Staining over white gloss

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Hi, I'm currently in the process of redecorating the hallway and stairs and I'd like to stain/varnish the handrail a dark brown which is currently painted white gloss, is it possible? What's the best approach? Is there a primer that could be used over the top of the gloss and then able a varnish/stain? Thanks.
 
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Varnish or stain is not suitable.

Gloss or satin is.

You need to rub the shine off the gloss to provide a key , apply undercoat (grey) then your choice of coloured gloss or satin over the top

Don't forget to rub down lightly between coats to provide a key or your gloss/satin will peel off
 
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If you wanted to stain or varnish to enhance the wood you would have to remove all the existing white gloss

Not a fun job
 
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You could "grain" the wood.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=wood graining.&cad=h

You start off by applying a suitably coloured base coat and then select a top colour and mix that with scumble. The scumble allows you drag the finish over the surface so that you can make it look like wood grain.

Not as easy as it may sound though. Personally I would advise against it for a hand rail because of the high traffic.
 
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You could "grain" the wood.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=wood graining.&cad=h

You start off by applying a suitably coloured base coat and then select a top colour and mix that with scumble. The scumble allows you drag the finish over the surface so that you can make it look like wood grain.

Not as easy as it may sound though. Personally I would advise against it for a hand rail because of the high traffic.
The strings where white gloss on these hardwood stairs before they had the graining treatment on top, my Mother did it about 25years ago .
 
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If it's only the handrail, remove and dip it in paint remover.
Then sand and you're ready to stain/varnish.
 
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