Replacing A Baluster With A Wrought Iron Stair Railing

What You'll Need
Wrought Iron stair spindles and shoes
Saw capable of cutting metal and wood
Wood putty
Stain or paint
Painters tape

You can easily replace your old wood balusters with wrought iron stair railing using these simple steps. Updating your old wood balusters or stair spindles is an inexpensive renovation to your stairs that can really update the look of your home and give it some extra flair. Follow these steps to update your stair spindles to wrought iron ones: 

How to Replace Wood Balusters with Wrought Iron Railings

Step 1 – Visit a stair spindle showroom to select your new wrought iron spindles, making sure to bring a picture of your current staircase. Count the number of spindles you have so that you can roughly estimate the cost. Look at the different varieties and determine which color, design and size of spindles you prefer for your railing. There are many popular designs to choose from such as the S scroll, basket and straight. You can always combine different designs as well to create your own unique pattern. Be prepared to spend anywhere from $5 to $25 per spindle depending on what look you want. 

Purchase shoes to match your spindles; they come in different shapes depending on their location on your staircase, so be sure to purchase the correct ones.

Step 2 – Remove your existing spindles by cutting three-quarters of the way through each spindle towards the center to prevent the spindle from falling out. Once the section is cut, grab the cut point and pull it toward you to remove it.

Step 3 – Get rid of the broken stair spindles and pull out all the old nails using your pliers. Spread wood putty in the nail holes and allow time for it to dry. If there are any damaged surfaces, sand them now and repaint or restrain the wood before you place the iron spindles.

Step 4 – Measure the space for each spindle individually as you go, adding 1 inch to each measurement. Cut each spindle to the measured length at the bottom end of each spindle.

Step 5 – Use the painter’s tape to tape each iron rail just below the fitting to protect against dripping epoxy. Pull the new wrought iron spindle into the hole of the old spindle. Place the top of the spindle in the hole first then put the shoe on the bottom. Dry fit all the railings before you begin affixing them with epoxy. Work from the bottom of the staircase up. Trim any of the rails as needed as you go, always trimming from the bottom.

Step 6 – Glue the wrought iron spindles, both top and bottom, and their shoes with using the epoxy.

Using these instructions you can have your new wrought iron railing completed in an afternoon. Pick out some wrought iron spindles that will suit your home’s look and get to renovating today.

Note: If you are working on a particularly old house, be sure to check your area’s building codes for stairs, as a lot has changed over the years. Many places now require spindles to be a maximum distance apart, generally 4 inches, and many older homes do not comply with this. Check in your area before you make a renovation that does not meet current building code.