How to Paint Oak Banisters Glossy Black

3 Materials
3 Hours

I am taking part in the One Room Challenge (ORC) over at the blog, Calling It Home. If you are not familiar with the ORC, its an online design challenge where you have 6 weeks to make over a room. I am working on updating my foyer. A main element in the new design for my space is to paint the banisters and newel posts glossy black.
Here is a picture of the foyer before I started the update. You can see the orange-y oak banister and newel post on the staircase.
The first thing I did was prep the banister and newel posts for paint. I cleaned them and gave them a light sand with fine grit sandpaper. Then I put painter’s tape on the balusters where they joined with the handrail and tape where the newel posts met the stair treads or floor.
I then painted them using Clark & Kensington’s Hi-Gloss Enamel in black. It’s paint and primer in one and is 100% acrylic latex enamel. I had never used this product before but my local hardware store recommended it for my type of project.
I could have gone ahead and used the leftover paint from the front door, but I wanted to try a latex hi gloss enamel to see how it differed from the oil. In short, the latex enamel went on very similarly to the oil paint I used on the door. The first coat did not cover the wood but the second coat made all the difference – the same thing that happened with the door. 
The pluses to the enamel paint are that it dried very quickly between coats (I ended up doing three) and it didn’t have the strong odor of the other oil paint. And I still got my rich gloss that I was looking for. I would definitely would use this product again.

Suggested materials:

  • 1 Quart Hi Gloss Black Paint  (Ace Hardware)
  • Fine Grit Sandpaper  (Ace Hardware)
  • Wooster trim paint brush  (Ace Hardware)

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Kristen Koehler

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4 of 6 comments
  • William
    on Oct 30, 2017

    Great job. Love the gloss of the paint. Even the all in one paints don't always cover in one coat. The advertising is deceptive. TV commercials show on coat coverage but the paint is loaded on thick. Not always a good thing.
    • Kristen Koehler
      on Oct 30, 2017

      Thanks William! My first instinct was that I did something wrong with the first coat - but I resisted the urge to glob on more and waited for the second coat. The third coat was more of a quick touch up in spots.

  • Midwest Gal
    on Oct 30, 2017

    nice job and tying the door
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