Railing Makeover

This is the railing of a house we are renovating. We thought the railing would look sharper if we changed the color. We prefer dark wood tones and the cabinets are dark as well.
First, I sanded the whole railing down.
Second, I cleaned it all with Shaklee Basic H.
3rd, I used a Minwax Poly Shades (it has stain and polyurethane in one) on the top rails, bottom rails and large posts. (two coats)
4th, I primed all the thinner posts.
Finally, I painted each of the spindles an off white. (I color matched the trim color of the baseboards and door casings.)

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This is what it looks like now.
We are now in the process of putting hardwood floors in. We will show you that soon.
Do you like dark or light wood tones?

I linked up to Twice owned Tuesday
                       Before and After Party


  1. Your railing looks amazing! Great job and I know it is a lot of work. Very tedious and time consuming. I like the darker tones. All of our woodwork is a medium honey oak and I would like it darker but there is just too much to take on!!

    I am having a giveaway if you would like to enter!! Have a great week!

  2. I am trying to decide just this for my kitchen. I'm getting new base cupboards b/c the ones in it are particle board and falling apart. We're getting Amish made oak ones (but our kitchen is small, so it's not like it's a mammoth expense) but I can't decide between dark walnut or Harvest, which is more reddish. My other furniture is dark walnut. I need to decide. I really like your stairway though! :)

  3. I'm about to start this same project...what color of polyshades did you use? I have the dreaded oak staircase and want the darker tones as well. You banister looks like it would match my darker floors. :) Is is a Walnut, or maybe dark cherry?
    Thanks so much
    Oh I'm stopping in from ThriftyDecorChick before and after party! :)

  4. Gorgeous! I much prefer dark wood to light. I did the same thing to my stairway http://westermanfam.blogspot.com/2010/07/what-ive-been-up-to.html and am so happy I did. You did a great job, and those large posts are to die for!

  5. The style of the railing looks as though it should always have been dark. Looks lovely now!



  6. I love love love your stair redo!!
    I am working on the same project in my house. But I don't have THAT many spindles. WOW that is quite a project! I am impressed. Looks gorgeous! That must have taken FOREVER!

  7. OMG - I love this!! I have the same honey oak and would love to change them out to a darker color like yours. Just don't know if I have the energy/patience to do this... but I will be bookmarking this page!! :)

  8. Your stairs look AMAZING!! Kudos to you! I am excited to follow your blog. :)

  9. That is great! I have been wanting to do the same thing but am a little chicken. WOW! It just goes to show that it can be done! I love darker woods! I will be following you now!www.keepitsimpleyay.blogspot.com

  10. Love your railing! It looks wonderful!

  11. Beautiful!! Which stain color did you use??

  12. Mission Oak is the color I used in the satin finish.

  13. I want to do this as well, however my wood floors are a honey oak color. I'm wondering if it would look weird to have the posts and handrails on my stairs in a darker stain than the wood floors? What do you think?

    1. Thank you for the comment. I have seen a lot of dark cabinets, trim, and railings with light wood floors. I think it is a personal preference. I would recommend looking at other pictures on Pintrest to see what you like and if you will be happy with it.

  14. I just had the railings and staircase painted all white, and now I realize that I could have used the wood, which was the same color as yours, and darkened the railings and the bases. We could have just painted the spindles white. At this point, they are just primed, and there's really only half of a staircase per say. How long did it take you to do the whole thing? Maybe I'll sand the railings down again. Are you still loving it?

    1. Alison,
      This railing is one we did on a flip house, but I did do it for our house as well around 5 years ago. I am sill loving the dark wood with the white. I wish I would have sanded it down to the bare wood. I am having some of the dark wearing off. (We do get a lot of traffic in our house.) I will have to sand the railing down and re-stain it sometime, hopefully soon.
      I have no idea how long it took me to do because I do projects when I have time and it is usually broken up into several days.


Thank you for your comments!