The first project I took on was to change the stair railing/banister. I would have loved to replace it, but money is tight, so I decided to remake it instead. This is what it looked like before:
...and this is what it looked like after:
Doesn't it look fabulous? I used General Finishes Java Gel Stain, as recommended by the blogger who posted this fabulous idea (see below). It was really difficult to find, but I found it at Woodcraft in Draper, UT. Anyway, I still have to touch up the white paint on the railing, but you can't see the blemishes in these pictures, so I took them anyway. I'm also planning on painting the white trim that you see in the 3rd finished photo a dark java color as well, so it will match.
This was a pretty easy project. I found it while perusing Pinterest. I found this tutorial from the blog entitled Monica Wants It. She did it to her builder grade honey oak bathroom cabinets. This is something I'd love to do as well, as I can tell our bathroom cabinets were similar, except that the previous owners painted them. I'm not sure what would happen if I strip the paint off; as it is chipped in some places it already looks like it wasn't even a nice honey oak but rather a honey oak veneer. But I digress. Anyway, I followed Monica's tutorial to a "T", and even allowed the allotted drying times, despite my impatience. And she is right that after the first application, it doesn't look so wonderful! This is what mine looked after coat 1 and coat 2:
Needless to say, patience pays off. I applied two coats of the General Finishes Clear Gel Topcoat because this is an area that hands will be running along all the time. I might even add a third just to make sure.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed doing this project! Please do visit the original post if you would like to know just how to do this to that 80's builder grade honey oak in your own home :)
Now to get that chandelier painted...