Advice needed on finishing handrails / newel posts
Hello, we have a farmhouse Victorian from the 1890s. We recently replaced all of the stair treads and will be doing the same for the spindles. We are preserving the newel posts and handrails, however, and have stripped them as best as possible. They were obviously stripped previously, since we found tiny reminders of an aqua lead paint in some of the crevices or dents. We are looking for a product to give that dark stained wood look (the spindles will be white) but are stumped as to how to go about it. Staining the wood isn't really an option, because despite our best efforts, in some of the cracks there are remnants of paint that need coverage. I also need to fill in some of the small dents the handrails have received over the years and that would be noticable, I think, with a stain. But I don't think paint would hold up or have that dark brown, shiny coat finish we are after. I don't know the wood type, exactly, and think the handrails may be different from the newel posts. Any helpful advice or tips would be extremely appreciated!
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