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I want to refinish and stain just top portion of my

banister. I think it’s oak...
I want to refinish and stain just top portion of my banister. I think it’s oak wood but I’m not sure if I need natural stain or golden oak color
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Answered in 1 minute by:
2/17/2018
David Bowden
David Bowden, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 979
Experience: Owner at Floridaco
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Hello and welcome to Just Answer… My name is ***** ***** allow me a few moments while I do some research, my recommendation will appear shortly.

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Has the banister ever been varnished?

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Unfortunately with stains you can not be sure by the photo on the can. The reason being the color will be different on various woods and the age of the wood. If the banister was varnished the stain will not penetrate below the varnish layer and into the wood. I recommend you try a couple different shades of stain and from different brands and test on a part of the stair case that is not very visible and see how it comes out. If you want a darker stain you need to leave it on longer before wiping off. If the stains are not a close match you may consider Gel Stains as an alternative and after getting the color that you like you can varnish over it to seal it in.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Is the banister red oak?

It is hard to tell in the photos because of the existing stain and varnish, Oak has only 2 types Red and White, White being very expensive wood to make a staircase with and usually would be custom made turnings. If your staircase was from a supplier as opposed to a cabinet maker or finish carpenter, I was lean towards Red Oak as the wood.

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Looking more at the photos I would even think Maple or Ash is highly probable the wood and maybe not red oak

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Red Oak has a darker tone than the wood in the photos.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I don’t know what type of stain to get then

I think you have a close match in the photos, but just know to be cautious as I mentioned for all the reasons I listed. That way you will know if it doesn't look right, you'll know why.

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Stain matching is a lot harder than paint matching

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
How is gel different than regular stain? Do I have to know the type of wood to use gel stain?

If you have a local lumber yard or cabinet making shop, you might show them the photo and ask their opinion/recommendation, also you can probably get a few scrape pieces of the 3 woods I mentioned so you can test the different stains and then compare to your staircase.

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Gel Stains work opposite of oil or water based stains in that they don't penetrate into the wood as easily as oil/water stains. They remain on the surface more and because of this you can experiment with matching better. But as I mentioned if you use Gel Stains you need to varnish over the stain to seal in the color, otherwise it will just wipe off.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
That is a good idea. I will try that first. Thank you.

You are welcome and thanks for requesting me, I appreciate it.

One of the goals here at Just Answer, is to provide each customer with the best experience possible and for the experts to earn a 5 Star Rating based on their responses, recommendations, and professionalism, when answering questions. If I have achieved that goal for this question, please take a few moments to rate my service and select the 5 Stars before logging out.

It has been my pleasure providing an answer for you today, however if additional service is needed, please use the reply box to let me know and I will respond back once I have the requested information.

Enjoy the rest of your day,

Dave

David Bowden
David Bowden, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 979
Experience: Owner at Floridaco
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Thank you very much for the positive rating, I sincerely ***** ***** If you need further assistance or help with another question, just let me know.

Best,

Dave

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