How to Fix a Stair Railing That Has Pulled From Sheetrock.

5 Materials
2 Hours

When my son moved out a year ago, he needed to remove the stair railing to get some of the furniture up from the basement. When this was done, somehow the screws were more ripped out and huge holes were left behind. I wasn’t sure how to firmly reattach it so it was left off for a while. Then one day, we had some workmen coming to work on the hot water heater. I realized it was unsafe to have them going up and down the stairs to the basement without a railing. I grabbed some lumber that I had in the garage and the end result is my solution.

Before: Holes in drywall

Here is a before shot. They were huge! There was no way the railing could go back up using these holes.

I used some 1 by 4’s that were in my garage. I cut an angle on the bottom to run along the baseboard.

Here’s a better picture of the angle on the bottom.

I generously applied liquid nails to the back.

Then I used a brad nailer to attach the boards to the wall. Once it was dry, I reattached the railing with wood screws. It feels very secure.

While functional, I didn’t like the unfinished way it looked on top. I didn’t know how to make it look better. I thought about running a board all the way down horizontal to the baseboard but that seemed beyond my carpentry skills so for months, it stayed like this.

Until today...

I measured the board to determine what size to cut the wood toppers.

I took so scrap 1 by 2’s and cut them to 4 inches each.

I put some wood glue on top and put the wood topper on top. I wanted to brad nail it in place but my nailer wasn’t working. But these seem to be fine without any nails.

Here is a close up.

I taped around them so that I could paint them.

I used some high gloss trim paint that I had on hand.

I should have primed them first. It would have been quicker and easier had I primed them first but my laziness made me work twice as hard in the end.

I’m so happy with how it turned out!

What do you think?

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3 of 4 comments
  • William
    on Oct 1, 2020

    Another option would be to use toggle bolts where there are no studs. Those toppers look like an arm scratcher and unfinished. I would've ran a board across the top.

  • Beverly Bowers
    Beverly Bowers
    on Oct 1, 2020

    I like what you did and more importantly if you like it that’s what matters

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