Asked on Dec 11, 2016

I'm going to paint banister and need some help!

by Louise
This has been a project I've been planning forever but now I'm going to have nearly a month off during Christmas and hope to get it done. I've done some sanding but have to sand a few rough spots and then prime. The banister's going to be a deep red. I have a quart of the paint and have used some for another project so have to buy more so have this question. I think I want the banister to be shiny, but I also want to shorten the time I have to work on this. I was going to paint ultra gloss but then put polycrylic on top of that. Then I thought why use gloss paint if I'm going to put poly over it, right? This deep red paint will take 3-4 coats, based on my experience with it on my other small project. Does anyone ever have a banister that's not shiny? The rounded part you see at the top has a matching part at the bottom and both of those started wearing off kind of quickly when I painted the banister white a few years ago so I'd like to avoid that this time. Would a surface that's not glossy have any affect on that? What's the best way to proceed so I won't be working on this forever and I can mark it off my list of things to do?
i m going to paint banister and need some help
  11 answers
  • William William on Dec 11, 2016

    You don't need to put poly over the paint. Just lightly sand to remove any shine. Prime any raw wood with Kilz, Bin, or Zinsser primer. Then paint with your color. You can use gloss or ultra gloss for longevity.

  • Jim L Jim L on Dec 12, 2016

    When you start to paint the handrail, have the "primer" tinted

    at your paint store. For RED, I would use a dark gray, purple or

    brown primer. If you use a white primer, you will need four, five

    or six coats in order to get RED...not "pink"! Leave the spindles

    white and paint the base dark brown...why are you using "red" for

    the hand-rail? Black or dark brown would look so much better...

    • See 1 previous
    • Ann Smitt Ann Smitt on Dec 13, 2016

      Louise, I love your choice of red for your banister. Are you going with Bulldog's Red or Georgia Clay Red? Post pictures, please of the finished work. Enjoy your project.

  • Elizabeth Burrows Elizabeth Burrows on Dec 12, 2016

    there is a tool which makes this job sooo much easier than brushing - it has a long handle with an 90 degree prong which takes small rollers - think the maker is Richards.

  • Louise Louise on Dec 12, 2016

    Thanks. I'll check it out. Any idea what it's called? Don't suppose you have a photo?

  • Kaye Hawthorne Kaye Hawthorne on Dec 13, 2016

    when choosing your rail color have our primer tinted at 50% of the original color this way you will achieve a nice top coat or you can have them tint the primer with a few drops of black to help blend when using your original color choice.

  • Cwh6899259 Cwh6899259 on Dec 13, 2016

    I always find gloss paint easier to wipe clean.

    • Louise Louise on Dec 13, 2016

      Yeah, me too. And with a dog who rubs against it, that's important. :-)

  • Joanie Joanie on Dec 13, 2016

    GIrl! You are already there!!!............Keep sandin', make it look old and weathered. Apply what paints and waxes you have to and you've got it lookin' goood girl!!!!

  • Wanda.ll Wanda.ll on Dec 15, 2016

    FIRST WHEN PAINTING Rails USE A GLOVE TO DO THEM. YEP A GLOVE LIKE A CAR WASH FUZZY ONE. You dip hand in paint the wipe rail all way around with glove. It goes on much easier and faster that way. Always. always prime and yes I would add clear coat over it. Then it takes the wear and tear not the orginal paint unless you want the chalk paint look with white showing when it wears. Seems like that is the going thing now days. I myself would never paint real wood unless it is so ugly. Always natural color looks best but your choice.

  • Debra S Debra S on Dec 16, 2016

    Me, when I started being the DIY'er and handyman around here, discovered my love of old-fashioned Oil Based paint for ANY wood or outside painting. I TRIED latex paints to be sure, but found sheer disappointment. So I hunt down the Oil-Base Paint for ANY wood project I have. Except for some furniture that won't get hard use. If you use Oil Base paint, OH my gosh... so worth the hassle of having to use spirits to clean up. And the smell too. Oil base takes HARD abuse, lasts forever.

  • Valeria Valeria on Dec 18, 2016

    I never use oil based anything. It's harder to get smooth, harder to clean any tools and takes longer to dry. suggest use water based paint of whatever colour you want. I would chose a good make as they are high in pigments and cover well. Make sure you sand to remove the shine of the existing paint and fill all the imperfection with a good foller. Once you are done with the colour of your choice, apply three coat of water based Polyvine. (

    They come dead flat, medium or hight gloss. They dry super fast. Although you might think another three coata of something else sounds like a further chore, they are a child's game to apply and are very durable. I even used them on table tops.

    Hope ot helps.

    • Lynne Webb Lynne Webb on Dec 20, 2016

      I totally agree. Water based these days are not what they were years ago. So many user friendly products now. I painted ceramic tile using Zinsser B.I.N first. What amazing stuff.

  • Cwh6899259 Cwh6899259 on Dec 21, 2016

    You can buy high gloss laytex paint - you don't need to use oil base.