Staircase Handrail

Discussion in 'Painters' Talk' started by dangerousdistress, May 1, 2004.

  1. dangerousdistress

    dangerousdistress New Member

    Dear All,

    The varnished wooden handrail (hempwood or pine?) has become bleached by the sun in places. I would like to revarnish or stain it so that it is a uniform color. Can anyone help with instructions on the process.

    Do I need to strip the existing varnish, stain and revarnish or can I just rub down lightly and revarnish. Which gives the better effect or is going to be less trouble

    Thanks for your help in advance

  2. Dewy

    Dewy New Member

    Wood generally darkens with age naturally.
    Oiling it with danish oil is more natural.
    You could try staining the lighter bit or staining it all with a little more where it's light to match it up.
    You thing danish oil 50/50 with white spirit. Apply then wipe off the excess after 10 minutes. Apply full strength oil the next day & repeating. The more coats you apply the better it will look. It has a nice sheen one fully dry & being natural it moves with the wood so doesnt crack like varnish can.
    I finish with a good wax polish once fully dry but this is optional.
  3. dewaltdisney

    dewaltdisney New Member

    I would think that this has been done with a polyurethane varnish that carries stain. For a handrail a poly finish is far more durable to the hard wear that a handrail gets and you really want a glossy finish to allow for the hand to slip easily down the surface.

    You need to cut the original finish back so some varnish remover and wire wool will help. Take some time matching the colour and practice on some scrap to see the finish you want and how many coats will acheive this. Sand it to glass smooth and paint the poly on taking care to have as dust free an environment as possible. Last thing at night? Denib with some old used sandpaper to give the final finish.

    This method may be frowned on by traditionalists but if it works with the rest of the stairs then it will be fine.

  4. dangerousdistress

    dangerousdistress New Member

    thanks for the responses guys - Ill go with the polyurethnane - it seems the easier and more hardwearing given sticky little fingers

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