How To Remove Staircase Spindles By Yourself

How To Remove Staircase Spindles

Are you thinking about renovating staircase? If you want to renovate your staircase, know that renovating a staircase starts with removing staircase spindles, also known as balusters. But before replacing the steps, you need to extract the stair spindles. Timber spindles include a dowel pin that holds the handrail’s base.

The gaps in the handrail hold the spindles in their place. There are screws in metal spindles that hold them to the treads and the handrail base. Little transportable covers conceal the screws. It can take more than one day to finish the job.

This article will discuss how to remove staircase spindles by yourself. So let’s start. 

How To Remove Staircase Spindles


When you look at the whole stairway railing design, it may seem challenging to extract a particular spindle, but fortunately, it’s not. 

When the staircase builders build the stairs, they use thin wooden fillers called fillets to connect and attach the spindles to the base rail and handrail. 

Basically, the spindles are what holds them together. In order to remove a particular spindle, pull the filets from either side and then it becomes easy to remove the spindle. 

If your staircase is injured or some spindles have broken or snapped, or if you just need to renovate staircase for better aesthetics, you can just replace the old spindles with new ones.

Tools You Need To Remove Staircase Spindles


  • Pry bar
  • Diagonal pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • 3/4-inch screw
  • Drill/driver
  • Ratchet
  • Chisel
  • Socket

Spindle Removal Process


Here’s the step by step process of removing spindles from your staircase:

Step 1. Take Out the Baseboard


Take out all the baseboards around the handrail and newel post. Use a pry bar on the baseboard to loosen it. Withdraw the remaining nails using the diagonal pliers. Or you can use your fingers to remove it.

Step 2. Pop the Filet Out


A wooden piece is between the spindles and handrails, and base rails. Known as filets, they hold the stair spindles in position. Drive the 3/4-inch screw vertically between a spindle using the drill/driver to 3/16 inches. 

Grab the screw top with the pliers and yank hard to take the fillet out. Some small brads will hold it in place. Tilt it to and fro if it withstands until the fillet pops out. Pull out the brads using the diagonal pliers. 

Step 3. Extract the Spindles


Tilt the spindle sideways to extract the fillet. After tilting it far enough, pull the spindle out and extract it, exposing the next fillet’s edge.


Step 4. Keep Extracting All the Fillets and Spindles


Insert the tool under the uncovered end to the following fillet. Remove it by lifting it. Tilt the following fillet to remove it. Extract the next filet by tapping out the following spindle. 

Resume until you’ve removed all the spindles. You will expose several screws by extracting the filets that connect the base railing.


Step 5. Remove the Exposed Screws


Unscrew the nails connecting the base railing to the boards in the stairs. Notice where the base railing joins the newel post. Unscrew the screws that are holding the base railing to the newel post. Pull out the base railing and place it aside.

There are different design and installation types for staircases. If the staircase you’re working on doesn’t have any base railing, it means that all the spindles are attached directly to the floor. 

Find out if any screws are connecting the spindles with the staircase floor and pull them to remove the spindles one by one.


Step 6. Unscrew the Frames


There are supposed to be some metal or wooden frames connected to the railing and wall at the top. Leave them connected to the bannister. Unscrew frames from the nearby staircase wall using a drill/driver.


Step 7. Remove the Handrail


Next, extract the handrail from the newel post. Examine under the railing where the newel post is joined with it. If you find any bolts, remove them using a ratchet and a socket. 

Unscrew the screws with a drill/driver and withdraw them to remove the handrail. Set the railing aside along with the wall frames that are still attached.


Step 8. Remove Any Remaining Bolts and Screws


Scan for any screws or bolts under the newel post. Unscrew any bolts using a ratchet and a socket if you find any bolts. And if you find screws, remove them and the newel post using a drill/driver.

Note: If you feel that a staircase part is stuck, do not force it. Maybe you’ve forgotten a screw still holding it secured. Find out the screw and extract it.


Read this article on how to design modern bannisters If you need ideas for designing the bannister of your new staircase.


To Conclude,


You can reduce your staircase renovation costs by removing the spindles by yourself. Now that you know how to remove staircase spindles by yourself, we hope it will be an easy task for you. Let us know if you’ve benefited from the article.

If you liked this article, you might like our blogs too. 

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