Tuesday, December 18, 2012

How to Paint Railing Dowels

Hello all! I have been pretty excited about writing this post. So much so that I wanted to get the previous posts out of the way first. Haha. This project started back about 2 weeks ago. I was inspired (mostly by pinterest) to paint the dowels on our railings. I am still debating painting the whole railing like some of the photos here or possibly painting the railing a different color. But we'll see. I wanted to create some more contrast within the railing.

Here are some before shots. The railing just blends in with all the wood around it. The previous owners lacked a little in the creativity department. But I've already discussed the monotone colors of this house on the blog before.

So, I got to work on the dowels. I first used some liquid sand (available in Home Depot) on the dowels. to rough up the finish. Be sure to stay safe if you do this. Liquid sand is stinky stuff and kind of runny. I put it on my towel on the front porch in case of spillage. I also wore goggles, latex gloves and a face mask.

There were some rough spots in places that I sanded down to be smoother.

I then wiped everything down with a damp towel to get everything clean. Once that was dry, I started painting. One of the things I regret doing was putting down primer first. I thought that the paint would have good coverage, but the dowels ended up having slight cracks and imperfections that slowed the process down. I used the paint that Sherwin Williams makes for cabinets and doors in Snowbound, which is the same paint I have been using for updating the trim. I would suggest using something made for trim or cabinets as it will hold up better and give the dowels some shine.

You can see the little imperfections that made this hard. I also was careful not to get too much paint on my brush. With all the little curves in the dowels, you really don't want any drips of paint as it would be totally obvious when dry.

I ended up finding that an art brush did the best job. It was about the right size, I couldn't get too much paint on the brush, and I had good control for the edge stuff. I didn't use painters tape so that I would see if I made any mistakes and would be able to wipe them up with a wet paper towel before they dried on the wood.

After 148,965 coats (okay maybe I'm exaggerating), I finally called it done. It took me ~10 hours to do just these dowels, so it was painstakingly slow going. And there are still a few areas that aren't quite perfect, but I don't think anyone is going to be looking that closely at our dowels (at least I hope not).

So, what do you all think? Should I keep the other parts wood? Paint them white? Paint them a different color? Just curious what my readers think.

I know you guys totally noticed, but I also painted the trim underneath the railing from cream to white as well. Now, only 3 more railings to go... I do have a few ideas for speeding up the process, but I think I will try it out first and see how it goes before sharing with you.

I'm dreaming of some white dowels, just like the ones on Better Homes and Gardens...

No comments:

Post a Comment