This post serves as a warning to all DIY’ers out there in blog-land. Not all DIY projects are as easy as they seem at first glance. I wanted to share a quick ‘before and after’ story with ya’ll, so you don’t make the same mistakes as we did with our banisters!
How It Started
Let’s face it. We all have cabin fever this time of year. Antiquing doesn’t get really good until about March when the flea markets start opening up again and the snow starts melting (depending where you live). I warned ya’ll that I needed a project to do (like almost every waking moment that I have)…which usually means my poor husband gets roped into doing the projects with me!
Well, I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Southern Hospitality, and got the hair-brained idea to stain my banister with PolyShades stain by Minwax. I thought back to some of beautiful old homes I’ve been in around the historic Richmond area and they all have those amazingly dark, warm wooden staircases with dark banisters. My banisters were a crappy builder-grade blonde oak (or some other cheap wood).
The blog article made it seem like a snap! Just lightly sand your banister and start painting the PolyShades on and Ta-Da! A new, old charm-looking banister. Well, we got this….YUCK!
My husband was not happy. Especially since he was a professional painting contractor for several years…it did not turn out well at all. The stain was sticky and runny and just looked awful. Now what? We certainly weren’t going to continue down this path…so we started looking at other old/historic home photos online.
One photo that I LOVED was this one featured on House Beautiful. Isn’t this staircase adorable?
So after we looked a few more like this, we decided to paint our banisters black. Since all of our interior trim has been painted with oil paint (don’t forget, our house will be 50 years old next year!), we decided to use a tinted oil primer and then use a rich black oil paint, with a satin finish to top it off.
And here’s the after (Hint: you can see my own small display of antique photographs going up the staircase!) Wouldn’t these original oak stairs look fabulous with an antique persian runner?
The moral of the story…marry someone handy who can correct your DIY blunders! If you have an old home DIY blunder, let me know! I’d love to hear about it!
Want to learn more about how to add old home charm to your newer home? Check out Beneath My Heart’s recent series on adding historic molding, vintage hardware and other easy projects to get that older home look.
Copyright 2012. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.