Wooden hand rails are stylish and classic. However, they do need a little bit of maintenance over the years. Wooden railings can easily get scratched from daily usage. Think of a metal ring on your finger sliding down the rail on a daily basis. It is bound to scratch off the finish. Whether the railing is painted or stained, you will need to refinish and reseal the wood. This article will explain how to refinish your hand railing for a long-lasting and durable finish.
How Often Do You Need to Refinish a Hand Railing?
The frequency will obviously depend on how much wear your railing takes on a daily basis. In some cases you will need to refinish your hand rail every 2 or 3 years. However, if your hand rail does not get used often, you might not need to do it for nearly a decade. Also, exterior railing will need to be resurfaced much more frequently--maybe every year if you live in a wet environment.
Sanding the Old Stain
The first step is to sand the wood to prepare it. This does NOT mean that you need to sand off all of the old stain. Many people make this mistake and end spending a lot of time trying to remove the stain from every crevice and curve. The goal is to just make the surface uniformly smooth. There should be no sharp edges or peeling stain. After you sand you might notice cracks between wood grains. You can fill in even small cracks by spreading a little wood putty. This will help protect against water damage and further cracking in the long run.
Staining the Railing
Staining the rails is much easier if you don't use a paintbrush. Instead, use lint free rags to apply the stain. Dipping the rags into the stain, and then rubbing the entire rail, makes it much easier to get complete and even coverage. To avoid drips and spills, keep several dry rags nearby. You can basically spread the stain on with one hand, and dry it off immediately after with a dry rag in the other. You will go through a lot of rags (maybe 15-20) during this process, so be prepared. Also, wear latex gloves to protect your skin.
A new stain is not only a great way to protect your wood railing and sustain it. You can also apply a different color that will update the style of the entire railing system. For more tips, contact a company like Weld Pro.