Let me start by saying, If you are an oak wood lover than I encourage you to proceed with caution ! Last year we finally found our dream house after 9 years of searching and as we pulled down the tree lined driveway up to the columned front porch, I knew this was the house before we even walked in the front door. Unfortunately, our dream home was built in the 90's and has oak EVERYTHING, but I was able to look over this knowing that I could make some quick improvements ! Well, between work, kids, side jobs, and traveling...quick did not happen BUT 1 year later we have conquered our UGLY oak banister and I could not be happier !
Some quick tips !
Use this stain..it will be your best friend, I promise ! It comes in MANY different stain colors but after looking at swatches on Pinterest, I decided on their most popular color..Java !
USE LATEX GLOVES ! I started this project thinking that I wouldn't need them...I was wrong.
No matter what you have read on Pinterest, DO NOT use the rub off method..I made this mistake and it made our wood look like dirt. Simply take a $1 foam brush and paint on the gel stain (going with the grain) and let dry 24 hours in between coats. I like the "distressed" look because it gives the wood some dimension, so I only used one coat. Top with your favorite polyurethane and you ARE DONE !! I have a friend that paid a "professional" $2,000 to achieve this same look !
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" You only live once but if you do it right..once is enough" ~ Cecil Beaton