Not too long after we moved in here, I decided to stain our stair railings from the plain & boring oak that they were to something more rich & exciting. So, I bought some Polyshades by Minwax. Not sure how long this product has been out, but it is pretty neat in that it has stain & poly all in one step. You don’t have to do a lot of prep work to change the color of something & the results are pretty amazing. Thought some of you might like to see this project. It was very easy to do & only took about 2 or 3 days working a couple hours at a time. I didn’t tape off the spindles, but used a small cheap chipbrush that could be thrown away. Did I mention that I’m a lazy painter & hate cleaning brushes? Especially oil based paint brushes. So, you can buy these chipbrushes very inexpensively & throw them away without a lot of waste. I mixed 2 shades together: Bombay Mahogany & Royal Walnut. The Mahogany has a lot of red & I was trying to get more of a deep dark brown. It turned out a little more red than I wanted initially, but I’m still happy with the results. It’s a whole lot better than the boring somewhat blonde oak color we had to begin with. Here’s a pic of the railings before I started. Boring oak. Oak is not my favorite, especially this color. I have some old furniture pieces of oak that are rich & mellow, but the new oak in most houses today leaves a lot to be desired. No offense to any of you who love oak, it’s just not my cup of tea.
You can see how they contrast with the floor. I wanted them to be darker than the hardwoods. This product is a little bit runny, so you do have to watch the drips as you are going along. I did one coat overall & then went back & added more where it was streaky. All in all, it turned out just the way I had planned & I’m very happy I did them. This color above on the railing is very accurate to how they look in person.
They aren’t quite as orangey-red or streaky as this pic shows with the flash, but here’s a closeup. I’d suggest you get small pints of any colors you are looking at & mix them until you get exactly the color you want. It doesn’t take a lot of stain either, so small pints, not quarts will do this job easily. I’m working on a small side table that is not real wood, so I’ll show you that one when it’s finished. I do notice that the Bombay Mahogany really does go on darker & more saturated than some of the other colors, like the Royal Walnut I’m working with now. So, the best advice is to experiment with the colors before you get started. I do think if you wanted a darker brown shade that you could easily mix one of the darker ones in with the Mahogany to get the look you want.
A big THANK YOU to Angela at Cottage Magpie and Des at Peeking Thru the Sunflowers, for giving me the “You Make My Day” award. I’m so appreciate of all the awards I get, even if I don’t always pass them on. Thank you for the honor!