Posted 26 August 2020

Best paint for a wooden bannister

My current bannister has a dark wooden handrail and white spindles. I want to paint the hand rail black and repaint all the spindles white.

What is the best hard wearing paint to use please as the handrail takes some hammer with the kids and I don't want to keep redoing it.

I also know gloss paint nowadays is pretty pants due to the oil based issues and the stuff that doesn't discolour (water based) is not hard wearing

Thanks for any advice

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  1. supermonkey30's avatar
    I’m not a painter and decorator so others may offer more help but I have used Leyland Water Based Satin on woodwork all over the house and not had a problem with wearing at all, the handrail and spindles were done two years ago and it still in great condition. It’s non yellowing which was important to us as we also didn’t fancy doing it every couple of years. I think it’s available in white and black and usually best priced at Toolstation / Screwfix.
  2. Laurel-Hardy's avatar
    Don't use Satin Wood paint on handrails, it will rub off within a few years.. Eggshell or hardwearing gloss is your best bet.
  3. Cloe's avatar
    Either like above said, Leyland water based satin or Leyland acrylic hard wearing eggshell.
    If it is varnished you would be best taking the varnish off if you can be bothered. Either way I would use an oilbased undercoat to prep and 2 coats of water based finish.
  4. radium's avatar
    Don't use water based paint, it will wear off wherever people touch it. It happened to me. I used Dulux from one of their trade shops, the chap said they're both equally durable - they're not. Always go oil based.
  5. Van1973's avatar
    Use Zinsser Bullseye…135 to prime the handrail - will go straight onto the varnish - I always like to give a light sanding down first - although suggested as not necessary it will improve the adhesion.. Allow a day to dry thoroughly then apply either Leyland WB of Solvent based Gloss as suggested above. WB gloss can peel if painted straight on top of a previous glossy surface - the Zinsser primer solves this problem.
  6. mikelyons's avatar
    I’ve had good results with Johnston’s Aqua water-based gloss, but needs 2 top coats for best results .

    Note that water based paint dries much faster than traditional oil-based gloss, so you may need different techniques for best result.

    E.g. work quickly & use a large (3” or bigger) brush to ‘lay off’ & smooth out brush marks.

    See YouTube for ‘how to’ videos.
  7. steevieboy4u's avatar
    Thanks for all the advice

    Now just need to muster some enthusiasm to get it started
  8. CyptoHippy's avatar
    I am about to paint my whole staircase and bannister white. In two minds where to go with layland satinwood oil based or eggshell oil based, which one is most hard wearing? I normally paint every 6-8 years
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