Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

March 12, 2012

Basement Update: $1 Railing Makeover


Did I mention I want to make over our basement for as close to free as possible?  In the process of freshening up our stairwell to the basement (I know, I'm taking forever), I painted our tired, dated railing - plus the accompanying hardware - with a tiny amount of paint for a brand new look!  I happened to score a quart of a mis-tinted paint (a charcoal, almost black hue) for only $5.00 and I have so many more projects to paint with it.  This makeover, using a fraction of the paint, worked out to be about a dollar.

The Details:

I removed the hardware from the railing.  It was covered in gunk, so I lightly sanded and wiped it clean.  I primed the hardware with metal primer (from another project).  Then I simply applied a few, thin coats of my mis-tint paint, letting each coat dry 24 hours.  I used a tiny craft brush.

I can't use spray paint until it gets a bit warmer here, so this was a bit of an experiment.  But it worked well!




For the railing, I lightly sanded the wood until the glossiness of the former finish was removed.  I cleaned it with a dry cloth, painted a thin coat of primer (which I also had lying around) and then painted four thin coats of the black-ish paint.  I used a foam brush to avoid brush marks.


Ta da!  I love the "after":


I'm into little details.  We don't always have money for major makeovers (although I'd love to gut the basement and start fresh).  But I find the little things make the difference.  When we first moved in, we removed all of the ugly brass door hinges and knobs (many were coated in chipped layers of paint) from interior and exterior doors.  We gave the doors a fresh coat of paint, added new silver hinges and knobs and each door looked brand new.  It made the whole house seem more modern, like a new-build.  After I saw this post about spray painting doorknobs (okay, I re-pinned it on Pinterest), I decided I could tackle a hardware project with paint, instead of buying new.
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25 comments

  1. Much improved! Looks great against the wall colour too!

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    1. Thanks! I am loving the new wall colour; black and white both look good against it.

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  2. We have been painting our railings this weekend, too! Looks great, lady!

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  3. Nifty and thrifty! LOL I am always on the eye-spy for cheap and cheerful makeovers I can do in my place too. I have all that brass hardware you are talking about in a new build. It makes me crazyish. :)

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    1. Thanks! Darn that your new build has brass. But new brass is so much nicer than 40 years old, half-painted brass. I'm sure you place looks spiffy and chic. Brass and gold have come back "in" and can look really nice.

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  4. The updated rail looks super sleek and modern. It's amazing what a big change a little paint can manage. I love that you were able to re-use materials instead of buying new, it's both economical and environmentally friendly!

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    1. Thanks! I really, really try not to be wasteful. Some things have needed to be pitched (no one would take them - like our salmon pink toilet) so I try to make over anything with even a little potential ;)

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  5. Great update! I love little details like this that make such a difference for so little money!

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  6. I love projects like this. It doesn't always take a big budget to make a big difference! Looks great :)

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    1. Thanks! I also checked Lowe's today and a new railing would have set us back $30.00 (plus new hardware). Sweet!

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  7. great before and after!
    good luck with the rest of the basement:)
    Amy

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  8. I love cheap projects like this that make such a difference! And I'm totally spray painting our knobs!!

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  9. you are SO right about the little updates making a big statement, rather than blowing huge chunks of money on major renos. i LOVE LOVE LOVE little projects. i've been away from my blog for a number of months but i've been staying on top of yours.

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that! I've noticed you've been a bit absent.

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  10. Sometimes it's the smallest details that make us the happiest. Nicely done!

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  11. Looks really good for such an easy and thrifty fix.

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  12. The small details do count for a lot. Have been trying to fix up little things around the house as well. Which sometimes make all the difference. Great job!

    Anastasia at Decor is like butter

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  13. Nicely done! I'm in the process of painting all our trim and doors white, and I was just thinking that I really should paint the door stoppers white too. I considered painting our dated brass door knobs in satin nickel, but after seeing how pitted and beat up most of them are, I think I'm going to be stuck replacing them instead.

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  14. It's amazing how much different that $1 made to your staircase!
    I'm loving this.. it proves that you don't need to rip out a wall to freshen up a room. Great work =]

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  15. I'm going to start re-doing my lower level soon, and I've been thinking of replacing my railing. But seeing how much better yours looks with a little paint, I'm going to go the budget-friendly route too. Great idea!

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  16. Ah, the sweet smell of jobs being finished! Looking good!

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  17. You are so resourceful! Love the new look :)

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  18. The black rail looks very sleek and updated. I'm a big believer in using what you already have. Great job!

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  19. I just found your blog from ??? but I'm so glad I did! It's so nice to read a Canadian blog. I just did the "tour" and I love everything you've done. Beautiful work!

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