Tips for Painting a Wood Banister

A wood banister on a stairway is often finished with a wood stain. To make the banister brighter, you may choose to paint it. It may already be painted, and restoring it could be too time consuming and costly. It can be a difficult job, partly depending whether the balusters, also called spindles, are being painted the same color. Banisters and spindles have lots of curves and carved parts, which can make painting hard.


A lengthy banister may best be painted with a rented sprayer or spray cans. If this method is chosen, mask off everything that is not going to be painted, including nearby walls and furniture. Wear a face mask to keep from breathing the paint. Sand all areas that are to be painted and clean away the sawdust. Start with primer, then paint.


Using a brush takes longer, but allows more control. There are small, curved rollers that will help get into all the details of the wood. Prepare the area. Sand and use primer the same as with spraying. Begin at one end of the banister and work towards the other end, making sure to get all the sides and underneath it. Two coats, even three, are advisable. Look up from under the banister to spot places that have been missed.