Wood Railings Repair/Refinishing: What can I do to refinish and repair my wood railing on my own?

Larger projects like repairing and refinishing your hardwood floors or hardwood stairs are very labor intensive and should be done by a professional, but projects like refinishing and repairing wood railings can sometimes be tackled on your own. A project like this should be simple as long as there are no major damages to your wood railings. If there are you should contact a professional to fix them before you conquer the refinishing process.

Here is what you will need:

  • Wood Stripper: Wood stripper is what removes any remaining finish from your wood railings. It is fairly easy to use and doesn’t require much manual labor. Once the wood stripper is applied it starts to bubble and remove the finish. If you prefer not to use a chemical you can also remove any stain with sandpaper. This will take longer and require more elbow grease, but will give you the option to avoid chemicals.
  • Gloves and Glasses: When doing any construction project whether it is minor or major, you want to have the proper protective gear. In this case a pair of gloves and protected classes will do the trick.
  • Scouring Pad: If you decide to use sandpaper you will also want a scouring pad or steel wool for any stubborn stain that refuses to come up. A scouring pad can also be very rough on the wood railing so be sure to go over any area again with fine sandpaper to even out any deep scratches.
  • Paint Brush: Purchase a paint brush that is no wider than your railing. If you get a paintbrush that is too wide you are going to end up dripping paint.
  • Rags and Water: In case of an accidental drip you should have rags and a cup of water handy. Because wood stain is water based, you can easily use a damp cloth to wipe away a drip of stain. To avoid drips completely you can lay down its towel, newspaper or a sheet of plastic to catch anything that falls.

What to Be Careful Of

When you take on a repair projects such as this one there are a few things you should be cautious about.

  • Avoid inhaling dust and fumes. If you choose to sand your railings purchase a mask to keep from inhaling stain dust. You also don’t want to inhale fumes from the new stain that you will apply.
  • Don’t over-stain. Stain is meant to be applied in a thin coat so the wood grain still shows through. Generally, 1-2 coats is all you will need.
  • As we mentioned above, be careful not to drip stain on any nearby carpet or on your walls or floors. If you do simply take a damp rag and wipe it away.

Don’t want to take on this project yourself? We offer repairs and refinishing clients living in Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Etobicoke, New Market, Aurora and King City. If you live in the GTA call to set up an appointment for your railing repair and refinishing. You can also stop by our showroom and we can show you some of our most popular finishes.