You love your home, but there are always small projects that need attention. Maybe the front-porch steps are a bit shaky or the steps off the back deck feel like someone took more than a few tumbles, or maybe it’s just that the steps inside of your home totally clash with your style and décor. No matter which problem you have with your banisters and stairs, it’s nothing a DIYer like yourself can’t fix. Here are a few tips to easily take on banister repair:
Your staircase has three parts: the banister, the newel posts, and the rails. The banister is the top of the stair railing you grab as you walk up or down the stairs. The newel posts are the main supports for the railing, and the balusters are decorative spindles in between the newel posts.
If it’s a case of loose railings, you need to figure out which rungs are causing the issue. You should be able to determine which part is the problem by grabbing the railing and pulling just a bit and judging how much it moves. The areas that move more than normal are the ones in need of repairs.
If the problem is a loose or missing baluster, take a look at it and determine what options you have. A loose baluster requires either tightening or additional support. A missing baluster
may require you to find something to replace it so that it doesn’t look out of place.
While you’re at it, it may be a good idea to go ahead and inspect your entire banister for additional rungs that are loose that you are unaware of so you can fix them all at the same time.
You should have already determined which balusters are loose and needs repairs. Now you just need to apply some wood glue to the opening where the spindle attaches to the railing to help secure the spindle in place.
Finish by drilling small holes to add small finishing nails through the baluster at an angle and into the railing. You want to use a drill bit and nails that are small enough not to split the wood, so keep that in mind while you gather materials.
If your handrails are loose, you should take a look at the brackets and screws that connect the rail to the wall. While you’re looking at the brackets, determine if the bracket is attached to a stud. If it isn’t, you should find a stud and move the brackets to that stud. Tighten any loose screws where possible, and remove any screws you can’t tighten.
Reinforce the hole with a drywall anchor, and use longer screws in the anchor to give the bracket the best chance of holding in the future.
The newel posts are at the top and bottom of the stairs, and are responsible for holding most of the weight of the staircase. These posts are secured in place with bolts, so you may be able to just use a wrench and tighten the bolts.
If tightening the bolts isn’t enough, remove the bolts and purchase lag bolts a size bigger than the bolts you removed. Install those bolts and add additional nails in place along the bottom of the post if necessary.
You may have banisters and stairs that are tight and in great condition, but still you have a problem. They don’t match the style of your home or they are just completely unappealing to you. This is something you can easily remedy with paint or stain.
Look for some creative ideas to update and change the look of your staircase and choose your favorite one. A stain is a great way to transform an indoor or outdoor banister.
First, you want to make sure the wood is in the best condition possible. Take time to clean it and fill in any imperfections with some wood putty. Once the putty is dry, sand it down to create a level surface. Now use a damp rag and wipe down the railing once more to remove any particles left from sanding.
Use a foam brush and apply stain to your railing using an outward motion. Try to keep the movements and the amount of stain consistent throughout so you have an even, neat coat.
Next, you may want to finish the stain by wiping it with a rag before it dries. This is a good way to remove any excess and add a natural-looking finish to the stain if you’ve applied it with a brush. If the stain isn’t as dark as you want it, let it dry and apply another coat or more, drying in between each, until you get the look you desire.
These tips will make banister repair easy and help you keep your staircases functioning safely and looking great all year long. Remember that in most cases, you can tackle these jobs yourself with the right information, materials and tools.