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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma


wildmouseDecember 9, 2012
Traditional/Transitional 2 STORY FOYER with turned staircase- white trim/light neutral paint. floors, risers/treads darker warm brown. rails/balusters were lighter oak from prior stain color. spindles white. i tried to darken rails/balusters w/polyshades but it wasnt working well so i painted them a black high gloss oil. it is too loud for my preference. i really wanted them to match the floor or to have a sharp yet understated look. what do i do now? thank you.
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You have two choices now, you can either strip all the black paint off and stain them to match the floor, or you can find paint and primer to match the floor and repaint. Stripping all the paint off to a point where you can stain them successfully is doubtful, I would go with paint to match the floor.
    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 3:24AM
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
There was a great post by a homeowner a couple of months ago and she changed her railings and they looked great. She painted them black but I think semi-gloss. I can't find it now. I would consider having the risers in white and I think that will help.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 2:00PM
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This photo appears similar to what you describe. Add a bright rug in the foyer and see if it helps distract.
Entry · More Info
    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 7:14PM
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thank you for the ideas
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 8:25AM
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A. Peltier Interiors
You really will want to stick with paint unless you have endless amounts of patience. Stripping the railing will be a ton of work and really I think it will look great if you just find a paint that works for you. If the black is too much, then another classic way to go is just white, like the trim. So the spindles and rail will all be white. If you really want a contrast color then I think black is still your best bet, but maybe a semi-gloss will be better for you. Post pictures and maybe we can have more suggestions. I am not sure if you finished the rest of the space, but adding a rug and then some art, maybe with black frames or dark wood frames will help balance out the black you already have.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 8:33AM
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this is railing with one coat- needs two. is there something i can put on as a second coat to tone it down? i assume i can paint the second coat in semi-gloss and not high gloss and that will cut the shine?the rest of my house is pretty classic and warm toned- and i do have black accents around- which i love.
also, my doors outside are all the same black color but the foyer door on the inside is white with side panel windows- also white. it never occured to me to also paint that door black.
thank you so much.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:11AM
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A. Peltier Interiors
The door black is a great suggestion. I love the black railing, its really classic. I think it could look nice to paint the risers white, like Deborah said. I would also put a runner up the stairs to soften it. It could be a traditional rug pattern with black accents in it. I think it looks really nice and I think if you finished off the rest of the space it would all come together. Yes, try doing a semigloss for the second coat as well. But don't get too worried, I think it is looking beautiful!
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:28AM
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It might be interesting to see what it would look like in brown, to match the stairs?
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:28AM
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What is the black strip at the landing? It doesn't look as if it should be black.

I think the railing looks great. I vote for the risers to be white with a runner and the black interior door as Deborah suggested.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:37AM
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Ask paint store about toning down the gloss and do a few practice pieces. I think you'll need to very lightly sand (200 grit?) before re-painting with a lower gloss.

I like the carving on the side of stairs. I might bring out the design a little more with a very subtle lightened burnt umber (so you hardly know it's there & the highlighting looks like just a shadow) or the color of the wall paint, made lighter. See photos.
Spindrift · More Info
Spindrift · More Info
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:40AM
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are you suggesting a brown semigloss? or just bring the paint store my custom floor stain blend and see what they can match to it?

also, do you suggest painting just the front door black or the side panels as well? the side panels have windows have trim/moulding below chair rail and narrow windows above- each side panel is about 14 inches wide
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:47AM
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I'd do the door only
Cambridge Contemporary Entry Hall · More Info
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:52AM
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thank you for the picture. good call!
1 Like    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:55AM
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wildmouse, to match the stain, place a drop of it on a piece of non-absorbent paper, like parchment paper, or foil, allow it to dry thoroughly and bring it to the paint store to have them match. The drop should be opaque, not transparent like stain is. This will give you the best color match.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 1:24PM
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