How to Paint Railing Spindles (If You Must!)

Painting railing spindles is a painter’s purgatory. Although famously tedious, this is nevertheless a project that many home owners need done in their home. Spindles (or balusters) are often painted white to update and brighten the look of a staircase or loft railing. The results can be stunning and beautiful.

If you are planning to undertake this daunting task, it is important to do the job well the first time. Otherwise you are likely to be disappointed with your results, and you may even find yourself having to start all over again, which may change the task from daunting to unbearable!

Gathering Supplies

The first step in your spindle painting project is to gather the supplies you will need. Those supplies include primer, paint, paint brush, sandpaper, and painter’s tape.

  • You will want to choose a high quality, interior primer.
  • For your paint, select glossy or semi-gloss for a classy and reflective look. This will also be more durable and washable.
  • The paintbrush should be good quality, with a narrow, angled head.
  • Make sure that you have sand paper (a hand sander would be helpful as well), and plenty of painter’s tape and plastic or drop cloths to protect your home.

Preparation for Painting Spindles

The second step is thorough preparation. It is tempting to skimp on preparation and jump into the project. However, proper preparation is essential to a successful painting job. If your spindles have a shiny finish on them, this will need to be sanded off. You do not need to remove the paint itself, just the glossy sheen.

If you have a hand sander, this can speed up the process on all the surfaces that it can reach. However, most spindles being round, most of the work may need to be done by hand. Start with a rough grade sandpaper, followed by a lower grade sand paper to remove the shine so that the primer and paint can adhere well.

Once the sanding is complete, use a damp cloth and some soap to clean the railing, spindles and surrounding area. Once dry, use painter’s tape and other drop clothes or painter’s plastic to protect all the areas that you do not want painted. Use care to tape around the base of each spindle.

Painting the Railing Spindles

With all the preparation complete, you can now begin the painting. Start with a coat of primer and allow it to dry thoroughly before applying your first coat of paint. Usually, you will need one coat of primer and two coats of paint. Follow instructions on your primer and paint cans to allow for adequate drying times between coats. Paint each spindle starting at the top and working your way down. Be careful to watch for drips, and to evenly coat all ridges and indents as you go.

Professional Painting for Spindles (and more!)

If you decide that you would like help with painting your railing spindles, or with other painting projects around your home, A.G. Williams offers over 100 years of experience and professionalism in painting. At A.G. Williams, we are committed to protecting and caring for your home. We keep our work space clean and orderly, making certain that your furniture and house are thoroughly protected from dust and paint, leaving behind only the beauty of a job well done.

We also emphasize thorough and detailed preparation, patching and priming so that your finished painting project is stunning. We offer a team of highly skilled and courteous professional painters who are committed to providing you with work of the utmost quality. To find out more, browse our portfolio, or take a look at our contact page to find out how to get a hold of us.

Based in Pellham, NY, we serve Westchester and Fairfield Counties in New York and Connecticut.