How to Install a Stainless Steel Banister

If you would like to install a stainless steel banister to give your staircase a more modern look, you will be pleased to know that it is an easy DIY project that you can do in your spare time in a weekend. Here's what you need to do.

What You Will Need
  • Stainless steel banister
  • Banister mounting brackets
  • Stainless steel balusters (optional, but recommended)
  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdrivers
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Level
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Rubber mallet
  • Wood Putty
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain or varnish
  • Self tapping wood screws
Step 1 - Measure the Old Banister

First, measure the old banister. Measure from the top Newel post down to the one at the bottom of the staircase. You should measure two or three times to make sure the measurements are accurate.

Step 2 - Order New Stainless Steel Banister

Visit your favorite local home improvement store and order a new stainless steel banister and mounting kit. If you want to add stainless steel balusters, you should order them at this time. Even if you don't want to install balusters, make sure to order at least a single baluster to act as a support for the center of the banister.

Step 3 - Remove Old Banister

Remove the screws that attach the banister to the upper and lower Newel posts. Then, use the hammer or a mallet to remove the banister from the top of the spindles. Use the hammer with an upward stroke to pry the banister from the spindles.

Step 4 - Remove Spindles

Saw the spindles at the base and try to cut them as evenly as possible so the stair tread remains level. If you're not able to cut the spindles so they are level with the stair tread, use the sandpaper to sand the remainder of the spindle stub until it is level.

Step 5 - Fill Spindle Holes with Putty

Fill any depressions or holes with wood putty and use the putty knife to spread the putty evenly and level with the stair treads.

Step 6 - Install New Banister

Affix the mounting brackets to the stainless steel banister. Then, use the wood screws to mount the brackets to the newel posts. If you are installing balusters, mount each baluster to the corresponding stair tread with a mounting bracket and screws. If you are not installing balusters, choose the stair tread that is in the center of the staircase and install one single baluster to give the banister more support. In most cases, stainless steel balusters will be attached to the banister with clamping rings or epoxy.

Step 7 - Touch up Stair Treads

Use the sandpaper to clean up the areas that you filled with wood putty. Sand the filled holes until they are smooth, and then touch them up with stain or varnish that matches the color of your stair treads. You may need to apply several coats of stain or varnish. Apply coats of stain every 10 to 20 minutes until the color matches the stair treads.

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