Replacing our god-awful 1960's stair railing

Replacing our god-awful 1960's stair railing - Kradak -
Member Since:
January 1, 2011
Junior Member


Most of you instinctively know when it's time to get around to finishing the stair railing project--it's the intersection of when your wife's nagging becomes unavoidable and you realize that one of your kids' friends are going to pitch over the side and brain themselves.

I wanted to share with you a bit of my journey and describe this simple job from my perspective.

1. Remove the square-top wood screws from the nasty, old iron railing from the original home. It was fascinating seeing the geological layers of paint that had been slathered on that thing. I really didn't worry about lead paint, since anything that came off was at least a 1/16 inch thick chip.
2. Decide between myself and my sweet superior on what newel, balusters, and rail we'd choose. This was not easy, even though I took the approach of answering her questions with a "Yes, that looks fine. We'll get that one if you like it", and trying to get away with not looking at her suggestions! For me this is a block top newel and iron balusters. This will be as simple as possible from a construction viewpoint, solid and secure, yet not as overbearingly heavy in the space as a box newel. Plus, I'm looking forward to cutting some iron.*
3. She will get the parts and I'll get everything measured up and cut. More to come!
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April 23, 2012  •  10:31 AM
Great way to initiate the starting scandal. I'm looking forward to more steps, too.