
brake adjusters. I'm guessing that if I loosen those, I might be able to
free everything. The balusters are fine.
My other alternative is to paint the handrail. Has anyone seen that done?
Its a traditional house, so I would think a dark color like a black or brown
would be appropriate?
That's the only alternative aside from stripping. I painted ours not
dark, but a light brown. That also meant doing the stairwell window
frame, the baseboard up the stairs and along the hallway, and the
upstairs hallway doors and frames the same light brown. Walls are a
*very* light hint of brown, as if you'd put just a drop o chocolate
into a full bag of milk. A nice effect, much improved over what it
was. I also did the entrance woodwork the same colours for
I don't know what it's called, but I came across some really cheap
brushes that look like a BBQ brush, but with the end bent about 20
degrees. I used them to paint the posts, getting around and behind.
Keep going back to check for and smooth out any runs. In order to do
that without a lot of smearing and smudging, I did every other one,
let them dry, then did the rest. Be patient. It took days to
Hint: Put down the new carpet *after* you've finished the painting.
I saved some time and effort there also. I got the pros to do that
and a couple of downstairs rooms at the same time.
...and you thought it was going to be simple.
That was only where they met the upstairs wall, of course. Further
down, I wandered back and forth to each side, painting with a regular
type brush. Anyhow, you get the picture.
Another note: Mine had some sort of varnish finish on the newel post,
and after applying a coat, there was some streaky "spackling"[?] where
the paint wouldn't cover. That took a little extra ...a bit of fine
sanding etc., and an extra coat. Like I said, be patient. The end
result is great.
On Thu, 23 Feb 2006 08:18:50 -0500, with neither quill nor qualm,
Try a heat gun on them with your scrapers and wire brushes. Then use
plastic wool (scotchbrite) on them with lacquer thinner to smooth 'em
before repainting. IMHO, there's no going back to woodgrain on that
one. Once painted (if it wasn't sealed with a clear finish first, and
99.999% weren't) the paint in the grain is not fully removable.
Alternatively, heat/scrape and use a small amount of Citrustrip and
scotchbrite to remove the last of the paint before repainting.
It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
--Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
I don't know if we're looking at the same thing, but you'd have to be
a contortionist to do that in my old house. The bannister runs all the
way to the top, so halfway it meets the top-floor wall, with not
enough room to get behind and do a thorough job of any sort like that.
There'd still be a gdawful mess to clean up.
Wherever I could get at them easily, I removed any wood pieces and
stripped them outside then painted, then replaced them with touch-ups
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