13. November 2016 · Comments Off on DIY Stairwell Transformation: All Done! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

Back in October, while the contractors were working on the bathroom, Dave and I stained the banisters of our stairwell. Wow what a difference it made!


This is just before taking off the masking and putting on the polyurethane gloss coat.

We used the General Finishes Java Gel Stain. Be sure to take your time thoroughly masking the areas. I used brown paper instead of taping several inches down the balusters. After “washing” the oak-colored surfaces with liquid sander deglosser, I used an old clean sock to apply the stain on the broad areas. If you put the sock over your hand, like I had, be sure to wear a rubber glove — the stain will stain your skin for several days. For the fine detail area (such as the underside of the railings near the balusters), a small foam brush worked just fine.

The end result turned out to be 3 coats of stain in most areas. Dave touched up some spots such that a 4th coat exists in some areas. After the stain thoroughly dries, we used a basic clear polyurethane topcoat to finish off the job.

I'm sure you have plenty of old socks around, right?

I’m sure you have plenty of old socks around, right? And yes, that first coat will have you wondering “Was this such a good idea?” Fear not, the subsequent coats will go on much more nicely.


You can see the transformation here…


I think this is the last of the home improvement we have planned for a while. There are a couple things on the wish list, but it depends on my work situation. When I work, we have the money to invest in the house.