A pain in the stain

You’ve probably heard of the song that never ends. Well, for Keith and Jessica, this project was the project that never ends. Here is how they started the job that just went on and on, my friends.


You know you want to sing it. Cue the music….

….This is the job that never ends. It just goes on and on my friends. Some people started sanding it not knowing what it was, and they’ll continue sanding it forever just because . . . This is the job that never ends. It just goes on and on…

Back on task…

Keith and Jessica claim that if they had really applied themselves it would have taken about two full week ends to complete this project. However, they spent a lot more time than two weekends. Maybe because they have a houseful of kids and more things to do than just sand, sand and sand some more.



cue the music…

They both sanded for a solid 12 hours and they recommend in investing in a good hand sander. They slightly scuffed the spindles, but the handrails and the posts were sanded down to bare wood and then conditioned. They used Benjamin Moore fresh start primer and then painted the spindles in Benjamin Moore Advance in a cloud white.



They recommend starting with a wood conditioner on the railing and posts. The wood conditioner must be the same kind as your stain (water based if using water stain or oil for oil).

A few small parts didn’t take the stain but were easily sanded down and re-stained and it all worked fine…

…until they got to the last hand rail.

…Cue the music…

It took a long time to solve the problem. One part wouldn’t take stain.


They called the company and followed their instructions. They sanded and washed with mineral spirits. Then, they stained again… same problem.

In the end Jessica used a fine artist brush and painted the stain over the bare strip. She didn’t wipe it off and let it dry. Then she gently dabbed varnish over top and then she varnished like normal.

She is so thankful they took on the railing and they LOVE the results, but WOW, was it a lot of work and headache.


I think the job was worth the effort. But, that’s easy for me to say. I wasn’t the one sanding and sanding and sanding and sanding….

One thought on “A pain in the stain

  1. jess says:

    Totally 100% sure it was worth the effort. We loved it but it wasn’t as easy as all the pinterest pins said. Would do it again in a second… but thankful I don’t have to (-:


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