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    Painting and decorating tips. Banister painting.

  • Staircase banisters are a common feature in our homes and they are usually among the first things that get noticed by anyone entering the house, therefore it is important to have them looking their best at all times. Nothing compares with a good first impression of a house. Just as there is a variety of types of banisters, there are ways of looking after them. There are a number of options available out there from which you can choose to apply to your banisters depending on their style and surrounding. For example if the surrounding area is very dark you may want to paint them a bright colour and if they are in a good shape and you just want the freshened up then a coat of varnish should do the job. If you’re handy with a brush and roller, you may choose to do the job yourself. But if you’re unsure then best get a painter and decorator to do the job. Painters and Decorators do this every day so it will be much quicker and properly done as opposed to someone who has little or no Painting and Decorating experience.
    If your banisters are new, you have a couple of options of finishing them:

    1. Painting

    2. Varnishing

    3. Waxing

    4. Oiling.

    In this article we will cover the first option of the above: Painting.
    Painting your banisters is the most time consuming of all options because it is very meticulous work and even though it is very versatile in terms of choice of colour and finish, which affects the outcome of the job greatly, it is advised to consider the rest of the options before deciding to paint.
    There are 2 options when it comes to paint application on banisters: 1. Manual painting using a brush and roller, and 2. Spray Painting using a professional spray gun but unless you are an experienced painter and decorator I would advise to stick to first option.
    First option of paint application is the most common method used by painters and decorators mainly because of the conditions needed for spray painting. Manual painting is tidier and therefore more applicable in homes where customers may need to access the premises during the works. Compared to spray painting, manual application is more time consuming because of the intricate details that handrails and spindles come with. This is where a good painter and decorator will make a big difference as it is rather tricky to get all narrow grooves and other features if the banisters painted properly without any drips and patches. If the banisters are hardwood and are clear wood or varnished with a clear coat of varnish then it is recommended to leave them as, but this is only an advice rather than a rule. It is mainly because if you paint any clear wood and you don’t like it afterwards, it is extremely difficult to undo the painting. Sure there are a variety of paint strippers out there that can be used to strip the paint but the difficulty is that you also will damage the wood while at it, never mind the enormous amount of time needed to do this. If your banisters are clear wood and they look good, then definitely think twice before painting them. In our line of work as painters and decorators we notice how different trends appear and fade away on colour and finishes preference. So if the walls get a different colour each time they get painted is perfectly fine, changing the banisters from clear varnished to painted because it is trendy today to have painted spindles may not be the best idea.
    Painting banisters, as all woodwork painting, usually involves at least 2 coats of paint in the case of oil based paint and 3 or more coats if the paint is water based as well as all appropriate priming where applicable. But before you even begin painting you should of course do the preparation work. Preparation work is the most important part of painting and decorating, during which all surfaces are wiped, sanded and filled where appropriate

    .
    Important note!
    Filling any part of a banister should be done with appropriate fillers bearing in mind the very nature and purpose of the banisters which undergo a regular amount of movement and pressure from everyday use, therefore the fillers must be suitable and compatible with such movement.


    After you finish filling and sanding make sure the surfaces are clean and dust free. Depending on the paint you use you may need to apply an undercoat first which is applied by brush and smoothened by roller where possible paying just as much attention to detail as the finishing coat. Make sure to put paint down anywhere you need not paint. Allow to dry overnight. Second coat is usually the finish coat where oil based paint is used. Before painting with the finishing coat, do a quick inspection of the banisters and rectify any paint drips or other mishaps that may have occurred during the undercoating, give it a quick sand with a very fine sand paper, clean it with a damp cloth and allow to dry before painting it with the finishing coat. When painting banisters with the finish coat, it is imperative to be very meticulous and patient making sure all surfaces are covered with paint properly and there are no drips or patches unpainted. Smoothen all surfaces with a roller where possible. Sometimes an additional coat of paint may be required to achieve a flawless result which is done the next day after a light sanding using a very fine sand paper.
    Note!
    Water based paint for woodwork is usually less tough and needs more coats as the coverage is lesser than oil based paint.
    The top of the banisters usually is left clear wood and it is varnished with a gloss clear varnish, this allows the use of the banisters more comfortable and cleaning them easier.



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