Repair Wooden Patio Stairs in 4 Steps

What You'll Need
Tape Measure
Replacement Wood
Stain or Preservative
Roller or Paint Brush
Disposable Rags/Cloth

Over time wooden patio stairs can often become damaged or broken from use. These repairs are relatively simple to make and can be done in just a few quick steps. This article is going to focus on how to repair or replace the most common type of wooden patio stairs. This method has two diagonal boards (called stringers) that are cut in a saw tooth shape and allow each step (thread) to sit flat in the ledges.

Step 1 – Remove the Damaged Step

The first thing you will need to do is remove the damaged or broken step(s) from the staircase. This can be done by simply prying the thread up and pulling it off in most cases. If the board has individual nails holding it in place you can remove each one if needed to make it easier to remove.

Step 2 – Cut a Replacement Step

The easiest way to measure a new replacement step is to use the old one. Use whatever type of saw you have to cut an exact size match (length, width, and height) of the damaged board. It is always preferable to match the type of wood used originally, if possible.

Step 3 – Attach the Step

Place the new step in the slot it needs to be attached. Usually they can be attached by putting two nails into each side of the board, securing it into the stringer. If you are using two boards per step be sure to leave about 1 cm between the boards for drainage. If the old board caused damage to the stringer you can sand the joints down so that is flat, allowing the new step will fit securely in the groove. To prevent the wood from splitting you can pre-drill the holes in the wood before hammering the nails in place. If the other steps have been there for a long time they may be rounded at the edge from foot traffic. If you really want the new step to match perfectly you can sand the edge of the new thread so it matches the others.

Step 4 – Apply the Stain or Preservative

The last thing to do when replacing a wooden patio step is to paint it with a wood stain preservative. Before doing so make sure the step is secured in place and sanded however you prefer. Apply the stain with a roller or small brush evenly over the entire step. If you have any excess stain puddles wipe them up with a cloth. Allow at least 24 hours for the stain to dry completely before using the steps. Dispose of the extra stain or strain cloths in accordance with the details on the stain canister. Never leave stain rags or brushes in the direct sun, as they could combust and start a fire.