If you have an old banister that looks worn, chipped or scratched, you can create a new banister to replace it. It's easier than refinishing the old banister if it has many curves and angles, and the new banister will have a sleek, modern look. Just remove the old banister and replace it with a straight-lined strip of wood. Then stain the wood and decorate it with carved wood blocks for added beauty or concealment of screws. It's an easy woodworking project that you can make yourself.
Remove the Old Banister
Begin by removing your old banister. Leave the metal framework in place but remove the wood top. If the screws holding it in place are worn through, you will need to pull them out with force. Don't worry about stripping the old banister as you'll be throwing it away.
Measure for the New Banister
To measure for the new banister, you'll need to measure both the width of the metal framework on which the banister will sit, and its length, to determine how long the new banister should be. Also, be sure to measure the angle where the banister connects to the wall.
Buy New Wood for the Banister
At the lumber or home improvement store select a plank of wood that's at least six inches tall. Make sure that the wood is the right width to sit on your banister metal framework. Cut the wood using the store's wood cutting service. Duplicate the correct angle for fixing the banister to the wall, and (for symmetry) repeat this same angle at the opposite end, even if that part of the banister remains exposed where the stairway begins.
Stain the New Banister
Be sure to use wood conditioning before you stain your new banister. This will ensure a deep, even tone. Choose a stain that fits in with the rest of your stairway. And be sure to apply three coats, to prevent wear-and-tear of the banister staining.
Attach the Banister
Attach the banister to the old metal framework using new stews. If the framework has no screw holes, drill one's yourself. Don't worry if the screws will show in the banister itself, as the next step will offer a decorative concealment that fits over the banister.
Conceal Screws and Decorate the Banister
At your home improvement store buy carved wood blocks for ornamenting your banister. These are also ideal for gluing over any screws, to conceal them. Be sure to stain the banister decorations to match the banister itself. And don't glue too firmly, in case the banister needs to be removed in future.