It’s been over a year since we moved into our house and we’ve already tackled a few big projects on our list.
Here is a recap of what we’ve accomplished:
1. Staining the stairs and railing
2. The kitchen island
3. Painting accent walls in the office and dining room
Not to mention all the painting we did before we moved in. Or all the smaller projects we’ve done. One thing that I’ve learned is that regardless of whether your house is one or 100, there are always projects to do. But I’m loving every minute of it. One of my favorite home improvement projects that we’ve done to date is the staining project on our railing and stairs. While we were building our house, we participated in the builder’s sweat equity program. Since we painted the entire house, they took some money off of the final cost. Nice deal, right? Well, it was a lot of painting. One thing we negotiated after seeing the quality of the wood spindles they were putting in, is that we would wait until after we moved in to paint them. This would allow us to stain them instead of painting them the standard white like the trim. Because the wood was in good shape, it seemed like a shame just to paint it white… so we didn’t! Instead, we stained it a beautiful cherry!
When we first moved in, the wood looked like this:
We moved into the house in the summer and between the hot weather, getting married and our honeymoon there wasn’t much time for house projects. I also spent a great deal of time outside in the front yard planting flowers to boost our curb appeal. Once October came, it finally cooled down enough to work inside with the windows open. And that’s when we got our stain on.
Instead of doing the traditional three-step stain process, we tried the PolyShades from Minwax. Although it was fewer steps, it was more like painting and less like staining. This isn’t as easy as it sounds when you are staining spindles. The stain dries faster than you can get it all on there. You have to work a little faster to get the stain on without creating light and dark spots. Because you do not wipe the stain off after you apply, there isn’t much room for error. But all in all, it turned out pretty well and the stairs and railing look great.
We started the project by sanding the wood (my job) and the pre-stain. Here is my beautiful sanding job on the downstairs railing by the kitchen.
And here’s BJ starting the pre-stain.
After the pre-stain dried, we applied the PolyShades. The main difference between PolyShades and traditional stain is that PolyShades is polyurethane and stain mixed together. You only need one coat of the top coat to finish! No sealing required.
Now the only thing left to do is fill in the nail holes! Because they are not really noticeable, we’ve been filling them in as we have time. I finished the railing by the kitchen, so now we just need to finish the upstairs railing.
It’s been almost a year since we stained the stairs and railing and I’m still so pleased with how it turned out!
As I mentioned in the last post, up next is painting the accent wall in the kitchen and living room and crown molding!