How to Paint Railings

By Michelle Ecker on April 7th, 2016

The New York Institute of Art and Design offers online interior design classes and because we do, we like to provide free tips for aspiring designers. Enjoy!

How to Paint Railings

If you’re looking to add a surprising accent to a client’s home, subtle pops of color in unexpected places can go a long way in doing so. One unique way of executing this comes from an idea we’ve seen a lot on interior design Pinterest accounts lately- painted stairway railings. To add a glimmer of life to an otherwise dull foyer or hall, a fresh coat of vibrant paint on wooden rails offers an easily achieved solution. If this is something you’d consider trying with a client, here are some tips for proper painting technique:

1. Sand- If you will be applying this new coat of paint on top of an existing layer, try to sand using paper of a slightly higher grade. If there’s no existing paint in place, simple fine sanding should be sufficient prep.

2. Prime- A thin layer of oil-based primer (painted in the direction of the wood’s grain) will be the most effective in protecting the surface of a wooden railing. Allow an abundance of time for the primer to dry before you start applying paint in an effort to avoid an undesirably thick texture.

3. Paint- Apply an even, relatively thin coat of paint over the dried primer, again following the direction of the existing grain. To avoid aforementioned thickness, allow sufficient drying time after this initial application. Once said drying is complete, apply a second thin coat of paint.

4. Finish- If you prepared by applying masking tape around the areas you’ve newly painted, don’t wait until the top coat has completely dried before removal- unpeeling at that time could damage the work by ripping up newly dried paint. Finish the job with best results by instead removing any taping while the top coat is somewhat tacky but not complexly dried.

Want to learn more? The New York Institute of Art and Design’s interior design course can help you reach your goals. equest your free course catalog today!


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