You’ve been dreaming of changing your stair banister color….. forever. But every time you plan to start the job, something always interferes- am I right? This was me too.
I knew I could do the job myself, but also knew it was going to take some time…… and yes some work. So, I kept putting it off. And then I got on pinterest and started researching how to do it with the least amount of headaches as possible (found this great tutorial by Kelly with practically spoiled ), and the conclusion was simple. Stain your banisters with Java Gel. I had been painting/staining furniture for years and already had the java gel on hand. So it was an easy decision…..The journey began.
Complete transformation. Why didn’t I do this sooner?? Well, you need a little time (4-5 days), a lot of patience, and maybe some wine in between coats ;). But the end result was sooooo worth it!
So, where to begin?
Dropcloths, plastic, old sheets, etc….
1-2 paintbrushes (if cleaning with mineral spirits or paint thinner) OR a bag of foam paint brushes so you can toss out after each use
Make sure ALL exposed areas such as: hardwood floors, carpet, in between spindles, etc….. are covered with something. Use dropcloths, plastic, old sheets, etc….but make sure nothing is left uncovered. There will always be some kind of splatter or drip, and you might accidentally bump something with your brush. So, double check yourself on this part because this stain……well it STAINS. It is oil based and will not come off.
Next, make sure to put painters tape (or some kind of wide tape – 1 1/2″ wide) on BOTH sides of the banister. Tear some pieces off, and put the tape where the banister meets the spindles. It will take a little extra time, but worth it. This will help from getting stain on the spindles (if you have wood), and having to go back and try to paint over the stain when you have an oopsmoment. Trust me- it will happen. If you don’t have wide tape, then double the 3/4″ size to make it wider.
(READ THROUGH ALL TIPS FIRST BEFORE BEGINNING STEP 2)
***TIP ONE*** Stir java gel with stir stick really well to get all the sediments from the bottom and to blend it better. The stain will go on much easier and smoother when blended.
***TIP TWO*** Begin on outside of banister if you can’t get to it with a ladder. You don’t want to lean over the banister and get stain on your clothes, plus you’ll have to redo it anyway because the stain has come off in places (and now on you ;)).
***TIP THREE*** Begin with the top of the stairs and move downward. It is easier to use a downward brush stroke, than upwards.
***TIP FOUR*** Use the sander deglosser before putting first coat of stain on, if you still have a lot of gloss on banister. Mine was worn off (because it had been on for 10 years), so I did not use it.
STEP 2: BRUSH ON FIRST COAT OF STAIN
Take one of your brushes, get a small amount of stain on it, and use brush strokes that go with the grain of the wood (length stroke). You will need to work fairly quickly because it will dry at a faster rate than regular stain. Just keep dipping the brush in the stain, wipe any excess stain off, and then keep moving down your banister. Let this dry overnight. The can says 4-6 hours, but it works better if completely dry. Plus, you’ll want the break.
STEP 3: BRUSH ON SECOND COAT OF STAIN
The second coat will be much easier to do than the firts coat since you are simply going over the work you have already done. (It’s kind of like painting your finger/toe nails. The first coat always takes a little longer because you have to get into all the grooves and crevices perfectly, but then the second coat is basically just covering what you have already done- right?)
Let stain dry overnight. I did both of my coats during the day as soon as my kiddos left for school. This way the banister would have almost 4-6 hours to dry before they came back home. And I felt a little safer about the drying time just in case the kiddos accidentally touched the banisters (and they happen to still be a little damp).
STEP 4: BRUSH ON FIRST COAT OF POLYURETHANE
I know you don’t haveto do the polyurethane when you use gel stain. But since the banisters are used EVERY day at my house, and by messy hands….. I went ahead and did this step anyway. It adds just a little extra protection, and hopefully less maintenance down the road. Brush on one coat, and let dry overnight. I did this at night so there was no chance of little hands touching the rails.
STEP 5: BRUSH ON SECOND/LAST COAT OF POLYURETHANE
Repeat same process as before, and let dry overnight. And…. you are done!!!
I went ahead and painted my spindles again just to give them a fresh look (it was color match to my home builder trim), and it made all the difference. Here are some before pics of how it used to look with green walls (SW Favorite Tan), original stain, and scratched up spindles. And then the after with the gray walls (SW Amazing gray), java gel stain, and repainted spindles.
Top of stairs BEFORE…….
Close up BEFORE……
I am in the process of changing out the carpet to wood, so check back in for the update!
I always find it amazing how painting something completely changes the look and feel of whatever is being painted. Paint can makes things looks bigger and brighter, or dark and sultry. It’s all up to you, the painter. Today, I wanted to share with you this distressed white round mirror that I painted, & show you how to get this look. Together we will transform this bronze-colored mirror to a beautiful white, using a little distressed method that I like to do.
STEP ONE – CHOOSE THE MIRROR YOU WANT TO PAINT
So, where do we start? Choose a mirror that you don’t mind changing up (buy one) or one that you’re just simply tired of looking at in it’s present state (one that you already own). The mirror I painted is from Hobby Lobby……and even though I still think it’s a beautiful mirror as is, I was just ready to move the style/décor of my house into a different direction.
If you wanted to do thismirror, it sells for $139.99 full price . You can wait for the 50% off sale that they do every other week or use their 40% off store coupon, and the price goes down to roughly $75-$85. Just a FYI- I had this mirror for about 5 yrs, so it was something that I didn’t mind changing. It all depends on what you want to spend (or save).
STEP 2- BUY/GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES
SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED:
1 white paint
1 gray paint
1 clear wax
1 dark wax (optional)
1 sanding sheets pkg.
1 angled sanding sponge (optional)
solo plastic cup and/or coffee container (optional)
*** nail hole filler/spackling if doing this exact mirror ***
Most of my supplies for this painted mirror project came from Home Depot and Ace Hardware. Both of these stores are close to my house, and convenience when painting is a huge factor for me. I also use Sherwin Williams for paint color choices, just not on this project.
Here are some pictures of the supplies with prices to give you an idea of cost (at Home Depot). Remember that all of the supplies can be used for several small projects & you can choose whatever brand/store that you like.
If you get these Behr paint samples (above pictures) at Home Depot, it will help keep prices down. They come in 5 finishes, but I typically use matte flat or flat when painting items. You can always get sample sizes at Sherwin Williams also.
STEP 3 – FILLING OUTSIDE LAYER WITH NAIL HOLE
***If you are doing this exact mirror, continue with step 3. If you are doing a different mirror, skip to step 4.***
So you have chosen your mirror, purchased your supplies, and now ready to fill in that outer layer of the mirror. So here is what the outer rim looks like…..kind of like leaves or vines. Since it had more of a traditional look to it, I decided to change it.
This is where the gloves, nail hole filler, and TIME will come into play. Cut a pretty good chunk off the tip of the tube of nail hole filler so that MORE comes out. This is important because it will take less time filling in those vine-y areas.
Put your gloves on and start squeezing the tube so that you can fill in that outer area with the pink “goo”, just to the amount you desire. I covered about 1/2 to 3/4 of the vines (just enough so I could not make out those lines exactly……just a personal preference really). Smooth it out with your gloved fingers, and rinse gloved fingers off when it starts to dry.
This will be time consuming and messy….maybe an hour or more. What I love about this kind of filler is that it starts out pink when wet, and turns white when it is dry. Takes the guessing out of it. Let dry for 24 hours. If there is still some areas with slight pink in color, don’t worry. It will dry by the next day.
*** You may want a large plastic bowl filled with water and rag to help get nail hole filler off gloved fingers ***
*** If you want more filler on your outer rim, you may also want 2 tubes of nail hole filler ***
STEP 4- PRIMING/PAINTING MIRROR
Begin priming the mirror with one of your paint brushes, following along with the lines of the mirror. Do not completely cover mirror with primer so that it is solid white – should have some dark streaks in it. You can see the streaks here (in it’s final state).
Let the primer dry 2-4 hours.
Now add your gray paint and follow those same brush strokes so that you can see just a little white peeking through in some spots. Let dry overnight.
I used (Cathedral Gray- gray paint by Behr) and (Polar Bear- white paint by Behr) for this project. If you want other shades, I also like (French Silver- gray, and Swiss Coffee-white) – all at Home Depot. See Below -the picture on left show differences in shades of whites, the picture on right shows difference in shades of gray.
STEP 5- WAX MIRROR
THIS IS IMPORTANT, DO NOT SKIP. Take your clear wax and spread all over your mirror with a sponge or rag. Let dry 20 minutes- then dry off with a rag. It will have a light sheen after you do this. Waxing will keep the gray paint from coming off when you sand it later.
STEP 6- PAINT WHITE COAT
Now you can paint the mirror with your white paint. Cover it completely with the paint- just not thick. Let it dry overnight.
STEP 7 – CLEAR WAX AGAIN/ADD DARK WAX
Use your clear wax again, wait 20 mins, and dry off with your rag. Now add your dark wax, and wipe off immediately…..leaving some spots with dark showing. I did mine with more dark showing on the vine-y filled outer layer to add depth. If you do not want any dark was/antiquing added, skip this step. Let dry overnight. Dry it off the next day.
*** TIP***I like to use the solo plastic cups and/or Folgers coffee container to put my dark wax brush in . I use these while I am working so that the brush doesn’t get dirty, and also to store my brush in afterwards. The Folgers container is great because you can cover it with the lid. *** I’m sure these 2 items looked completely ridiculous on the “supplies” list 😉
I got both of these from Ace Hardware, but here they amazon carries them also. They sell for around $15-$20 each.
STEP 8- WAX THEN SAND DOWN MIRROR
After you have dried/wiped off the mirror (from dark wax), do another clear wax coat & dry off.
NOW- You can begin sanding immediately after your last waxing/drying off. Start with the 150 grit sanding sheets, and start sanding gently. Add more pressure if you want more streaks showing (distressing). Use the 80 grit (coarse) for greater distressed look and 220 grit (fine) for less distressed look).
You can use your angled sanding sponge (optional) here to get in between those difficult spots/angles that the sanding sheets can’t get to.
STEP 9- CLEAR WAX AGAIN
You will do the clear wax one last time- same method. Dry it off to get the sheen you want for your desired look AND…..
YOU ARE DONE!!!
Here is a little cheat sheet – 5 day project
Day 1- Choose mirror & do filler
Day 2- Prime (2-4 hours to dry), Paint Gray (let dry overnight)
Day 3- Clear wax (dry 20 mins), Paint White (let dry overnight)
Day 4- Clear wax again, Dark wax (let dry overnight)
Day 5- Clear wax again, Sand, Clear Wax final time