What if we just painted the handrail dark and the rest white like this photo?
White risers, lighter wood treads, white skirts (woodwork running up wall), and dark handrail/spindles/newel post.
Maybe you would like to stain the newal posts and paint the spindles dark???? These are just suggestions so we can narrow it down.
This is my staircase in my current house. Notice the white newal posts, with a combo of dark and white spindles and dark handrail. I think it looks good. Of course, the stained stair tread return makes a difference too. However, I am leaning toward white newal posts and spindles and dark handrail. You won't hurt my feelings if you don't like.
Don't look at the design, just the colors.
This is clean; we could do the top part of the new newal posts stained the same color to match your current handrail and just paint the spindles white again. It would be even cleaner looking with the new newel posts because they will be more contemporary looking.
What if we just paint the new newel posts and keep the stained handrail you have?
This is what I was talking about with white newel posts with stained top like your current handrail stain.
This is nice and clean. We would just need to sand and re-poly your handrail, paint the newel posts and spindles white.
This is the same deal, but what makes the dark handrail work is the painted dark floor.
I like this
Here is what I originally had in mind; iron ore, Sherwin Wms, on the handrail, white newel posts and spindles