When my first child had an accident at home, I realised we hadn't childproofed the house as well as we could have. Thankfully, they were fine, but I learned my lesson and began a thorough inspection of my home and garden. I got to work addressing the various hazards we had overlooked, and I started this blog to help other parents think objectively about the hazards in their own homes. I post about a variety of topics, such as pool safety, choosing a safe garden fence, storing medication and cleaning products, window and door locks and kitchen safety for kids. I hope you find my blog useful and informative.
An oak staircase and balustrade adds a touch of traditional character to your home. If you decide to leave the wood unpainted so that you can enjoy the charm of the natural grain, you'll need to care for it properly This will keep the wood looking beautiful and will also help it to last much longer. Here are some tips on caring for your oak staircase balustrade.
Naked, untreated oak should be oiled immediately to prevent it from drying out. You can obtain a suitable product from your local DIY store, but be sure to choose something that's formulated for use on natural wood, as this will contain all the necessary preservatives.
The easiest way to apply the oil is with a small paintbrush. Take care to cover the whole balustrade, including any spindle joints. Allow the first coat of oil to soak in completely, and then apply another layer.
Once you've oiled the balustrade, you could choose to apply a layer of wax. This will give the wood a lovely shine and will offer some protection from dirty hands.
Apply a coat of good-quality natural beeswax to the balustrade with a clean cloth, and then polish it up to a shine with a duster. You'll need to apply a further layer of polish every month or so to build up a good glossy coating and polish it up each week to keep the balustrade looking good.
You can remove greasy finger marks easily by wiping down the balustrade with a damp cloth dipped in a solution of washing-up liquid and warm water. When the marks have gone, just polish the wood up again using a duster.
If you don't have time to repeatedly wax your oak balustrade, you could consider varnishing it instead. You can choose from clear varnish or opt for something that has a colour tint if you prefer. Varnish will give your balustrade a nice shine, without the need for repeated polishing and waxing and will provide it with protection from spills and damage from accidental knocks.
To apply wood varnish, simply brush it on with a paint brush over the top of the oil treatment. When the varnish is dry, you can simply polish up the balustrade with a non-wax furniture polish and a clean duster.
You can keep your new oak balustrade looking lovely and extend its life by treating it as described above. You should find a good selection of natural wood waxes, varnishes and oils at your local DIY or hardware store.