In the same home in which the pine floors were refurbished, I was asked to take over the refinishing of a painted banister. The attempts by other professionals to chemically strip the heavy coats of lead-based paint from the steps and railing had failed. My plan was to totally disassemble the spindles and in the workshop, use lathe and knives to re-turn and polish the wood in the same process. The hardest paint is no match for sharp steel. Better still, the wood fibers don’t have to suffer deterioration from the strong, alkaline stripper.