How To Make Wooden Railings For Staircases

How To Make Wooden Railings For Staircases

Staircases are part of our homes and handrails give them a better feel. Handrails make your stairs prettier and safer. It is a very inexpensive way of beautifying your house. It improves the aesthetic value of your stairs.

To begin with, you have to visit your local building authority to be sure that handrails do not need certain permits to build. Also, to know the specifications set for building them. It is important that your work is in sync with the standard set for residential buildings. Also, get a permit if you need one. This prevent future issues like penalties that come with house inspection just in case you are going to try selling your house. If you don’t need it, then we can move forward with our work.

The railings of stairs is quite easy to make. In making them, you have to inspect your foundation. If for any reason you need to replace floor boards, it is better to do it before the rails are fixed. This is because the lessee work you do after the rails have been fixed, the longer the rail stays.


Materials Needed

Tape measure
Carpenter level
Post-hole digger
Nail gun
Wood glue
Epoxy glue
Rail bolt kit, including a nut and washer set for each rail
Sure-tite fastener kit


Measure The Rise And Run Of Your Stairs

The run is measured from the top step to the bottom step. The rise is measured based in building codes, thus is usually 30-36 inches or the average height of people. Using 36 inches, We would measure 36 inches from the same point in each step. Ensure you mark it. Use a tape measure to connect the marks together in a descending order.


Get Your Equipments.

For your handrail, you would need wooden handrails, two sets of brackets and screws. You will also need a drill to complete the installation, and a saw if you need to cut your own returns.

According to most building codes, Your handrail should be a 2×4 piece of wood that at most, 8 feet long.
Also, buy two newel posts, the supporting posts that hold up the rail; you would need one for the top of the stairs and one for the bottom.
You need one baluster per stair step. Balusters are what connects the rail to each step. The height of the balusters should be between 30 and 36 inches, depending on how high you want the railing to be.

You would also need a post-hole digger and concrete mix to pour into the holes.
Sure-tite fasteners for secure installation of balusters in the steps.
You’ll need wood glue or epoxy glue to fasten the handrail to the posts.

Pre Measure The Baluster Lines, Mark Out Where The Newels Will Be Placed,

Measure the balusters. Remember to measure twice to be sure and cut once.

You should not cut any of your pieces till you have laid it down and seen that it would fit

To install the post, use a post-hole digger to dig a hole least 18 inches in depth in front of the bottom step. Fill the hole halfway to the top with mixed, wet concrete. Put a post in the hole. Do ensure that the posts are horizontally aligned and levelled. Wait 24 hours for the concrete to set before installing the handrail. If you want to install a top post to the wooden deck, place the post over the stair stringer in a plumb position. Use four timberlock screws and wood glue to secure it into place and finish it with screws.


Install The Balusters At The Appropriate Point On Each Stair.

Place the balusters 4 inches apart. Mark the point where the balusters should be. Make sure the balusters are aligned with the newel posts at bit ends of the stairs. Drill holes into the steps, then thread the holes with sure-tite fasteners.
If your balusters don’t already have holes, you have to drill them. Drill a standard sized access hole into the bottom of the balusters. Drill another access hole horizontally to intersect the first hole.
Set each baluster, into the sure-tite fasteners on each step. Ensure to tighten them down with a wrench.


Attach The Handrail To The Newel Posts And Balusters.

Apply wood glue to the posts and fit the handrail in place. Wait for twenty four hours for the glue to dry before you can use the handrail. Secure the handrail and balusters together, one piece at a time with a finish nail gun. If you want  extra reinforcement, then you can screw the handrail to the post with a Screw Digger, using a wood screw. Put the screw behind the post and make sure that it is going through both the posts and the handrail together.


Apply An Exterior Primer To Your Finished Handrail.

If the wood is untreated, applying finishing would be great. Finishes are only needed of the wood you used is unfinished. If the wood is not unfinished, just use a stain and polyurethane pre-installation to ensure an easy and simple application. If you want to apply a primer, Use a firm paintbrush to apply a topcoat of primer onto the railing from the top down, ensuring that all surfaces and nooks are covered. After it dries up, apply a second coat. If your choice is painting, use an oil based paint  it would preserve the wood grain and protect the wood against harsh weather conditions. Ensure to use the same technique as the primer and topcoat when  applying.
If you prefer staining rather  than painting, choose a wood stain that contains a deck sealer to preserve the look and feel of the wood.



Remove tapes and erase the marks you made while making references on the wall and railing. Oil the railing with any oil of your choice but I’ll prefer linseed oil. And there you have it; your own hand made wooden rails.