Kansas City home builders didn’t limit their Golden Oak colors to kitchen cabinets during the 90s building boom. You’ll find the same yellow tones in floors, doors, woodwork, mantles and hand rails of most Kansas City homes of that vintage.
Of course, from the builder’s perspective it made sense. Every color change added to the cost. And the demand for housing was so crazy back then that the builders were scrambling just to keep up. And the buyers didn’t complain, if they thought of it at all. They were just happy to have a new home.
So we often get calls to fix the color of handrails too. Usually people think of the color of their handrails when they have their hardwood floors refinished. The yellow on the floors gets changed to a darker, richer color and the hand rails and balusters now look tired and worn.
We have some options to offer for handrails, depending on your budget. The hand rails in our former house looked like what you see to the right.
The balusters are white painted wood. The hand rails and newel posts are pine and stained the same yellow as the woodwork in the rest of the house.
We wanted metal balusters but when we calculated the cost we went looking for other options. Brenda decided to glaze them a black iron color. The results were fantastic. We were surprised at how much more open the house felt after this change. We realized that the mass of white spindles stood out and acted as a visual barrier. Because the white was gone, the black allowed us to “see through” the balusters and thus the open feel. Take a look at the before and after pictured here and you can see what I mean.
We also treated the hand rails and newel posts with a metallic plaster finish. This plaster dried to a rock-hard durability. The finished look was one of an iron rail and metal balusters.