Replacing A Stair Spindle

Replacing A Stair Spindle

Over time, the wear and tear of any busy household can result in missing or damaged stair spindles that could quickly become an accident waiting to happen. To keep your family safe and your staircase looking its best, you will want to replace any stair balusters as quickly as possible. Luckily, replacing stair spindles is a fairly quick and simple DIY job that can be completed in 5 straightforward steps as long as you have a few trusty tools at your disposal and some woodworking knowledge under your belt.


You will definitely need:

• A small hammer (think delicate, not demolition)

• Sharp chisel

• Pliers

• A saw

You may also require:

• Digital angle rule or adjustable bevel

TOP TIPS: Tools are not toys and replacing stair spindles should only be carried out by an adult with carpentry experience to avoid accidents, a botched repair job and a pricey repair job.

Cover any delicate surfaces to protect against damage. Keep any children or pets out of the way and ensure the stairs are clear of trip hazards.

Let’s Begin

Now that you have prepped the area and have your tools - you are ready to work through the following steps:

Step 1 - Remove the infill

Use the hammer and chisel to carefully remove the infill that is positioned between the top and bottom of the spindle. This could be glued, pinned or both. Take care not to damage the baserail, handrail and infill.

Step 2 - Underpinned?

Your spindle is now hopefully free but if it is underpinned then carefully remove the fixture.

Step 3 - Clean up

Carefully clean up any remaining loose material using the chisel.

You are now ready to refit your new replacement spindle.

Step 4 - Cut to match

Cut your replacement spindle and infill to match the same angle and length as the one just removed but don’t worry if you no longer have the original. This is where you can use your digital angle rule or adjustable bevel to copy the angles on one of your existing spindles and infill to transfer across to the replacements.

Step 5 - Slot into place

The cut spindle should slot into place - ensure it is parallel to existing spindles and butted up to the remaining infill. You can now cut and refit any replacement infill to both the handrail and baserail and at some point “finish” the new spindle to match the rest.

Do you have a missing or broken stair spindle and can't find a matching replacement?

Our bespoke stair spindle matching service can reproduce an exact copy of an existing turning from the original part, photograph, drawing or a template.