Updating a stairway?

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Trying to decide if I should paint the spindels on my all oak stairway white. Trying to update my 70’s home a bit. I have all white interior doors with oak trim and oak floors. Afraid if it doesn’t look good it would be a huge job to redo after painting the wood


  8 answers
  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Sep 30, 2020

    Jane, that would definitely be a HUGE job to undo if its not what you like the look of later. Could you post some pics of the staircase for us? Here's a couple of updated pictures of white spindles on oak staircases I found on google image search. Personally, I think it looks really nice! You could consider a carpet runner for a different look without the huge commitment too.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Sep 30, 2020

    Can you show some pictures ? Not all oak spindles look good painted

  • Annie Annie on Sep 30, 2020

    Have you thought at all about going black? Not painting the spindles, but buying solid tubes (that sounds worse than they look!) in a black. You may even be able to get them in polished color.


    Take a look at your local Home Depot, I don't think they are very expensive. Then keep your railings, etc. Just change out the spindles

  • Jeremy Hoffpauir Jeremy Hoffpauir on Sep 30, 2020

    Do you have any pictures? I like the idea of going with a darker color.

  • Recreated Designs Recreated Designs on Sep 30, 2020

    Hi Jane, I have a newer house but have the same issue. All of my trim is white (including doors) and my banisters and spindles are oak. I have thought about painting them multiple times but have still not bit the bullet. I have had the same thought as you that it is an immense job that will not be reversible. I am not sure if you are planning on selling your house anytime in the near future but one of the other things that has swayed me not to paint them is the upkeep for a future owner. I'd love to know what you decide :) I am still unsure...

  • Oliva Oliva on Sep 30, 2020

    Some oak looks good if it's aged (100 years old), some oak looks better stained to a red oak color. Why not purchase 1 oak spindle on which you can paint 1/2 and stain 1/2, then hold it up against your staircase to see which you prefer. Personally, I've found much of the common oak trim on newer homes to be overdone.

    Many designers will tell you that all rooms should have a touch of black, but that's a personal decision.

  • Mogie Mogie on Oct 01, 2020

    I think painting the spindles would really give your staircase a face lift. But leaving the banister would really make those spindles stand out even more.

  • Em Em on Oct 02, 2020

    Typically stair treads and banisters are stained wood and stair risers and balusters (railings) are painted to match the stair risers.

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