Replacing an old stair banister

Replacing a damaged staircase banister isn’t a hard job and it can be done by an inexperienced person. There are some basic steps that need to be followed in order to complete the project with success.

Some of the materials and tools that you will need are:

  • Chisel
  • Railing System or individual banister pieces – railing, newel post, spindles
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Dowels
  • Carpenter’s glue
  • Rail bolts
  • Hammer
  • Painter’s tape

New banister

You can find new banisters at your local improvement store.

By changing a damaged banister you will surely enhance the look of your stairs and your home. Choose something that matches the decor of your home.


Measure the existing banister. This will give you an approximate size. You can cut the new one in size if you need to.

Removing the old banister

For this task you will need a chisel. Begin with the handrail and remove the stair banister. Be careful with the spindles if you plan on reusing them.

Newel post removal

Remove the screws from the newel post’s base. Clean the area for any splintered wood.

Installing the new newel post

To firmly secure it in place, you will need to use dowels, screws, glue and rail bolts. You may need to remove the sub floor, and anchor the post to the floor joists. You need to make sure that the post is firmly attached. This is the cornerstone of the whole stair railing.


Next, you will need to drill a hole in the side of the newel post, where the handrail will be attached. Insert a long screw.

Securing the bottom rail

Secure the rail with glue and replace the spindles in the reverse order that you took them apart. Also use glue for the spindles. Prevent glue from dripping on them by using some painter’s tape.

Securing the handrails

Also use glue for the handrail. Drill screw holes in the wall where you will attach the brackets for the handrail. Place the handrail on the brackets and on the spindles.

Now let the glue dry and remove the painter’s tape.

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