Sanded a handrail - can i restain or just poly?

shortsAugust 17, 2010

I just sanded down a small railing that had been pretty beat up - I only used 220 and got almost all the paint off - Its a shade lighter than the other rails now - should i stain it? or just poly over it? Should I sand again with a heavier grit?

Simple guidance would be great.


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You should test an inconspicuous spot. Poly itself will darken the wood quite a bit (unless it is an exceptionally clear water-based formula). Some brands of poly are much darker/more amber than others.

The only way to get color matches is to test. Professionals who are good at color matching carefully test.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 3:06PM
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220 is a fairly fine grit that should be used in the final stages of sanding. For paint removal, use 80 or lower and then work your way up through the grits to 220. Finish as desired.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 11:16PM
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It depends on what you use to stain it with. The problem you have with refinishing is, if you don't get every bit of finish off, you will end up with white spots where the stain doesn't take. Then, when you sand off the spot you will get a dark ring around the spot you just sanded that is difficult to get rid of or blend in. My advice to you would be to get a aerosol can of Mohawk Ultra Classic Toner, in the color you want, and use that after your first coat of finish has dried. Then another coat of two of finish. Pratice on scrap first.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 5:01PM
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