<<Because the railing has multiple contours,
just scraping won't get all the old finish off. I think the rail is an
oak with some kind of uretane finish.>>
Don't throw away all those nice shavings your jointer and planer spit out.
When you need to strip the paint off irregular surfaces, apply the stripper
you would normally use and then grab (wearing protective gloves, naturally)
handfuls of those chips to scrape it off.
To e-mail, replace "bucketofspam" with "dleegordon"