Someone, before we lived in the house, decided to refinish the banister. Rather, they started to, but gave up partway through the process. It is not pretty, and I honestly can think of about ten thousand things I would rather do than get into the toxic work of stripping the rest of the paint off the woodwork. I have been ignoring it, for the most part, since we moved in. However, someone got a nasty sliver from it not too long ago, because as you can see in the above photo, Jack Burton just LOVES to sharpen his claws there. We can't have people getting splinters every time they come downstairs, that is a public safety hazard. Rather than execute the kitties, I decided to cover the problem up with a half-baked idea and some slapdash craftsmanship.
One day my friend Bryan said "I have some goat hair fabric in my possession!" and like magic the goat hair fabric appeared in my living room. I draped the square over the offensive banister and that was that for a month or so, till the kitties figured out how to knock it off. Then last night I decided to more permanently attach the scratchity fabric, so I located the HEAVY DUTY staple gun, a big ol' pair of scissors, and when the scissors proved too fainthearted to cut through the fabric against the grain, my trusty Dozier Folder.
Last year I wrapped the newel post with some macrame cord I found at Goodwill, to maybe give the boys someplace more satisfying than the banister to scratch. I tried to unwind it, only to find that it had become one with the gnasty half removed paint underneath - so I incorporated it into the new design. I think it gives the project a little bit of a "really crazy people live here" feeling. Also it will help the fabric stay up once the cats find and pull out the staples. I hope. But there are a lot of staples.
So far neither one of the kitties have tried it out. It will last longer that way.