Advice on painting dark red bannister

30 Sep 2013
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United Kingdom
Hi all, just wondering if anyone can give me
some advice. We are looking to put our home on the market and the main thing the estate agent told us to do was paint all the wood in hall white in order to brighten it up. There is a lot of wood there, my hall covers 3 levels, there is a bannister, skirting boards, door frame etc. They are currently all reddish brown, I'm not sure if they're varnished or painted. I have a decorator to paper and paint the hall, I asked him to quote for doing the bannister and he said I'm looking at about £500 which is out of my price range!
I am thinking about sending the wood down then applying a primer then painting it white. Does anyone know if this is feasible or am I likely to be biting off more than I can chew?
If it is doable, us there any particular kind of products (primer, paint etc) I should use?
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I'd leave that well alone, but if you want to go ahead, Zinsser products have the best primer / undercoats around.
John :)
They're varnished by the look of them. All wood should be sanded down to provide a good key, then use primer, undercoat and then two coats of the top coat.
The job is doable for sure, just a lot of work, esp with sanding. I don't know what the rest of the hall looks like or if would look strange, but I'd paint the skirting, door frames etc if it's that dark and leave the banisters alone, esp if you don't know what you're doing. If all the walls are a light colour, clean and uncluttered then that will help no end too with brightening it up for a sale. Oh and some folk hate painted wood, others like it so if it's just to brighten a room, I'd do the walls and unclutter first and see if that's good enough to leave the woodwork alone completely.
Thanks for the quick reply John. Out of interest, why would you leave it well alone? Iv never actually attempted this kind of decorating so I'm not sure what I'm letting myself on for.
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Blightyman, thanks for the reply, yeah we're going down the route of redecorating the walls and putting a new carpet down however the walls just now are sort of beige anyway so not exactly dark so I'm not sure how much lighter we're going to make it, I'm an electrician so might pop on a few wall lights to help but the dark wood is pretty horrible to be fair. The other problem is my door is the same colour and upvc so that's going to have to stay dark anyway.
I wouldn't be as bothered about this if the estate agent hadn't made a big deal about it.
Thanks again for the replies's dead easy for an estate agent to recommend things - after all, they aren't paying for it or putting up with the upheaval!
Things like that wouldn't put me off so long as the area is clean and fresh.
Who knows - a prospective buyer may love it!
Best of luck with the sale
John :)
If it makes you feel any better with your wood, I'll show you the kitchen in our old house in Leeds, designed and done by my other half's ex.
I toned it down, covering all the lime green and giving everything else I could a fresh coat of crisp white. Got rid of the clutter, blinds, lime green appliances but couldn't face trying to sort out any of the mosaic or tiling.. and the house sold on an open day with a bidding war! To be fair the rest of the house was lovely (and I'd painted the whole lot just before selling), but the kitchen was just awful. Buyers can see past stuff and it is a sellers market at the mo. I'd not worry too much about your stairs if everything else is fresh, clean and as uncluttered as possible.


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He didn't do the kitchen in his last house, but he didn't seem to mind living with it which is why now I do the decorating....!
Anyway, hope made ya feel better, if that sold, you're going to be fine am sure, grins.
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I think your estate agent is making a big deal about nothing.

Certainly it will help sell the house if the walls are clean and the woodwork isn't all chipped and damaged.

As long as it looks reasonable and orderly.

But to start wallpapering and painting over stain and varnish could be a complete waste of money.

Chances are your new decor may not be to the new people's taste.

They may even like red stain and varnish - so painting it white could be a mistake.

Most people who look at a house with a view to buying aren't stupid enough to go by the colours of the woodwork.

(Mind you, some people are REALLY stupid. Some people just don't have any imagination.)

Some people will buy a house that's been tastefully decorated to a high standard, then mindlessly set about ruining it with awful colours and done to a rubbish standard.)

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