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Friday, March 22, 2013

DIY Iron Baluster Upgrade - Straight Handrail

Another gem in the range of DIY luxe upgrades is the Iron Baluster Staircase Rail. Builders offer this feature as a premium, but why pay a premium price if you dont have to?

This is quick project as long as you have the right tools.

Time: 2 people approx. 2 hours
Cost: $4-$8 per baluster / $1 per bottom shoe - for the Ravenna the total was about $200 shipped for upstairs and main floor
Difficulty: Easy

Tools Needed:
- Hand Saw, Reciprocating Saw or Jig Saw
- Channel Lock Pliers

Materials Needed:

This will be the most terrifying part for those with weak dispositions to cutting things and commitment, but this is actually the most fun part. Take your saw and chop right through the middle.

If youre working on a long run with 8 or more balusters just cut a few at a time for stability.

The top of the wooden baluster is typically attached with some glue and a pin nail. Grab the top half with two hands and twist, it will easily release and fall right out.

For the straight run of balusters on the second floor, you just need to pull up and unscrew the bottom halves from the screw shaft, this technique doesnt work on the slanted parts.

After removing the wooden balusters, you will be left with screw shafts. These are very brittle and can be broken  off down near the wood with a pair of channel lock pliers.

Cut your balusters to size via your preferred metal cutting method (Chop Saw, Jig Saw, Recip. Saw, etc). Measure the height from the bottom plate to your handrail, add and extra 1 to 1-1/2" for the top part going up into the handrail.

Once you are satisfied, drop a dime sized bit of epoxy on the top of the baluster before you insert and also on the bottom plate in the center of the square. Wipe off any excess IMMEDIATELY.

Love it!

Good luck!


  1. WOW, Looks BEAUTIFUL!! DH won't have to worry about me doing this project because we have the half wall, no railings. (which I am fine with)

    I also like the mirrors going down the steps, hmmmm......


    1. I have the half wall too. My hubby preferred it!

  2. This looks great! Thanks for sharing this DIY project. You are definitely motivating me to get started on a DIY project!

  3. Thanks for sharing! This is definitely on the to-do list. And I thought it would be way more expensive! I'm encouraged now.
    Please follow me at joiful17.blogspot.com. Thanks.

  4. LoL at that crappy, spammy comment.

    Your railings, on the other hand, are lovely! I think this is definitely on my 'to do' list - as soon as I get a preferred metal cutting method. I have never cut metal. I have a half wall upstairs, and it's going to get modified. I just did not want to deal with railings upstairs. I'm glad I didn't - I have enough things to dust, scrub, and clean up. I can just imagine little dogs and big people getting those railings all gross in my house. I do, really, seriously, live with animals.