Asked on Jul 16, 2018

How do you paint over stained & laquered stairway and railings?

by Tina

I have brown stairs going upstairs and down to the basement that are already stained and laquered and the railings are the same. I want to paint the railings white and the fronts of the stairs (not part you walk on) white. Can I use chalk paint for this without having to sand? The railings are the twisy type so would be very difficult to sand. Please let me know what would be best. I have alot of stairs and am trying to do this as simply as possible.

  4 answers
  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Jul 16, 2018

    How to Paint / Stain Wood Stair Railings (Oak Banisters & Spindles ...


    Jan 13, 2015 - How to Stain/Paint an Oak Banister (the shortcut method…no .... of stain over the years and this brand worked really well to cover the orange. Painting over a stained/varnished bannister and stringers ...


    Aug 31, 2011 - 12 posts - ‎7 authors

    I have been researching how to paint over my varnished and stained ... if it seems good, then you can have some confidence to do the whole stairs. ... As you're dealing with banisters and hand-rails it'd also be a good idea to ...

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jul 16, 2018

    Hi Tina. I wouldn't recommend painting over it without roughing up the surface by sanding or using a chemical like liquid sandpaper. You aren't going to have good adhesion of the paint. You'll be stripping and sanding a mess when it starts peeling. Rough up the surface first, a sponge sander would work. Apply a stain sealer like Kilz. Then you can use chalk paint. The risers should be easier to paint. Scuff them up, apply sealer so you don't get bleed through, and paint them. Painters tape and cardboard or plastic will keep the paint off the treads of the steps. Painting over stained wood without sealing it usually gives you blotchy areas of where the stain works its way through the white paint.

  • Ann Cherkas Halstead Ann Cherkas Halstead on Jul 16, 2018

    You will need to sand them first or the stain will bleed through

  • Amy Amy on Jul 17, 2018

    Okay, I did this. Number one use a a deglosser, then paint a coat of Kilz do not try to skip this step trust me I tried. It will take you twice as long if you do. Then start painting, I had a large banister. All totaled it took me 17 hours. Seemed there was always a drip somewhere that I didn’t catch and I had to go back and sand it. I’m sooo glad I tackled it, such a dramatic difference.

    Picture of before and after, the railing also went from one end of my upstairs to the other (about 15ft).