Simple Option To Update Handrails
Updating your front porch may be as easy as a coat of paint! This is how I painted my stained handrails white with a little time and some leftover paint making this a totally free upgrade!
Home maintenance is a process, y’all! Especially when you can’t leave well enough alone and one project compounds into 3 or 4 projects! #storyofmylife!
I started cleaning up and updating our front porch in the fall by pressure washing everything and sealing the front concrete sidewalk.
Then I tried out a paint process that makes our fiberglass door look like stained wood!😍
Touch Up Stain and Paint
My next update to tackle was to freshen up the top of the handrails and touch up the paint on the spindles since pressure washing knocked off a lot of loose paint.
With the front door changed, I wasn’t sure what to do with the top of the handrails. So in my Instagram Stories a while back I shared how I was torn between touching up the stain on the handrails like I’ve done previously or using the same technique I used on the door. The latter would help to lighten them up a bit but also have them match something since the door they previously matched was totally different!
Some clever follower (though I can’t remember who!) suggested painting them white like the spindles! Bingo! Duh! Ah ha!
There’s so much brown going on on the front of our house: brown shingles, brown shutters, brown shakes on the gable, brown front door and brown handrails. And they don’t all necessarily match so it’s like having 5 different colors. Plus the heat from the direct sunlight these handrails get allll the time proved the stain to be more maintenance than originally intended!
The nice things about painting over stain is you don’t have to do much prep work!
I used a power sander with 120-grit sandpaper and went over the stain. The goal was to knock down some of the varnish, but it didn’t have to be down to bare wood. Once that was done on the tops and edges of the 2×6 handrails, I wiped off the sanding dust.
Our exterior paint has primer in it so I didn’t particularly worry about priming before slapping on the first coat. It took 2 good coats of our white paint. But the results were immediate!😍
And since I already had the paint bucket out to touch up the spindles, columns, and flower box, it was so easy to cap off each section with a coat of paint on the top!
Speaking of touching up paint…I also had some gaps and cracks around the porch that needed tending to before I could paint.
A gap like this one is super important to caulk. Water can get in there and rot the wood out so fast! But a quick line of paintable caulk and your worries are behind you!
If you have plans to paint anything on the outside of your house in the near future, you should definitely add a bottle of M-1 Mildewcide* into your paint at the hardware store. For about $5 you get extra protection against mildew and mold on your exterior painted surfaces. And if you get it when you get your paint tinted, the paint counter associate can shake it up in your paint can at the same time!
I’m not big on buying containers to store paint in just because. But the rim of our can of exterior paint had rusted so bad I couldn’t get it closed anymore. So for another $5, I picked up an empty paint can* at Home Depot to store our paint until the next time touch-ups are needed!
I hope this helps serves as a reminder of what a big change paint can make in and around your home! Sometimes that’s all you need!
It’s already been a few months since I painted these rails. They’re still looking fresh and they still make me happy when I pull into the driveway at the end of the day. And that’s what counts-your home making you happy!
Thanks for Checking In! ~Chelsea
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