From the day Shawn and I moved in (about a year and a half ago), I’ve been talking about updating our banister.  After getting a quote from a local company to replace the banister with something more modern (like square posts) for $4,000+, I decided a coat of white paint and primer for $50 would do just fine! :)  So this weekend I finally bit the bullet and made the long awaited trip to Home Depot to get my paint.  I really wanted to get rid of the oak and thought that white paint would make it seem updated and new (to us).

photo 1-1

Here are a few pictures of our ‘before’ staircase…

Before Everything

We had a lot of scratches and dents in our wattpad pc login wood that we needed to fix.  Luckily none of them were deep enough to require wood filling but sanding them smooth did the job just fine.

Before close up of knicks

More dents…

Before Main handle

View from upstairs…soooo many spindles to paint :/

Before Upstairs

The materials I used are pictured below (minus the paint and primer) and while the spackling putty is in the picture below, I didn’t need any of it.   I also used a few other items that I will detail in the steps below (like a tack towel to clean up the sawdust, paint can opener, and electric sander).


Step 1:  Sanding

I used an electric sander with medium grit paper to rough up the oak portion of the banister.  Once I had roughed it up, I used a sanding block with lower grit for a smooth ‘finishing’ feel.  Make sure to use a face mask for this process so you don’t inhale any paint/stain toxins.


After you have sanded, make sure to wipe down the wood VERY well.  If you have any amount of sawdust left, it will make your primer and paint very clumpy! Make sure to be very thorough when cleaning up the sawdust.  As a final step, I used a tack towel from Home Depot which is a special (and cheap) disposable towel that is made to attract the dust.

Sand pic 2

Step 2:  Primer

Once the banister was sanded and sawdust cleaned off, I taped off the banister portion that was connected to the wall before beginning to paint the primer.  I always use Gripper Primer when painting wood because I really like the feel of it after it dries AND it technically does not require you to sand before you use it.  I typically rough up the wood slightly just to make sure it adheres better but you technically don’t have to sand.

primer 2

It took 2 coats of primer to make the banister very smooth and fully covered.  Again we only primed the oak portion.  (And I’m sorry for the blury pic above – I took it with my iPhone in the middle of doing the primer and forgot to take good pictures with my real camera!)

Step 3: Paint

We let the second coat of primer dry overnight to make sure it cured.  Once it was dry, we painted our white paint.  I ended up just getting Ultra White Semi-Gloss so that it matched with the white spindles and trim we have in our house.  It took us 2 coats of white paint to make sure the banister was fully covered.

After Main

After Everything

photo 2-1


We are very happy with how it turned out and SO glad I can FINALLY cross that project off my list!  On to the next project now… :)

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