need help regarding matching stair rails to new laminate


Old 02-24-10, 01:53 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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need help regarding matching stair rails to new laminate

My husband and I are closing on our new home in a few weeks and I'm trying to get all my ducks in a row as we're ready to make BIG changes right away!
Among other projects, we'll be taking up all the existing flooring (carpet, parquet and an unattractive laminate) and replacing it with a new laminate and some tile.
I'm totally stumped when it comes to the carpeted entry way, where there's currently (in all oak) a modified S shaped banister, balusters, 2 hand-rails that are mounted to the walls and a 1/2 wall topped with a "decorative" piece of oak... we hate oak!
The plan is to remove all the carpet in the entry and down the stairs and replace it with the laminate, which is an African Mahogany. Obviously, we'll need to do something with the oak to make it match or to simply cover it up.
Does anyone have any ideas? I was told that we can take a sample of our new floor to Sherwin Williams, and that they'll come up with a stain to match - but then what? Will we need to sand, strip, stain.... yuck?!? Is there another easier and attractive way to update the oak without spending a ton of time on the wood - maybe painting the entire thing to match the existing white trim?
Any ideas will be very much appreciated!
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Old 02-24-10, 05:59 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Stain is only effective if you have raw wood to apply it to. Without stripping the wood your options are limitted. You could apply a tinted poly over the existing finish. If it takes multiple coats of tinted poly to achieve the desired color, you may loose sight of the wood grain. Tinted polys [like minwax polyshades] must be applied evenly and not overbrushed. Runs, drips, lap marks, etc will all show darker. Missed or lightly covered areas won't have as much tint and will show more of the original color.

The wood can be painted but a solvent based primer must be used after sanding. Skipping this steps will insure that the paint will peel - sooner or later The primer can be top coated with latex or oil base.

If there needs to be a big color change in the oak, I'd recommend priming and painting everything but the handrail. Apply 2 coats of tinted poly to the handrail [that should get the color close enough] and then a clear coat of poly to protect the tint from wear...... either that or strip it all to bare wood and start fresh.

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