Updating my staircase

Although I moved into my condo well over a year ago, I had yet to paint my staircase. The previous owners had painted the railings an ugly brown (maybe to look like wood? idk.) However, since the rest of the home is painted in different shades of grays and whites – it was time to update the staircase to match!

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This is a before picture! However, it is also AFTER sanding – so looks much worse than it really was. Regardless, an update was needed.

After some much needing browsing on Pinterest, I decided to go with a light black paint for the railing, and add a fresh coat of white paint to the banisters. Here were some inspiration pictures I found:

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Not knowing exactly where to start, I reached out to Lincoln, the painter who works with
my dads construction company to seek out his advice! Did I need to sand the original brown paint off? Did I need primer? What kind of paint is good for railings (that are constantly being touched by dirty human hands?)

He suggested that I sand down anything that would be painted, “Just rough it up a bit” he said. Lincoln then suggested that I use a primer quick dry oil for the banister – since we were not sure what type of paint was on there originally and if new paint would stick! And finally, finish with 2 coats of latex satin (he recommended using Benjamin Moore’s Advance finish.)

Soo… I sanded, primed and painted! I hit a wall during priming oil – the fumes from the paint made me completely sick (lungs were burning) and I finished the job as quickly as possible. (In the future – no more quick dry oil for me. I apparently am very sensitive to it.) Luckily, I had NO problems with latex paint and was able to take my time painting each and every small crevasse of the staircase.

Taping up the banisters proved to be a little tricky!

Taping up the banisters proved to be a little tricky!

After painting 2 coats of Benjamin Moore’s White Dove for the banister (which matches the trim throughout the home), and 2 coats of Jet Black, some touch ups with a little watercolor brush I had laying around my apartment – this was the final result:

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To compare and contrast – a before and after picture! Its amazing what a little bit of new paint can do.

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After this winter I would like to get a new runner for the stairs. The current one isn’t bad – its a green flowery print…but its old and could use an update. I browsed Pinterest for some runners that hide dirt. The entrance to my apartment is at the top of the stairs (and the alarm system is at the bottom) so my roommates and I usually walk down the stairs with our shoes and boots on (turn off the alarm…it only gives you 60 seconds to do it) and THEN removes shoes. So you can see why a runner thats durable and hides dirt is important.

Because I rather not post boring pictures of brown and gray rugs – here is a collection of dream runners that I would choose if I didn’t have to worry about dirty shoes and boots!:

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Saving the best for last :)

Saving the best for last 🙂



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