Staircase Overhaul...Part 2

Bring in the painter! In continuing our staircase overhaul saga once we had ripped out the carpet, staples and cleaned the floors, the next step was to bring in our painter. If you missed the first part of our staircase project, you can read that here. Since we were working with a special paint and really didn't want to mess this up, we figured it was best to bring in the pro's.
Our plan was to paint the posts and railings, since they had already been previous stained and we didn't want to go through the work of stripping, sanding and staining them. So we went on a search to find the darkest brown colour we could find. We wanted the stair treads, railing and posts to all be a dark brown (the same colour as our wood floors), but it was almost impossible to find a perfect brown colour to match. We actually went to 3 different stores for paint chips and ended up going with Behr "Bitter Chocolate"- the darkest we could find without going black:

Here are the railings and end posts painted with the dark brown and all of the small posts re-painted white (we use "Simply White" by Benjamin Moore for all of the white paint in our home) : 

You can see in this picture, the section of curved railing is the original stain colour and the post has been painted with the dark brown. This was done as we decided to get rid of this curve in the staircase and straighten the bump at the base of the stairs. The plan was to cut part of the railing out and straighten it, so we didn't need that one section painted:
Once the paint was on the railings we thought it matched fairly well with the floors...until the treads were put on. Once we treads were put on, the railings and posts looked much too light, and we didn't like the contrast of the painted areas with the stained areas. As well, the brown paint was not dark enough. I would recommend either going with a black paint or getting something colour matched if you have that option. We wanted to do a colour match, but they were unable to colour match to a piece of stained wood (the wood grain has too many variations of colours in it and the system would not pick it up properly) so we had to go with a premixed colour.

Back to square one. We are now debating on stripping, sanding and staining the railings (using a tester piece of wood elsewhere in our house) and seeing how they react.

Oh and I also forgot to mention we weren't happy with the post either. Once the railing was cut and straightened it looked fine, however the end post itself is not substantial enough. We are now thinking of replacing it, or finding a way to build up the post to make it larger.

So this project took a couple of unexpected turns. Its going to be more work than we were anticipating, but once its complete I think it will look great and totally change the look of our entrance.

Expect many more posts to come on the progress of these stairs!

Melissa and Ian

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