Wednesday, June 28, 2017

And on and on and on

Still busy!  Surprised?  I think this is just the state of my life.  I'm teaching an on-line course, traveling three weeks in a row (MD, WI, & CA), still trying desperately to put the finishing touches on my novel, and doing yet another home improvement project.  

When we bought this current house, we knew we would have to deal with all the honey oak woodwork in the house because it clashed with the newer cherry floors that the previous owner had installed in a number of rooms.  We've been slowly painting a lot of the trim white, but we hadn't tackled the stair rails yet because we knew we had to wait for good weather so we could keep the windows open for ventilation.  We didn't think we should just pant them all white, so we settled on staining the rails and posts, then painting the spindles white, like is shown on this stock photo on top.

We weren't sure how the oak would look with cherry stain, but plowed ahead anyway.  Thus began the extensive taping job to make sure stain didn't get on everything.  This picture above shows the first coat of cherry stain on the top three treads, while the bottom three are the original oak.

In this picture above, you can see the problem in this house.  We have oak against cherry and it looks bad, unfinished.  Whereas we were able to overlook this in the purchase of this house, we can't guarantee the next buyer will.  We need to get a good price for this house when we sell it, so we need to make sure everything is repaired and updated.

In this picture above, the riser for that step used to be oak, along with the banister.  You can see what I mean in the previous picture.  This is with two coats of stain on it.  Because the cherry floor is a combination of light and dark boards, two coats of stain brings the oak in line with the lighter boards.  I'm going to do a third coat, to darken it just a bit more, before beginning painting all the spindles white.

So here's the semi-finished project.  I did everything up to the first landing.  I still have to tackle the second flight of stairs and the upstairs railings.

I'm pleased with how it looks from a distance, but not up close.  I used a product that has stain and polyurethane all in one, thinking it would be quicker and easier.  It wasn't.  It dripped despite my best efforts.  Any error in the brushing, I had to sand everything off and start over, because touch ups were very obvious.  As it turns out, there's much better quality control with regular stain.  Also, I used painter's tape around the spindles, but when I went to remove the tape, even though I razored the edges, it still pulled up some of the stain, as you can see in the next photo.

I have to keep using the same product since half the rails and stairs are already done in this color and finish, but if I ever have to stain again, I won't use an all-in-one product again.

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