Staining Stair Rails (6 Step Guide)

The process of staining stair rails is tasking but fun and eventually fulfilling when you look at the work of your hands.

Staining is an effective way to revamp scratched or wearing stair rails.

It beautifies your space and you can follow these is easy steps to achieve this.

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Step 1: Tape the edges of the stair rails

The first step is to tape around where the stair rails come in contact with the floor or a wall.

This will prevent staining your surfaces.

Step 2: Sanding the stair rails

Your closest hardware store will provide different types of sanding tools for sanding a wide surface, corners, for the first round of sanding, and final rounds requiring lighter sanding.

You need to do this if your staircase has worn out finishing.

Getting rid of this layer contributes to a polished look of your stair rails when you finish staining. Smoothen out rough spots as well.

Wrap sandpaper on the surface of the rails, and rub in circular and back and forth movements along the entire surface to clean it off.

Repeat the process sanding lightly twice.

Clean the sanded surface thoroughly using a wet cloth.

Step 3: Apply sanding sealer

The purpose of a pre-staining sealer is to enable the wood to take up the stain evenly.

The final outcome will look professional.

Apply the sealer using a small brush and wipe the surface with a cloth to remove the excess.

Repeat using a small or medium sized paintbrush as evenly as you can.

Note: Water based stains and sealers dry faster and are less smelly.

Step 4: Applying the stain

Use a wide sponge, cloth or medium paint brush to apply a thin layer of stain stroking towards the direction of the wood grain.

A smooth application prevents smudging and bubbles forming.

This first layer penetrates the wood of the stair rails.

Let it rest for two to five minutes and wipe off any excess stain. Let it dry completely.

Step 5: Add a coat of stain

This step is optional. If you like how the stain looks light, there is no need to add one or two more coats.

If you want to achieve a darker version of the stain, sand the dried first coat lightly then add a second coat.

Wipe off the excess after two to five minutes then let it dry. If you want to add a third coat, repeat the same process.

Step 6: Apply a sealer

Just as you began by sealing the wood after sanding, you will need to do the same after staining.

Let the stain dry off completely prior to sealing.

Apply the sealer in the direction of the wood grain as well while paying attention to the evenness of the strokes.

Use a cloth or a medium sized paint brush to coat the stair rail’s surface completely.

Add a coat or two after the first one has dried completely.

You can use a clear coat to give it a shiny look in addition to the protection.

Depending on the look you are going for use a satin, glossy or matte finish.

How To Stain Your Stair Railes

There are few steps to staining your stair rails but precision is essential to achieve the best results.

You will need patience during the entire process, from sanding, to sealing to staining, and sealing again because you may need to apply double or triple coating and sanding as well.

Set some time apart so you can solely focus on achieving the best look for your stair rails.

Buy the color of stain that compliments the rest of your decor and furniture.