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Some woods can weep sap like that for decades. Let the customer know this is routine maintenance with real wood. It is normal, and not a big deal: scrape it off, scuff the area and re-stain (feather edges if spot staining).

The discoloration on the handrail is mildew. A mild solution of bleach water (and rinse ) will take care if that. Mildew feeds on the oils in oil based stains, so this is not uncommon.

I would suggest moving into a latex solid stain, instead of paint+prime. *You may need to spot prime the knots with bin if they bleed through.
 
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