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Best Paint To Buy For Banisters

What kind of paint is best for bannisters?

It’s a debatable question that will change depending on who you ask. For instance, some painters could opt for a long-lasting gloss, while others might favour satinwood, which is less long-lasting but more aesthetically beautiful.

How then can you determine the best paint? Of course, you could just trust the product descriptions and hope for the best, but we think we’ve discovered a better method for choosing.

We polled  over a hundred experienced painters and decorators to find out which bannister paint they preferred, asking them to weigh durability, ease of application, coverage, aesthetics, and, of course, cost. Here is what we discovered.

Johnstone’s Aqua Guard

Johnstone’s Trade Aqua Water Based Satin Brilliant White 1L with Avenue touch up brush
  • Whiter for longer and quick drying.
  • Paint for Iron / Steel, Timber, Softwood, Planed timber, Window frames, Wood
  • Type: Water Based
  • Low odour
  • Comes with Avenue 19mm touch up brush

With 32% of respondents stating they’d select this paint if given the option, our expert decorators chose the dependable Johnstone’s Aqua Satin as the finest paint for bannisters overall.

The water-based satin paint is versatile and may be used on a range of interior woodwork substrates, including skirting boards and spindles. It works especially well on bannisters.

Due to its mid-sheen and satinwood finish, which is ideal at disguising flaws but not being overly reflecting, it is also slightly more aesthetically pleasing.

Since bannisters are among the most frequently handled items in any home, durability is important when it comes to bannister paint, as was previously said. There is no question that Johnstone’s Aqua is capable of withstanding heavy traffic, which is what you’ll need a paint for.


highly resilient
lovely satinwood finish
Low VOCs and odour
extremely simple to use, and dries rapidly



Dulux Diamond Satinwood

Dulux Trade Diamond Satinwood - Pure Brilliant White - 1 litres
  • Tough, durable, non-yellowing.
  • Suitable for high traffic areas.
  • Stain and grease resistant.
  • Advanced water based technology.
  • Quick drying.

Second place goes to Dulux’s stain- and grease-resistant Diamond Satinwood. Diamond Satinwood is an excellent option for family homes because of these two features, especially if kids are running around with muddy paws!

This specific paint has a satinwood finish, like our top pick, but because it is from Dulux’s Trade range, it will be far more durable and of higher quality, lasting for a good few years before requiring a repaint.

Fortunately, the Diamond Satinwood (despite being a trade paint) comes in a pretty small container (1 litre), so with a couple of coats, you can easily cover your bannister, and you probably have enough left over for touch-ups on other woodwork in your home.


amazing flow rate
Easy to use
Water-based makes it quickly dry and low in VOCs.
can endure several wipes over the course of many years.


Possibly 3 coats are required if painting over a dark colour.

Crown Quick Dry Satin

Crown Retail Non Drip Satin PBW PBW 0.75 L
  • Quick drying - touch dry in 1 hour
  • Unique breath easy formulation 99% solvent free
  • Easy to apply
  • No drips - no Mess
  • Tough and durable

Regarding retail paint, many expert decorators (15 percent of the total vote, for instance) vouch for Crown’s non-drip satin and would advise using it on bannisters.

When I’m confined to a job site to paint interior woodwork, I frequently encounter paint drips that have dried on bannisters (especially when my client painted the bannisters themselves and isn’t a professional painter). Even for novice painters, this isn’t really a problem because Crown’s non-drip satin has the ideal ratio of consistency and drying time.

This retail paint is about as durable as it gets because of its strong recipe, which can endure numerous cleanings without losing any functionality or visual appeal. It won’t last as long as the trade paints described above, but as a less expensive option, it’s still worth buying.


Quick drying and low VOCs
has a low gloss finish but keeps its toughness
extremely affordable
smaller sized tins are available.


The first two paintings on this list are not as long-lasting.

Johnstone’s Non-drip Gloss

Johnstones No Ordinary Paint Non Drip Oil Based Gloss Brilliant White 750ml
  • Premium quality, one coat, non drip oil based Gloss
  • A tough and durable high sheen finish that looks excellent
  • For interior and exterior wood and metal
  • Leading Brand - Manufactured in the UK
  • Fantastic Coverage - Loved by the Professional Decorator

While the top 3 paints in the poll preferred satin finishes, Johnstone’s non-drip gloss took the number 4 slot. And even though the gloss came in fourth, I’ll explain why we shouldn’t completely discount it.

First off, it’s important to note that gloss paint is often quite long-lasting. That is unquestionably true in this instance with the Johnstone’s non-drip gloss. The durable composition, which was developed to endure numerous washes, ought to last a long time on your bannisters.

Second, this specific shine just requires one coat and does not require an undercoat. This indicates that, with a little preparation, you can complete the task quickly.

Finally, it just looks fantastic. Although water-based paints can function just as well as oil-based paints, decorators continue to agree that oil-based paints still yield a superior finish.

If you want to use this paint, be careful to ventilate your home before, during, and after application because, of course, oil-based paint comes with the usual drawbacks, such as the odour.


provides a durable finish that will probably last for years.
It looks great.
Easy to apply with only one coat
One of the market’s top bannister paints in terms of value


is highly reflective

The best paint to use for bannisters

Check out our fast buyer’s guide, which lists the qualities you should look for, if you’re still unsure about which bannister paint is best for you.


The most crucial factor to take into account while painting your bannisters is possibly this. We all want that perfect look, but it won’t matter if your paint starts to fade or scrape off after a few months.

The paint on your bannister needs to hold up because it is one of the most often touched surfaces in your house. Because of this, picking a washable satinwood or gloss is always a wise choice. Even while matt or eggshell paint could LOOK nicer, they couldn’t hold up to the heavy traffic.


If you don’t like the way the paint looks, what good is having durable paint?

The satinwood material, which combines toughness and a lovely mid-sheen finish, would be my personal preference here, but the final decision is yours. Even a high gloss might look fantastic in some homes when combined with specific colour schemes.

Consider how you want your bannisters to appear. Do you want them to be noticeable? Maybe you want them to be a neutral colour to match your current decor. Regardless, aesthetics are important!

Application Ease

Whether you’re an expert or a novice, you should get something that is simple to apply if you want to attain the great finish indicated above. Purchasing paint that will ultimately result in runs and brush strokes on the final layer is pointless.

Don’t be afraid to spend a little more now on high-quality paint that will be a dream to apply and will ultimately withstand the test of time because your paint work should last you for years.

Banister Paint Maintenance

The paint you purchase will have a major impact on how well your bannister paint lasts. If you’ve purchased a high-quality one that was advised by experts, maintaining its attractive appearance should be simple.

Half the battle is won by choosing a paint that resists grease and stains, but for some stains that are especially tenacious, you might need to give your bannister a good wipe down.

Honest Bob is committed to providing genuine guides from a panel of experts. As an Amazon affiliate Honest Bob earns commission from any qualifying purchases. Thank you for your support!

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