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Latex Paint and Water-Based Polyurethane

Dan36's picture

We have just installed a new newel post and hand railing in our son's kitchen and want to finish them in the same white color as the cabinets.  The railing will get a fair amount of use and I am worried about using only latex paint.  It has been suggested that I mix polyurethane with the paint to make the surface more durable. 

Three questions:

  1. Is it necessary to use polyurethane if we use good quality paint (Benjamin Moore) on the railing?
  2. Is it acceptable to mix these two and, if so, in what ratio?  Will that amount of polyurethane dilute the color so it won't match the cabinets?
  3. Can we paint the railing with the latex and then put polyurethane on top of it?

Many thanks,  Dan