Renovate Victorian banisters

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Hi,

I am soon going to start renovating the banister in my Victorian house.

I recently had some install some new spindles, as the old ones were completely destroyed. These are still bare (pine) wood. The handrails and the newel posts are original. The handrails have been painted white at some point in the past. The newel posts have some covering, but I am not sure what. I've attached some photos.

My plan is to paint the spindles white, while having the handle rails and newel posts back to wood. Obviously I will have to strip them first, while taking precautions for lead in the paint.

I am currently wondering what finish I should take on the newel posts and handrails. Any suggestions?

Also, apparently the bottom two hand rails are mahogany, while the top two are pine. The joiner who fitted the spindles told me it was quite common to have this in old houses. Also, he has to replace the top of one of the newel posts with pine, as it was completely broken. I am wondering how this will effect my choice of finish on the handrails and newel points.

Thanks in advance

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The distance is not the same between all of them, but it is between 9cm - 10cm from the ones I have measured.
 
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There's a bit of an art to disguising dissimilar woods used together. In the "family" part of the house the handrails and sometimes the newels (if a "showy" timber such as mahogany) would be stained then polished. In the "servants" quarters or less public areas they would often just use dark brown paint. The problem is that no matter what you do it is impossible to make pine look like mahogany, so personally I wouldn't even try. The mahogany I'd stain with a mahogany wood stain which I'd then coat with a gloss lacquer - something hard wearing like barvtop lacquer. The pine I'd endeavour to be more honest with, so maybe a light wash with antique pine stain followed by a clear lacquer.

As to the newels I think it depends on which newel needed to be repaired - pine or mahogany handrail?
 
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Max spacing between should be 99mm for safety .
 
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Thanks JobAndKnock! Sounds like very helpful advice.

As to the newels I think it depends on which newel needed to be repaired - pine or mahogany handrail?

Unfortunately, it is a newel post on one of the mahogany handrails. Any suggestions?

It is annoying. In the past someone did a right job on this part of the banister.
 
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Paint it. Possibly a different colour such brown light brown yellow ochre or the like - a more old fashioned colour with earth tones
 
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paint all the newel posts, you mean?

I hadn't thought of that option. any particular brand/type you would recommend?
 
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Also, do you have any idea what in on the newel posts at the moment?
 
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Yes. I have seen this done on a number of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian houses (original paintwork, no less, but they didn't have the brilliant white paints of today so they tended to use cream where we now use white and a darker earth colour for the newels).

I think a Victorian house might benefit from something like Farrow & Ball, at least for the "highlight" colours such as the newels. They do quite a range of heritage colours but they are expensive. Our local Dulux deco centre reckons he can mix 90% of the colours at a more reasonable price

At the end of the day it's all down to personal taste. I mean, a bright metallic purple glittery staircase isn't quite to everyone"s liking is it?
 
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lol, fair enough.

I suppose I was thinking that the newel posts would be the same as the handrails, but looking around it seems this is not always the case. If the spindles are white, then white newel posts goes pretty well too.

Given the bottom newel post has had to be repaired, I think this is probably my best bet.

Thanks for the help!
 

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