How to Replace a Newel Post

What You'll Need
Putty Knife
New Newel
Wood Screws

If you have an old staircase in your home, you may want to replace the newel post over time. Every staircase with a rail has at least four newel posts (two at each end). In between the posts are the banister and the railings running the length of the stairs. Replacing the newel post is an easy way to give your stairs a new look, or to replace old or cracked existing newel posts.

Step 1 – Unhook the Existing Newel

The specifics of this step can vary significantly, depending on the type of newel that is used in your home. Many kinds will have a plug underneath the banister next to the post that will need to be removed. This can be done by drilling a pilot hole and inserting a screw to make the hole open enough to be able to remove the plug with your pliers.

Step 2 – Remove Additional Support

Additional support pieces may need to be removed as well. Some houses have bolts or pegs into the newel post to keep it secure. If you cannot remove the newel post because of the peg, check underneath the floor to see if the peg can be removed that way. Use the putty knife all around the bottom of the newel post to break up any glue that secures the post to the banister or floor.


Be sure to keep any bolt or peg that you remove and mark the location where it went for future use. Once the post has been replaced you will need to put these pieces back together exactly as you found them originally. If necessary, you can snap some digital pictures of the post settings to refer back to when you are reassembling the newel post later on.

Step 3 – Replace the Newel Post

At this point you can remove the old newel post completely from the stair banister. Before you install the new post, check the area for any loose boards that need to be corrected and any debris that needs to be cleaned and removed. The new post will need to match the old post’s fittings very close. If you take the original to any woodwork shop they will be able to fit it properly. Make sure the new post is secure in its new position and that everything fits as it should before you continue. Make any necessary modifications that you need to ensure the post is secure in its new position.

Step 4 – Replace All Attachments 

The final step in the job is to replace any bolts or pegs that were in position to support the original post. These additional supports points can be very important to the overall construction of the stairs, so be sure to replace anything that was removed before you began. Refer to the pictures you took if necessary to duplicate the conditions of the original newel post.