How to Install a Wood Banister

  • 5-10 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-1,000
What You'll Need
New wooden banister
Measuring tape
Marking pencil
Wood glue
Wood screws
Drill with drill bits
Sandpaper and electrical hand sander

If you would like to replace the wood banister on your staircase, you could hire a professional carpenter to do the work for you. However, installing a wood banister is a great DIY project and much easier than you might think. You can replace the banister for your stairs in a day and it will be ready for use in no time at all. So, here is a handy step-by-step guide that will show you how to install a wooden banister for your staircase.

Step 1 - Measure Old Banister

If you are replacing your old banister, measure the current one so you will have the appropriate dimensions for the replacement. If you currently don't have a banister for your staircase, you should measure from the top to the bottom of the staircase and add 3 to 4 inches just to be safe. You can always cut the banister down to size when you're ready to install it.

Step 2 - Buy a New Banister

Visit your local home improvement store and order a new banister that matches the same specifications as the old banister or staircase area.

Step 3 - Remove Old Banister

Chisel away the old banister where it joins with the spindle. Once you remove the banister, go back and sand the spindles until they are smooth and free from any glue that was used to hold the old banister in place.

Step 4 - Measure Diameter of Spindles

Measure the diameter of the top of the spindles. This will give you the diameter of the drill bit that you will need to drill holes in the bottom of your new banister.

Step 5 - Measure Depth of Spindle Holes in Old Banister

Also, measure the depth of the holes that were used on the old banister. It is best to drill holes in the new banister that are the same depth.

Step 6 - Drill Spindles Holes in New Banister

Use the appropriate size drill bit and drill holes for the spindles in the bottom of the new banister. Measure the distance between holes carefully and drill all of the holes to the same depth.

Step 6 - Apply Wood Glue

Apply generous amounts of wood glue both on the tops of the spindles and inside the drilled holes on the new banister. When applying wood glued to the spindles, add it only to the area that will be inserted into the spindle.

Step 7 - Place New Banister into Position

Have someone help you place the new banister into position. Carefully place the banister over the top of the spindles and insert each spindle into its corresponding hole individually. When all spindles are placed into the correct hole, press the new banister down onto the tops of the spindles. Wipe away any excess glue.

Step 8 - Secure Banister to Newel Post

Use wood screws to attach the banister to the Newel posts. These are the large posts at the top and bottom of the stairs.

Step 9 - Allow Wood Glue to Dry

Allow the wood glue to dry 24 hours before using the new banister for stability.