Two years ago our hallway was – what we can only describe as – brown. As you have already seen, we have painted everything white, restored the front door and replaced the missing stained glass panel. We have also started restoring the staircase, handrail and balustrades. This was the upstairs landing when we viewed the house.
The first task was to remove the boards that were covering up the original balusters. (We removed the awful carpet in the hallway, too)
Although we are painting all of the woodwork throughout the house, the existing paintwork on the balusters was in an awful state, so that we couldn’t just paint over it.
The paint was chipped and some of the board that had been covering the balusters had stuck to the paintwork. We started stripping away the paint with a heat gun.
This took for ever, as the paint was really gooey and got stuck in the decorative moulding. Then after hours of stripping paint, came hours of sanding everything. After about 40 hours if work, this is what it looked like.
The handrail originally had a brown stain (that you can still see on the newel post), which we completely sanded away so that it wouldn’t affect the colour of the new stain. To remove every last bit of dust, I wiped the surface with white spirit and let it dry. The general plan is to paint all vertical surfaces white and stain all horizontal surfaces a deep rich brown. After trying a few different stain colours and eventually decided on a rich mahogany colour. The first coat of stain left the wood looking more purple than brown, but after the second coat it darkened considerably and looked more like I’d expected.
I used an old cotton rug to apply the stain, but made a fatal mistake…
… I didn’t wear gloves. Other than that, the stain was really easy to apply and gave a very even finish. To finish off, I covered the handrail with two coats of wax and gave the whole area a really good polish. We used clear wax, but it still darkened the colour of the stain slightly.
The finish is amazing. It’s so smooth and shiny – we can’t stop touching it! You can see that we have also started painting the balusters, but we are still a very long way of completely finishing the whole staircase. As always, we will keep you updated on our progress.