Banister refurbishment on a budget

This had to be one of the most time consuming jobs I have ever taken on.  Little did I know when I decided to do this myself that there was 4 layers of paint on the existing banister.  Overall I think this took me a month to sand, paint and stain the wood.  And worst of all was the mess it made.  The entire house was covered in dust from the sanding.  But the great thing is I saved a load on money on this DIY refurbishment.


I think looking back I would have just replaced the whole thing.  Yes, this would have cost about £800 so I saved myself about £750, but the pain, time and cleaning nearly finished me off.


I took the majority of the paint off with an orbital sander.  I didn’t own one before this so bought one especially for this job.  It would have taken me hours if I’d tried to complete the job with my mouse sander alone.   I bought a JCB orbital sander for £50 from B&Q.  This was great to get the majority of the paint off, but I couldn’t get in all the nooks and crannies so finished this part with a combination of my mouse sander, Dremel and some powerful paint remover.  The Dremel was great but lacked control so you need to be very careful not to take chunks out of the wood.  The paint stripper was also good, but not wise to use near kids as it’s very potent and not something you want to get on your skin.  This did however make it very easy to scrape off with a basic stripping knife and combination shave hook.

Once I’d removed all the paint I smoothed it all off with a sanding block.  This left a very good and easy surface to treat and paint. Once I’d treated the wood and let it dry I used masking tape to protect the finish whilst I re-painted the white gloss stair case.

The final product looks pretty good but unfortunately my wife Victoria still didn’t like it.  But no way was I going to change it after all that effort, she’ll have to put up with it a little while longer. Besides, I love that we’ve kept the original 70s banister.  Loving that Retro look.

Also, check out my other post on the under stairs drawers as seen in the feature image.  Go here to see how i made them.

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