Monday, August 19, 2013

DIY Handrail Makeover

diy handrail makeover

How to makeover a handrail from painted to stained and call it your own.  We went from barn red to crisp white and dark stain on the stairs down to the playroom:
handrail makeover before and after

I used the same handrail, stripped off all the red paint, applied stain and poly, then reattached with new hardware.

One minor change - there was about 12" of railing sticking up into midair at the landing?  I'm guessing this might have something to do with code but I choose to cut it off:

diy handrail makeover before and after

The vertical paneling on the walls is painted Benjamin Moore gray owl:

stained handrail against grey owl paint

And I used standard handrail hardware from Home Depot in oil rubbed bronze:

refinished stained railing

Getting rid of all that red really makes a huge difference:

diy stained railing before and after

The space is finally feeling complete now that the handrail and stairwell is done:

railing makeover with stain

How to makeover the handrail:

1. Remove old handrail and hardware.
Here I cut off about 12" that was extending too far up onto the landing:

cut railing

2. Using chemical stripper remove old paint:

strip paint from railing

3. Sand smooth and hose off:

sanded railing to natural wood

4. Apply Minwax Jacobean stain:

staining wood railing

5. Apply Minwax clear semi-gloss polyurethane, two coats sanding in between:

seal railing with clear poly

6. Reinstall with new hardware.


  1. The whole makeover looks great Jaime! I'd love to redo all the banisters in our house at some point. They're the standard red orange wood stain with gold hardware. yick!

  2. What a huge difference! It looks amazing.

  3. I just wanted to tell you that I am a loyal follower and constantly amazed by your talent and vision. YOU ARE AWESOME!

  4. The whole staircase looks great! I'd love for you to link up to The DIY'ers.

  5. love this! Featuring you on the blog and sharing on FB tomorrow! Thanks so much for linking up with OPC and the DIY village to support Habitat4Humanity. Hope to see back tomorrow night.

  6. That before and after is AMAZING! I want to update my stair railing. What great inspiration.