May 04, 2016 2 min read

If the railings in your home are worn or outdated, staining them will instantly revitalize them giving them a brand new look. Because the process is relatively easy following just a few basic steps, most do-it-yourselfers will be able to transform their railings themselves without having to hire a professional.

Lay out a drop cloth to protect your flooring. Gather your materials: medium grit sand paper, a respirator mask, stain, foam paint brushes, and a sealant.

When choosing a stain, look for inspiration in your own home. Take note of the tones and colors of other natural wood elements around your house. If you are new to staining, it may be helpful to take pictures of other stained wood in your home and to take them with you to the home improvement store for reference. If you are unsure of which stain you will need, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance.

The first part of your project will be removing the old stain from your railings. Removing the old stain will allow for the new stain to go on smoothly and provide a lasting finish. Sand away the old stain with a medium grit sanding paper. When sanding be sure to have a mask to avoid wood dust inhalation.

Before popping open the stain, take a minute to read the directions. Following the directions, especially if you are new at this, will help save you from common and avoidable mishaps and mistakes. Most hardwood stains will need to be given a good stirring before they are applied. Work your way down from top to bottom. Take your time, paying attention to detail.

A tip for keeping things neat is to wrap a rubber band around the can of stain vertically from top to bottom. The rubber band should cross in the center of the open top. Use the rubber band to wipe away excess stain after dipping your brush. This will keep the side of your cans clean and will help prevent dripping stain.

Let railings dry overnight. The following day you can use the same technique to apply the sealant. Applying a sealant will give your railings a water-resistant finish and will help to prolong the life of your stain.

You can now enjoy your beautiful new handrails.

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