Hand-peeled, spindle type rails are a popular style railing for bordering porches and decks on a log and timber frame home. Usually they are crafted from white cedar because of the natural decay resistance of this wood species, and the fact that the smaller tree size of white cedar lends itself to the manufacture of smaller component parts.
This type of railing requires special attention when coated with a wood stain. In a fully exposed environment (such as around a deck), the top portions of the rail will normally require coating on a yearly basis. If the railings are not fully exposed to the weather (such as under a porch), then the need for yearly maintenance will, in most instances, be greatly reduced.
To insure more successful coating results, medium sand the upward facing top rail. Remove sanding dust before coating. Apply 1 to 2 coats of WeatherSeal�. In order to prevent rapid degradation of the wood stain, cracks that develop in the top rails should be completely sealed with a quality acrylic latex caulk. Deep cracks should be stuffed first with backer rod to fill the excess void and then caulked over. Once the caulk has cured, top coat with WeatherSeal�. Any bare areas of the railing should be touched up as soon as possible with 1 to 2 coats of WeatherSeal�.