Stair Railing - Hate It!

Here is my stair railing which I have been staring at for 8 years, which goes up and across. I absolutely hate the little squiggly design they did with the wood. I don't like white spindles. There are a lot of them. I was going to paint the spindles black. Can't afford to completely re-do to metal spindles. Have to keep the railings the same color because all my hardwood floors are that color. Let me know your thoughts, please!!!!
q stair railing hate it
q stair railing hate it
  14 answers
  • Babette Babette on Sep 15, 2017
    Painting the oak sqiggle white will help make it dissappear. Dont know if you have kids or what your safety codes are but, i would remove every other stair spindle, then paint them black if thats the color you want. Use wood filler where you remove spindles and stain or paint to match the oak. If you want to replace with metal pick one that you know is a design that isnt short lived. Then you can buy a couple of spindles at a time till you have enough to do the replacement.
  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Sep 15, 2017
    Could you perhaps paint the "squiggly" part of the stairs or the side of the stair to the white that is under it. Leave the stair tread part the way it is. That may blend it so that it isn't as noticeable. It is a bit busy with the scrolling and all the spindles.. Perhaps you could change the spindles to a stain the color of the stairs. It would be a lot of work, but shouldn't be too hard to strip the paint.
    • Chubby58 Chubby58 on Sep 17, 2017
      Thank you Nancy! I think I will start with painting the squiggles white, as I found out today that they were made in long strips and attached. I would love to strip all the spindles ,but there are 89 of them and I think I'll just paint them black. Thank you for the ideas!
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Sep 15, 2017
    Your Staircase looks Arts & Crafts! How about making little Moulding Shelves over each Squiggly Bit where you could if wanted put a little something. and would make the Squiggly bits effectively disappear ,then if desired remove the wooden spindles and replace with Wrought Iron.
  • I_A12355526 I_A12355526 on Sep 15, 2017
    Can the squiggly things be removed? You may have to refinish underneath them, but you can also strip the spindles so it will all match.
  • William William on Sep 15, 2017
    The "squiggly" wood is ugly and distracting. Easiest would be painting the "squiggly" wood white. Eventually you can remove them, cut the squiggly part out and remount them. Do not remove any of the spindles unless you plan to to space the other two evenly. Would be a code violation and look off. Painting the spindles black is a great idea.
    • Chubby58 Chubby58 on Sep 17, 2017
      Thank you William. I know right, they are really ugly. Why they were done that way I have no idea! I am gonna paint those spindles black though. There're are 89 of them, so that will have to wait until the holidays are over. A good winter project.
  • Louise Pittman Louise Pittman on Sep 15, 2017
    re the squiggles in the stars for just the molding? Can't tell from the pictures. If it's the molding which I would think because squiggles would lessen the load bearing of the stairs, I would remove the molding, add a thinner molding painted the color of the walls, remove every other spindle as suggested previously fill holes and paint the remaining spindles black. Otherwise, you might get someone that can replace just the outside square of the stairs and finish it off with like above.

  • B. Enne B. Enne on Sep 15, 2017
    Your railing/stairs can be a different colour than the floor, as long as it isn't close, then it looks off. A lot of people go with dark stain or black with medium toned or orange-y floors, or even paint them bright colours.

    Here is what some other Hometalkers have done,
  • B. Enne B. Enne on Sep 15, 2017
    You could leave the risers the floor colour, and do the rest (treads, railing, spindles, squigglies )in dark stain/black .
  • Melodi Whitaker Melodi Whitaker on Sep 15, 2017
    i would paint the piece on the side white, up to the strip of moulding under the tread, then remove the center spindle on each looks like it will still meet code. You can then paint the remaining spindles black. You could also paint the strip of moulding just under the tread black to give it an even more modern look.
  • Penne Johnson Penne Johnson on Sep 15, 2017
    I kinda like the deco but maybe you would be happier if you refinished the spindles the same color as the rest of the wood. They wouldn't stand out so much and you might not notice them so much.
  • Edie Pfeifer Edie Pfeifer on Sep 15, 2017
    paint the white squiggly, the oak above it, and your spindles all the same color as your walls. This should minimize all the things you don't like.
  • Eye28923158 Eye28923158 on Sep 17, 2017
    Just change it to wrought iron spindles. DIY for a complete project for around $2000. I had 75 spindles and had to restain railings to match floors. It took me (alone) around 2 weeks (nights and weekends most were days waiting between stains to complete). I would avoid top shoes. My stairs were exactly like yours with white wooden spindles. You can see a few top shoes that had slipped down with the help of my 5 yo son. I think yours is straight forward and will definitely be easier. Check out
  • Sharon Sharon on Sep 17, 2017
    I would strip that white squiggly off using stripper, then I would stain to match. Then I would paint the spindles gray to make them disappear using a satin paint.
  • Emily Emily on Sep 18, 2017
    You know the squiggle is just a simple design. If you trace it and include the distance between the squiggle and the end of the facing board maybe a carpenter could cut the requisite number of "squiggle fillers" and you could nail them in place and stain to match the risers and what you have on sides now. I would suggest NOT removing every other baluster. There is a reason they are spaced as they are. I would try to paint them a brown to match the other wood on the staircase. Black would just call more attention to them.
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