What should I use to get the smoothest surface on my banister?

by Louise
After ages, I'm finally ready to paint my banister. Pix shown isn't the newest one, but you can see what I'm going to paint. I have it sanded and ready now. I want the finished product to as smooth and shiny as possible. I bought the paint and primer that I was told is appropriate. BUT, should I use a small roller on this or use a paint brush? I'd guess spraying would give the smoothest coat, but I can't do that. If I use a roller, what do I look for in the "fabric" on the roller and if I use a brush, what kind should I get? The color I'm using is a deep red. Can't wait to see the finished product!
  8 answers
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Apr 26, 2015
    I used a Zinzer 1-2-3 spray primer on mine and then a spray on top coat. Looks pro. You just have to tape area around base and use/drape a lot of thin poly as the stuff gets air borne. Well worth the effort to get a really smooth, professional looking finish.
  • Shirley Kalinosky Shirley Kalinosky on Apr 26, 2015
    I will never spray anything in the house again! I needed to paint our radiator in the bathroom as it was icky silver and I wanted it black. I thought I had put down enough paper--taped to the toilet, bathtub and up the sink cabinet. Not! It flew up and over and onto the rug in the hall and I may never hear that last of it from hubby about spray painting in the house. So, that being said, I would sand a lot, I use 220, and then like Marion said, I used Zinzer (I like it better than Kilz) and then use a small brush and maybe even a sponge one. And definitely put lots of covering on the floor and walls. Please send us pics for an update. You are brave to put red on the railings. You go, Girl!!
    • See 1 previous
    • Shirley Kalinosky Shirley Kalinosky on Apr 28, 2015
      @Marion Nesbitt No, I had no air moving. But I did put a large pices of cardboard behind it so the wall was safe. I think IF I ever have to do it again....like never. I will make a tent like the lady said.
  • Kathy Kathy on Apr 26, 2015
    I have the same ugly spindles as you. I painted mine with a brush, because there really isn't room enough to do it with a roller. Add floetrol to the paint which will help in eliminating the brush marks. It is a time consuming task, but the results will be beautiful.
  • Any chance the banisters and railings can be removed to a garage and then sprayed? Maybe extra work, but @Marion Nesbitt process is worth it. We brush painted ours and have brush lines throughout. It works because I have a French vintage cottage theme, but isn't right for everyone.
    • Louise Louise on Apr 26, 2015
      @Brenda Goodell VanderZanden My contractor tells me that removing it all would be a big job. So, I'll paint in place. I'll look into floetrol, which Kathy (above) suggested.
  • Has202892 Has202892 on Apr 26, 2015
    Did my stairs last month. Mine are hideous oak. I put espresso brown latex, yes latex, paint on them and they are gorgeous. I used foam brushes from home depot. Worked like a dream.
  • Eileen Eileen on Apr 26, 2015
    I always sand very lightly and wipe with tack cloth in between coats. If you are going to poly it when you're finished, wait a day or two then "buff" it with finest grade steel wool. By "buff" I mean as if you were polishing, with no pressure.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Apr 26, 2015
    Don't know about primer, but Benjamin Moore apparently makes an advanced composite paint which is self-levelling and gives the same appearance as the old oil base paints that you could get a mirror surface with. Will be checking this out when I do my woodwork as despise the brush marks most paints leave.
  • B. Enne B. Enne on Apr 26, 2015
    I tried spraying our spindles (lightly) and they dripped...made such a mess. How about foam brushes for the spindles, as someone else mentioned, and a small high density foam roller that doesn't leave any streaks for the railing?
    • Louise Louise on Apr 26, 2015
      @B. Enne I hadn't thought about foam brushes until that was mentioned here, but think that makes sense, so I'm going to try that.