Painting wooden spindles is a project that you can accomplish without the costly service of a painter, but the job requires plenty of time and patience. Unlike painting flat walls in a wide open room, intricately shaped spindles are small and involve detailed, time-consuming painting. If you use the right tools and methods, a fresh coat of paint can make old spindles look brand new again.
4-inch Paint Roller
The 4-inch paint roller is often referred to as the "hot dog roller." The smaller 4-inch size allows the roller to reach into tight corners, where wooden spindles attach to railings. The 4-inch paint roller is ideal for square-shaped spindles made of wood or metal. The roller is also useful for rounded spindles of a wider size, but the flat shape of the roller itself matches the shape of square spindles and provides better paint coverage. The roller is also available in a curved shape with varying roller nap sizes.
2-inch Angled Paint Brush
A polyester angled paint brush in the 2-inch size reaches into the tightest corners, where a small paint roller cannot reach. The 2-inch brush size and angled brush point fit nicely over the contour of rounded spindles with small crevices and unique shapes. A paint brush leaves a smooth finish on wooden spindles, unlike the faint stipple left from a paint roller. For wooden spindles, some painters prefer to use only a paint brush, while others prefer to cut-in the edges of the spindles with the brush and use the roller for the rest.
Using a paint sprayer for wooden spindles requires quite a bit of preparation, but the paint job resembles a factory-like finish, free from brush marks and roller stipple. Paint sprayers are useful for spraying stains, lacquer and paint on wooden spindles. In order to achieve a professional spray job, you must complete all masking before pulling the trigger on the sprayer. If you are not going to paint the railing, the surface requires masking with tape and plastic. A number 211 spray tip is the recommended size for wooden spindles.
After you have cleaned and sanded the spindles, a coat of primer helps seal the surface and improve bonding of the new semigloss paint. Unfinished wooden spindles require thorough sanding to remove the lacquer finish and a coat of latex primer or shellac. Priming previously painted spindles is not required, but recommended. A tinted primer on wooden spindles reduces the chances of applying an extra coating of paint, and the semigloss finish will shine brighter on a primed surface. Primer also blocks existing dirt and stains from pets and children.