Yes, you can bring a faded wood back to life WITHOUT stripping it down to bare wood. The staircase in my foyer needed refinishing, but I put it off because I thought the cost would be way above my budget. After getting a few estimates, I knew that the labor cost to refinish the trim would be extremely expensive.
When my painter came up with this less expensive alternative, I decided to go for it. Here’s a look at the transformation.
The results are actually far better than I expected. I can almost see Scarlet O’Hara sweeping down the stairs in all her velvet glory! Frankly my dear, the secret to this project is choosing the right products. Quite a bit of research went into ensuring that the finish would look good, withstand wear, and have UV protection to prevent future fading. And I’m sharing those products with you here!
Here’s the story.
Our foyer stairs had originally been stained over 20 years ago. You would expect some fading over time, but these stairs get a huge dose of sunlight that dried up the wood and faded the color. Refinishing all the hand rails, posts, and treads would have been quite costly.
We wanted to paint the wood spindles and risers, so we needed a paint with good adhesion. The paint also needed to be very durable since it would get a lot of wear and tear.
Our painters researched the problems and came up with products that would be long-lasting and give UV protection. We wouldn’t have to sand the finish down to the bare wood to achieve good results.
First, they lightly sand the spindles and risers to rough up the poly coating. Then they primed and painted the spindles and risers with Rust Scat Water Based Acrylic Enamel Paint in semi-gloss (2 coats). It’s an interior/exterior wood, metal, and masonry paint with exceptional adhesion, durability, and hardness by Coronado. We got it from our local Benjamin Moore store, Hikes Point Paint and Wallpaper.
Next, they tackled the faded wood trim.They lightly sanded the stair treads and handrail to rough up the poly coating. Then they applied tinted polyurethane over the existing stain to deepen the color and give a UV protective finish.
I took this photo during the sanding and priming phase of the work. This is NOT a job for my limited DIY skills, and I am happy to say that I had the best painting crew on the planet! They were able to perfectly match the stain on the staircase to front door.
Here are before and after pictures of the stairs, landing, and foyer. I’ll just go have some sweet tea under the live oaks while you take a tour.
The dry, dull wood had faded due to sun exposure.
The finished staircase would make Scarlet O’Hara proud!
This is the landing before the makeover.
The contrast between the light and dark finishes really brings out the architecture of the room.
This is the view of the foyer before the project. There was so much wood!
I do declare, I love a good reveal. The foyer is so much brighter now!
Benjamin Moore Colors: Wall paint, Winter Wheat;Trim paint, White Dove
I am so happy with the results of my staircase makeover. You definitely can make old wood look new again by using the right products.
The faded wood trim is gone with the wind!