Finish for wooden stair rail?

Has anyone got any preferences regarding a clear finish for a wooden star rail? I made the rail from pine and stained it with "old pine" stain. It looks rather nice, but I think some kind of final finish might be in order.
The firs time I did one of these, I used yacht varnish. I vowed to use something different next time. I didn't like the feel of the yacht varnish somehow.
What about some kind of wax? Or would that feel sticky to the touch? (I've never experimented with wax finishes before.
I do have a tin of teak oil somewhere. That might be an option, yes?
Thanks
Al
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In my experience this is a case for the diamond hard polyurethane: and, conveniently, that comes in 'old/antique' pine: though try some first, as I've noticed some are a nice brown colour, and others rather over the top yellow. Especially if you have some nice grain on the stair posts - polish it well with sanding paper first: comes up a treat. Eggshell is what I generally use, but on those post tops some gloss shows off the grain to perfection.
Ordinary varnish always feels tacky and picks up the dirt - especially on those posts! -, but the diamond hard feels nice and dry and is fairly easy to clean. You don't really want to wax or silicone type polish, unless you particularly want the kids to use it as a slide: it is there for *grip* after all: you don't want your granny to fall when she goes to grab the rail with her gloves on.
S
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Thanks. Is this the stuff you used?: http://tinyurl.com/2uvbj4d
Wow - it's expensive!
Al
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On 08/09/2010 09:59, AL_z wrote:

If you prefer a wax finish, Briwax P7 Original is probably the best bet, but it's a relatively hard finish, and hence very slippery.
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[snip]
Thanks to all, for the insights. having read your suggestions about satin/eggshell varnish, I hunted through my old tins and found a spray can of Krylon matt lacquer. It seems to be acrylic. I used that - several coats. I don't know how durable it will prove to be; We'll see. I'm pleased with the appearance and feel - and pleased with the cost: 0.00 (-:
Al
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On Tue, 07 Sep 2010 19:59:04 +0000, AL_z wrote:

I finished mine with clear lacquer* - I can have a look for the tin in a bit and let you know the brand, but it might be something that's not available in the UK. Early days yet of course, but a year later it's not showing any signs of wear or discolouration. Stinks like hell for the first couple of days, though.
* finish is somewhere in the middle between gloss and matte; I wanted a bit of shine, but not *too* shiny if you see what I mean...
cheers
Jules
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'Eggshell' I expect. I favour that too.
S
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AL_z said the following on 07/09/2010 20:59:

If you go for wax as here are some comments ...
a. briwax clear original (as has been said) is good. There is wax in colour too that only provides a mild addition of colour.
b. to apply you would be better off using extra fine wool (0000). I find applying wax by cloth hard work. Then you buff it as much as you like. You cannot stain or apply varnish on top of wax. You simply rewax to bring the surface back to the shine you like.
c. I have used it on oak tables and fire surround, contrary to comments and my expectations, I don't find it particularly slippery ... maybe my fingers...
d. I am not sure if wax would be durable enough to provide a surface to withstand the dirt that goes on a hand rail. It does not like water and similar for cleaning it. Varnish maybe more what you need.
I hope it helps a little.
:-) Charles
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IME the problem with the clear is that any bits caught in corners or grooves show up white.
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