Painting previously stained balustrade can prove to be a challenge. Not only with the length of time it can take, but also with the process of what to paint first. Timber staining can also prove to be an issue, causing unsightly staining on your newly painted stair balustrade.
This post will show you how to prevent the staining issue, paint the balustrade efficiently and the material element of what to use.
The secret to decorating is all about preparation. Anyone can put a brush into paint and paint any surface. The secret to it lasting, protecting your surface and staying looking good is proper preparation.
In this instance I used 120 grit Aluminium Oxide glass paper attached to my Erbauer palm sander. That in turn is connecting to my Makita VC2512 L Class Dust Extractor. This allows for dust free sanding, very important to health and keeping a nice clean job. Don’t go crazy with the sander, just enough to provide a key.
If your balustrade is currently painted with gloss varnish, then you would need provide a stronger key, so more sanding would then be required.
You may also find that the newel posts and ball may be dirty from peoples hands over the years. This will clog up the sand paper very quickly. The best way to sand this is to first use the sander, then a new piece of glass paper and finish the rest of by hand. You can try and wash this down if you so desire, but I find to sand it off easier and more effective
Tannin is the technical name for staining that bleeds through paintwork. To prevent tannin, solvent based primers work really well. In the old days, all we had was oil based undercoat. For this example I went for Tikkurila Otex solvent borne adhesion primer. This does 2 jobs for me. Provides a strong adhesion key, dries quickly and because of the solvent borne properties prevents tannin from showing through.
With varnish or stained timber one of the main issues is to make sure the adhesion key is strong. Chipping the top coat off and scratching the top coat will show the dark brown colour through. Strong adhesion primers like Otex, prevent this.
Multistop by Tikkurila, Crown PSB or Zinnser Bullseye all do the job well. These paints allow the primer dry quickly and therefore proceed with the next coat. Crown and Zinnser are available at consumer retail outlets. Tikkurila is a specialist paint supplier and has to be ordered online (at this time of writing.)
Any knots on the timber will have to be treated by applying a knot stop solution. I use Ronseals Knot Block for this. Although on new timber I use the standard shellac knotting solution.
Apply the Otex primer either using brush, rad roller pipe roller or spray. I opted to spray it because it is fast and lots of spindles to paint take time. The alternative for me is to use a pipe roller as this is also a fast application method.
The process of painting the balustrade is to start with the spindles first, then the bottom rail and eventually to the top rail or handrail. Newel posts, plinths and stringers leave to last as these are bigger areas you can paint with a small rad roller and lay off.
Choice of the top coats of paint was Farrow and Ball’s All White eggshell finish. With the introduction of water based paints and paint technology moving at great pace, water based in the way to go. If can spray then even better, the finish is superb. My choice at the moment for woodwork areas (in domestic situations) is the Graco Ultra Max handheld gun. This is easy to control the pressure outlet and easy to clean and change tips using the FFLP range of spray tips.