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What Color Should I Paint a Top Railing?

If you're planning on building a deck, one of your most important considerations is the type of railing you'll need. In additional to keeping people safe, deck railing is also attractive, especially when the right top railing color is used. Here are four factors to consider when choosing a color for a top deck railing, along with how to select a color for an interior railing.

1. Type of Railing Material

Before deciding on a color, the first step is determining the type of material for your railing since this can have a significant effect on a deck's appearance. The kind of railing material you use can also affect durability, maintenance and cost.

As for wood railings, you can always paint wood to whatever color you prefer. But wood involves more upkeep and is prone to insect and water damage. Vinyl has less color choices, so many homeowners opt for white, which is considered a classic shade. However, aluminum railing gives you a much larger selection of colors because of its powder coating that can be produced in several colors. What's more, aluminum is durable, affordable and exceptionally low maintenance.

2. Blend vs. Contrast

After determining the material for your railing, decide if you want the color to blend in with the color of the exterior of your home and its surrounding, or if you want it to have a contrasting look. In addition to noting the colors of your roof, siding, doors and windows, look at any surrounding plants, trees and other elements of nature. Then, ask yourself if you'd rather have your railing blend in with your scenery or have it stand out as a focal point.

Maybe you want the color of the top railing to be the same as your roof, house color or window trim. You could also use a color from the same color family. On the other hand, if you want the color to stand out, why not choose a red color for a white or neutral-colored house exterior.

3. Lighting Conditions

Lighting is another factor affecting the color choice for your railing. One way to decide on a railing color is by putting color swatches in spots where you want your railing, so you can see how lighting changes during 24 hours. You want the color you choose to look appealing while lighting undergoes subtle changes throughout the course of a day.

4. Viewing Angles

Most deck railings can be seen from both inside and outside of a house. That's why you need to consider how your railing will be viewed from inside your home, when gazing through your windows, as well as when you're outside on your deck, enjoying the views.

Deciding on an Interior Top Railing Color

When determining a color for an interior top railing, such as for a bannister, it can sometimes be overwhelming because there are so many different color variations from which to choose. Usually, the same considerations apply as when deciding on an exterior railing color. For example:

  • Do you want the color of your interior railing to blend in with the rest of your home's colors, or do you prefer a contrasting effect? If you want a tonal contrast, pair a walnut handrail with  white railing. Use white handrail and railing for a house featuring pastel or light colors if you want the colors to blend in with the rest of your house.
  • If your house has a country style, think about how whitewashed railing can add a rustic look.
  • For a contemporary style home, black or another contemporary shade works well as a color.

Other Considerations and Warnings

  • Does your home have stunning waterfront views? As a general rule, lighter shades blend in better with the sky and water, while darker colors blend in more with trees and plants.
  • Besides color, consider the texture and finish of railings. At Worthington Millwork, we have four high-gloss colors, along with three textured, low-gloss finishes.
  • If you plan to use your deck mostly during evening hours, it's best to stick with lighter colors since darker colors can easily fade into nighttime shadows.
  • If kids, pets and elderly people will be using your deck during the day, opt for sturdier railings that are in darker colors. This makes the railings more visible and easier to grasp.

If you're in the market for premium value building materials, look no further than Worthington Millwork. For all your building supply needs, you can depend on us for delivering top quality. Here you can find the best quality in merchandise when buying American-made architectural products. Contact us to learn more about our one-stop building supply store for homeowners, builders and architects.