UPDATE: My banister paint isn't holding up.
After a short while, look what's happened to the top piece (is this called a cap?)!!! It had lost its shininess since it's touched several times every day so I'm sure oil from hands had settled on it. I tried to clean it off and then the gray primer came thru. The banisters have 2 coats of paint on them and no top coat. My painter assured me this was fine. I think I chose the wrong painter. But now, I'm going to fix it myself and then put some polycrylic or wax on top of the paint for protection. PLZ TELL ME WHAT'S BEST. I'm upset over this. AND notice the second up-close photo. One of my cats likes to grab posts, door frames, etc. and the white parts you see are a result of that. Soooooo, gotta fix that, too. What's the best way to fix it so it doesn't stand out much against its surroundings? At least the cap is separate so its fix won't be seen as a coverup. Which is more durable? A polycrylic or a wax of some kind on top of the paint? (Paint is from Sherwin Wms.)
I've pestered people on this site about my banister for AGES, so I finally decided to pay a painter to do it since it seemed clear I'd never get around to it. Here's an "on the way" photo and other shows it just before the last coat was applied. I still have to stain the stairs, do some touch-ups to the wall around it, and paint the moldings to match the wall. Even tho the color is NOT typical for banisters, I love it. After I get some art hung and the stair staining done, I'll be super happy.