A bannister makeover

I seriously considered titling this post "When your dog chews the crap out of your banister and you don't want to shell out $100 for a new one" but thought it was too long. That is exactly what this is about though.

Hank has always been an amazing dog. Since we got him at 6 weeks old, he was a little angel. House trained super quickly. Never jumped on people. Rarely barked. And, to top it all off, never chewed on anything but his toys. Which was a miracle, since labs are voracious chewers. But then, one day. One terribly, sad, notorious day a couple years ago. Ty and I left for work and we had unknowingly shut all of Hanks toys in our bedroom. We got home to a destroyed bannister and a puppy who, for months, treated all the wood trim in our house as his personal noshing ground. THE WORST!

Long story short, a lot of painting and trim replacing later, Hank has finally seemed to cool it. Thank goodness. But rather than shelling out $100+ for a new bannister (cause there are SO many other things I would rather spend $100 on), I decided to just make-shift fix it this weekend.

I should say right up front that I am 100% NOT a perfectionist. Most of the time I go for good enough and call it a day, and this project definitely fits into that category. So if you have also had your bannister chewed to smithereens and need a not-perfect fix, this is the one for you.

The bannister was in SUPER rough shape. I started by removing it from our wall and dragging it into the garage.

Then I sanded it like crazy with this Black and Decker Mouse sander. There were hugely deep pock marks from Hank's teeth all up and down the length of the wood, along with severely disfigured areas where he chewed for what I am sure was hours.

Even after a good amount of sanding, it still had some pretty rough spots. I thought about whipping out the wood putty, but that seemed like WAY too much effort, so I just sanded the best I could, pretending that large chunks of the bannister weren't supposed to be there anyway / were supposed to be totally disfigured.

Once all the sanding was finished, I gave the whole thing a nice coat of one-coat-coverage black, glossy Valspar paint (inspired by this bannister), which made a huge difference. The dark color hid a lot of the lurking imperfections, as you can see in that before and after shot up there. (NOTE: I LOVE one-coat-coverage paint. If you're never used it, do it. It works like a dream.)

Then I brought it back inside, hung that bad boy up, and bam! Good as new. ish. If nothing else, it's about 1 million times better than it was before AND it only cost me $10 in paint. Plus I kind of love how the new color plays off the shelf and frame at the top of the stairs. Now, just promise me you won't look too closely if you ever come over and we'll call this a raving success.


Orin Ryssman said...


Beth Marie Peña said...

I wish I was as handy as you and Ty! It turned out beautifully!

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