Refinishing Interior Handrail

Olga asked 6 years ago

I’m planning to paint my interior staircase handrails. They are currently stained and varnished oak wood. I read on your site that I should prime them with OIL based primer and later seal the paint with OIL based varnish. My question is does it have to be oil? I would like to re-use materials left-over from a previous project which are: Sherwin Williams latex adhesion primer and Minwax “water based oil-modified” polyurethane. Can I use either of these products for the handrail?

If I decide to stain instead of paint, is it sufficient to sand down the handrails’ current finish and apply stain (i.e. not use any chemical removers)? And in that case can I use the above polyurethane to seal the stain with?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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