In the spirit of NEVER leaving well enough alone, I decided to redo/refinish/destroy the banisters on our staircase. They are/were in perfect order, but I want them darker. Considering the spindles are attached to moulding, opposed to the steps, removing the banisters would not be an option. More complicated? GREAT! Sign me up!
As a pretty experienced/successful DIY'er, I should have known better, but the first thing I did was spend too much $ on items I really didn't need. Like deglossers, liquid sandpaper, etc. What gets the job done is Citristrip Stripping Gel, a straight edge razor and a big ole metal scrapper. CAUTION: if you decided to Google "Stripping Gel", home improvement stuff will NOT be at the top of the list. Trust me.
Next, collect every extra sheet in the house and cover EVERYTHING in the room because it's gonna get MESSY!! Of course the room closest to the stairs have the computers and piano in it, but...they're all covered now.
Doing one banister at a time, I slathered a nice bit of Citristrip on the wood, left it set for about 45 minutes, then busted out my new metal scraper, some girl power and a good attitude and spend about 4 hours scraping the gunk off the banister to reveal fresh, pretty, raw wood ... it made a GINORMOUS mess ... it is such a nasty, messy, job but it relieves an INSANE amount of stress ...
Scraping the underside of the banister - and not jacking up the spindles - required the contortionist in me to appear ... and some foul language ... but it will be worth it. Here is the before & after stipping photo (all said and done it took about 12 hours - ugh) ... now let's hope I pick the right stain!!! That will be my next blog in a couple of days :) -Jenna