painted wood?

partially stained and partially painted white
stairs with wood clearly from the 90's - that yellowy oak.

My old house had tons of woodwork that I never would have painted. Big thick baseboards, doors, pocket doors, and a pantry all had original stain and aging. But what about a newer house with wood from the 90’s?

I felt like it was dated.

The tile was replaced with cherry shortly after we moved in. I didn’t feel like the oak, no matter how I stained it, would look good next to the cherry. And I’ve always loved white painted wood. Still feeling guilty about painted the wood, I decided to meet half way and stain the wood white.

I screened off the hallway with plastic sheeting to contain the dust and used a rotary sander for most of it. Stripper did not seem like an option. I know myself well enough that I would not be able to keep the stripper off the nicely finished floors. I protected the floors with an old rug while sanding.


Between the rotary sander and the corner sander shown below, it only took about four hours to sand.

It took me a while to decide if all of it should be stained or just part of it. I started with a thin mixture of paint, plaster of paris and water. I worked in layers until I was happy with the color. The first few coats left a pinkish hue. 3-4 coats made it white, and the wood grain shows through as I wanted. The main boards were painted solid white. It was still a chalk paint mixture, but less water. Two coats of paint and several coats of Minwax Paste Finishing Wax should hold up to the traffic of the entryway.

This job isn’t done yet! We are still debating: do we replace the steps with cherry? Or sand the oak stairs and replace carpeting?

to be continued…