How to Paint Stair Railing

How to Paint a Stair Railing

We have lived in our home for six years, and I have wanted to change the glossy cherry wood from day one. We are getting new carpeting and flooring, so that was enough to push me to finally update the stair railing, so I created a tutorial for How to Paint Stair Railing.

Here is a before photo of the stairway BEFORE I painted the stair railing. This is also the old carpeting and tile flooring.

My first plan was to strip the wood and restain a less red color. However stripping was SO hard, and I gave up after an afternoon.

I realized I would spend way too much time stripping the wood, and since I’m fairly sure it is actual cherry wood, it would still look red after the new stain.

The new plan was to paint the stair railing. It would brighten up the space which has no natural light.

How to Paint Stair Railing

STEP 1: Clean the railing with a cleaner.

I used this TSP substitute. It was inexpensive, and I can use the leftover to clean my house. There are instructions on the bag, but you dilute it with water. Make sure you wear gloves for your protection.

STEP 2: Use a deglosser to give the paint something to adhere to.

This deglosser is just pour (no diluting) and go. Again, be sure to wear gloves for your protection.

STEP 3: Sand to loosen up whatever surface the deglosser had pulled away.

I used a fine sandblock and went through several of them.

STEP 4: Use a strong primer.

I used Sherwin Williams Multi-Purpose Latex Primer and made sure to everything a good coat using a paint brush.

STEP 5: Paint over everything you primed.

I used Sherwin Williams Pro Classic which is specifically made for doors and trim. In has a gorgeous strong finish that should last and is worth the money, and I used Oyster White on all the trim.

The result is a much brighter stairway that highlights our new flooring beautifully.

You can see I’m always changing things. The wallpaper and picture in the first before photo at the beginning of this post never transitioned well with the upstairs landing.

So, I removed the wallpaper on the stairway and added some chinoiserie murals from Urban Garden Prints.

They gifted me with the Vintage Bird Mural Trio, and I love the way they tie the office wallpaper and the new brighter stairway landing color.

Go create something!

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3 thoughts on “How to Paint Stair Railing

  1. Looks really nice Sara. Great job as usual. I’m sure it was a lot of work that doesn’t show in your pics, but the results are superb. Keep safe!

  2. Hi Sara, Did you use a finishing gloss or sealer? I also painting my railing white using SW Pro-Classic but for some reason they have a matte finish, they are chipping now and if I added any finishing gloss it turn the white color yellowish. Any recommendation or what sheen did you use?