Easy Gel Stain Staircase

I have always hated my orange oak banister but I haven’t had the money nor the time to replace it. I had heard and seen projects done with gel stain but this was my banister! It wasn’t like a table that I could disregard putting in my house.  This made me incredibly NERVOUS!!!!! So I mulled it over did some research and finally I took the plunge, and I LOVE IT!! It’s probably one of my favorite projects I’ve done. It just made my entire entry way POP! I have received so many compliments so now I must share this project with you all.



1 roll of painters tape,

1 qt of water base Polycrylic water base,clear gloss

1 qt gel stain ( I picked rustic mahogany, you have a choice on colors)

1 black sponge

I just happened to pick mini wax for both quarts and I was able to find it at Lowes




1. I started this project on a Sat morning approx 9 am. The first thing I did was clean, my banister it was pretty grimy with all the hands that go sliding down it on a daily basis. I obviously need to clean more because it was gross! So make sure you get a nice clean fresh start.

2. Oh now the fun part! TAPING!!! Well someone has to do it. Now everyone’s banister is different and you are going to have to decide on what you actually want to stain. I chose to replace the oak color completely  and keep the white. I did not remove the spindles mainly because I have a history of taking something apart and then I don’t know how to put it back together . I chose to tap off each one.. So my ear buds went in and I went to work!

3. Now it’s time to paint!!! So I stirred my stain and  used a foam brush.  I was completely surprised that the paint was thick and gooey. I almost thought something was wrong with my stain, but this is what it’s suppose to look like. When you apply it seems thick and you have to work with getting everything all covered.  Now it says 8-10 hrs to dry and when you go to apply, warning it is still kinda sticky. It just seems like it NEVER completely dries. At this point I started to get worried… But have no fear!!

4. Now time to apply the Polycrylic water base coat. So for me the stain still had this stickiness to it the next day.  I went ahead and applied the Polycrylic. The amazing thing about this stuff is there is no oder, and it dries very quickly! I applied 2 coats. The stickness went right away giving it this nice smooth, shiny finish. It was dry in about 1-2 hours, but I gave it over night before I let the kids do any sliding off of it.

5. Now comes the tedious part. The white paint on my stair case needed to be brighten up in a serious way. I re taped with painters tape so I would not get any white paint on my newly  finished banister. I then painted with a small brush and then I used even a smaller painters brush to get around the spindles and small corners. I d applied 2 coats of semi gloss indoor white paint that I already had in my garage from another project.  I let this dry 2-3 hrs and applied a second coat. I was finished about 8 pm on Sunday.. I let it dry overnight for safe measures.










About kitcatsdesigns

I am a full time nurse, mom and wife. My love for repurposing items and living the country life. I owe my passion to my mom who is no longer on this earth with me but in my heart and in my desire to be creative.
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One Response to Easy Gel Stain Staircase

  1. Pingback: Easy Gel Stain Staircase | Kitcats Designs

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