From Metal to Wood

Here's what we started with...

This house was built in the early 70's. They put a short metal banister on the staircase, one so short I don't know how I didn't flip over it as a child. I wanted a whole new look! I wanted tall wood posts that were stained dark and white beams in between. Then we started calling around and getting prices on "my vision." Wow! Pre-made banisters were expensive! 

If you can, do it yourself.

Out With the Old, In With the New

This was one of those projects that we couldn't wait to see completed, but dreaded getting to. Transporting  long posts and banisters in our truck was a funny sight to see! I wish I had taken pictures! So we didn't want to spend $5,000 - $8,000 on pre-made staircase banisters, so once again, we did it ourselves! I can't stress enough to learn how to do things for yourself when renovating. We had NEVER renovated anything before- not even one room. If we could do this- so can you!

Phase One

My vision was starting to come together!

Notice we bought much taller beams for this one. We have 3 little ones with lots of energy that I didn't want to see flipping over those. So, our banister ended up costing us $350. Not $5,000! 

We went to our local Menards (we were regulars there by this point- and everyone knew us).  We bought everything individually. Each beam, each post, each screw. We bought unfinished posts and rails (the top we had already stained in this picture) and it saved us thousands! 

Phase Two

The Rough Draft

Once we had made several trips back and forth to Menards we had our plan for the staircase. The process of putting them in the stairs took a couple weeks and lots of hard work (which I wasn't a part of). The look was coming together finally! In this picture, we had already stained the top rail and the bottom post. The top post is what they look like when we purchased them unfinished. 

It can be done.

A look ahead

Here is the best completion of the banister that I have on hand. (Obviously taken after we moved in). It was my exact color and vision- and it cost us $350! Something I learned during the process of our renovation was that where's there's a will- there's a way. There's a  way to take a $5,000 expense and turn it into a $500 expense and STILL get the LOOK that you want! 

Java Gel Stain

The best thing since sliced bread.

We used General Finishes Java Gel Stain to give our banister posts and rails their dark look. This is the best stain ever! I have used it for years now and it never disappoints! To order just click the link here (aff)