On the Rail

July 14, 2015 | House, Projects, Reno Realities

With my house finally coming back together after the floor/stair/railing reno, I have TONS of awesome DIYs planned for you guys.  For some strange reason, however, Hubby’s pretty insistent that I install baseboards and door trim and finish painting before I start decorating.  Silly boy.  So basically, big, exciting things are coming, but my house needs to look like a house first.  Sad Trombone.

I thought I’d pop in quickly today and show you that we are no longer at high risk for falling down the stairs- we have a railing!!!  I coerced my contractor (since we’re still awaiting permit on the flip) to come and install this beaut.


With 2 super sexy newel posts that used to not be super sexy.



After all my crazy patching, I ended up painting it with a base of solid stain, then countless coats of Polyshades to give it a multi-dimensional, stained look.  I have some touch-ups to do now that they’re installed, but I humbly think my paint treatment worked!

It’s weird that we never realized how low our old railings were until we got one of the proper height.  Don’t get me wrong, we knew the height was off, especially at the top, but check out the hole where the old railing hit the wall- a good 9 inches lower!


The entire old railing wasn’t 9″ lower, just the return at the top, but man was it awkward.  As you can see, 2 spindles are missing and replacements have been ordered.  For some reason, my count was 1 less than was actually needed since we changed the configuration a bit (the top newel post moved up a step) and one snapped during install.  No sweat, I’ve been assured by my contractor that I can install them myself without issue.


Now we just need to get used to not only using and seeing a railing again, but one that is the proper height!

Next step for these stairs? A runner!  These buggers are slippery now that they’re refinished.  Slippery + already steep stairs = runner as necessity.

3 thoughts on “On the Rail”

  1. Wow, Karen I cannot get over how amazing those newell posts turned out! I need more info on how you paint/stained them because it really looks like stain and I know you said that because the wood types didn’t match that regular staining wasn’t possible. This is just awesome! What a gorgeous color to offset the white spindles!

    Any advice on fixing spindles that have come loose? I have a few that are holding on by a thread… 🙂

    1. Thanks Liz! The first coat that I did of a chestnut solid stain made it look boring painted, but once I started layering on the polyshades it came to life. I used Jacobean Polyshades in satin. I applied it with a brush and since the stain was so much darker than the base coat, it added the streaky- stained look. With multiple coats it added the dimension that you’d see with a clear stain. Maybe I’ll show this step by step in a future post 😉
      If the spindles are loose at the bottom, I’d try a brad nailer angled to the tread. If it’s the top, a little dab of wood glue might be your best bet.

      1. Who knew polyshades could really add that sort of dimension. Gorgeous! And thanks for the tips on the loose spindles. I see some wood glue in my future! 🙂

Leave a comment!

Keep the conversation going! Your email address will not be published.