Am I aging myself with a Rolling Stones reference? Is Keith Richards still alive? These are the things that take up space in my brain. After our walls went white, it became clear that our orangey railing-a prominent feature when you first enter our home-was just not working. At that point, our ceilings were still sporting The Northwoods’ Color of the Year, Aggressive Orange. The two played each other up like a tweed suit and a bow tie. It was all just too country. And you know the old saying, “You can’t take the house out of the country, but you can take the country out of the house”…or something like that. What our railing lacked in vestment, she made up for in physique. Her lines are simple and clean. Simultaneously modern and classic. She just needed a new outfit. I decided to do what I do best when faced with some orange-toned wood: paint it.
After minimal thought, I went with my love of all things high contrast: black was the answer. I brought home 20+ swatches from our local Benjamin Moore store. After a few days of viewing the samples in various lighting, I landed on Black Satin. I love the green undertones in this shade and how it plays so beautifully with Simply White, the color of our walls (which also has green undertones BTW). I picked up one gallon of tinted primer (always have your primer tinted when going with a dark paint-this will save you time and money as primer is cheaper than paint) and one gallon of paint. I chose a satin sheen for added durability since this baby is walloped occasionally by rogue objects. And our little guy is sometimes rough on it too;) To prep the wood, I first sanded each post, railing and baluster with a medium-grit sandpaper to wear away the polyurethane. I then followed that up with a higher-grit paper to smooth out any rough areas. Finally, I wiped the whole thing down with a liquid deglosser which removed any remnants of poly and dust. Warning: this stuff is stinky. Please do your potential future offspring a solid and wear a mask. For many applications, you can just go straight to the deglosser but I really wanted to ensure the paint would have enough raw wood to grip.
I foolishly took a single vacation day to get the job done. I remember telling Marco, “After I’m done painting, maybe I’ll go get a pedicure or something.” Cue maniacal laughter. I had barely finished with the primer coat before my phone alarm alerted me that I needed to change out of my raggedy painting clothes and head out to pick up my little tiger from school. The first paint coat went on later that evening after our little was in bed and Marco-bless him-helped me bang out the final coat the following night. We used a small, angled brush and a 4” smooth foam roller to get the job done. This combo of tools, along with a light paint application, results in a super smooth, professional-looking finish. I’d be lying if I said this was a fun project. The primer coat was exciting due to the sheer contrast from the deer hunter before to the man in a tux after. But the last two coats were lame. That’s over 20 feet of railing, people! But the effort was so worth it!
The paint is holding up beautifully. Tools and toys are no match for this paint. Dusting it using a microfiber cloth cleans up the satin paint like a dream. One thing to note: if you’re not a cleaning fanatic, this paint color and sheen may be a little dark for you. I have to wipe every baluster and railing down a couple times a week due to the high visibility of dust on the black, light-reflecting surface. But to me, it’s worth it. It keeps me honest in the housekeeping department and, more importantly, it’s gor-geous!
And the railing before her makeover from a similar angle:
And a close-up of our new gal:
And a more pulled-back image so you can see how the railing plays with the rest of the space:
Okay, I’m done. If there’s something in your home you don’t love, paint is often a wonderful option for transforming that something for very little time and money! Vanities, trim, even some floor materials can all be transformed with the right paint for the job! Now I’m looking around thinking about what else I can paint…