Ok that was bad. Here's the story. Every time we saw the house, I kept looking at the banister and thinking that there is something amiss. Well as it turns out there was something funky about it. Its painted to look like wood, which had the odd effect of making it look like plastic. Not good fresh new plastic but worn out, beaten up, at the end of its life plastic.
See for yourself.
Well that left me with a few choices. One, I could take the time to strip numerous layers of paint and finish out of all the nooks and crannies, sand it, and then have to refinish it.
Option number two, just paint over it all. (which still isn't as fun as it sounds)
I choose paint. (it was cheaper)