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Help - Painting stair banister

Hi there, 


The stairs at home is looking a tad worn, the previous owner had painted the wooden banister with white latex paint and it had yellowed with age, some parts had suffered abuse from knocks and dents.


I wanted to give it a fresh coat of paint. So being a newbie DIY home owner, I simply clean the banister with some detergent and painted over the existing coat (using semi-gloass latex white paint). And to my horror,  the coverage was uneven and the brush strokes were very obvoius.


Can someone provide me with step-by-step instructions on what to do? Desprately needing some help here!


Thanks in advance!

DIY Noob

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Posted 2012-07-02T21:26:18+0000  by binny_peh binny_peh

Hi binney_peh,


Let the paint dry thoroughly and then lightly sand the finish to remove any uneven areas and brush marks.


When you repaint use a good quality trim brush, such as a Purdy XL trim brush. This polyester and nylon brush will give you a smooth finish.


Also if your latex paint is on the thick side, you can add a small amount of water to the paint. This will thin it slightly and will help it flow and level out when you apply it.


Finally here’s a trick an old experienced painter passed along to me.


Dip your brush in water before you start painting, (only when using latex paint) the water in the brush will help the paint flow on easier and make the brush easier to clean when you’re finished.


Good Luck with Your project!



Posted 2012-07-02T22:34:55+0000  by Mike_HD_OC


I would concur with Newf, standard procedure when using latex paint is to first dampen the bristles with water, kicking out any excess water on your toe.


Further, a common mistake amateurs make is to not adequately fill the bristles with paint immediately, filling  them to about 3/4 of their length. This allows the interior of the brush, which has a small filler strip forming a reservoir, to fill up with paint which will then flow down the bristles onto the work.


The most common error when working with acrylic/latex paints is to excessively brush. Acrylics will level out, but they have a very short time before they start to set up and skin over, unlike oil paints of old.  If you keep brushing , in the misguided idea that you can better level it out, you will actually degrade the final result and end up with heavy brush marks. Apply the paint rapidly and then LEAVE IT ALONE!


Newf is correct about thinning the paint if too thick. All acrylics an be thinned with at least a cup of water per gallon. Many painters like to use the product FLOETROL with which to thin. Floetrol increses the wet time of acrylic paints and allows it more time to level itself.


As Newf indicates, when doing fine trim, buy the best brush you can afford. The Green labeled Purdys have a softer, finer bristle which will lay the paint out better initially, allowing the paint to level itself better. The Brown labeled Purdy's are more suited for production work of cutting in ceiling lines, etc.


Hope this is of assistance.

Posted 2012-07-04T02:18:20+0000  by ordjen
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