Update railing and banister- Looking forward to ideas....

This railing is so dated. At this time, we are painting it white to update the color scheme (and the walls will be Sherwin Williams Online gray). However, ultimately would like to replace it. Any ideas? I don't mind the railing on the wall. But the open railing and banister is so bulky. I love a more traditional railing. It would also be nice if this railing could be shorter, we are crammed for space when the front door opens. (the door you see goes to the garage and the front door opens toward the stairs). Wondering if we could shorten the banister? Or replace with one that is shorter? Do you think a railing is required by code? We currently have it off toH paint it and I love how open it is. However, that is 4 steps without a railing. Looking forward to ideas.
How can we update this railing? Can we make the banister shorter?
  10 answers
  • Suzette Suzette on Jun 04, 2018

    Hi Valori, Here's a link to Alabama Code: http://www.co.stevens.wa.us/landservices/documents/STAIRWAYSECTION.pdf

    Good luck!

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jun 04, 2018

    Keep in mind that styles come and go. The trend today is the metal rails. Some look more tradition, some are geometric in shape, some use plexiglass, and some use those cables...it depends on what you like.

    Here is a link with enough photos to completely confuse you!!! LOL


  • 27524803 27524803 on Jun 04, 2018

    Since there is no newel post... that could be why the banister is so heavy... if you try and make it smaller it could effect the structural integrity.... so I would leave it alone until you are prepared to replace the entire stair rail system.... You could paint it or parts of it to match the wall paint... that way the function is still there... but it is less "in your face"

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jun 05, 2018

    You could go for the new Toughened glass or Stainless steel or even box it in.........

  • Estelle Estelle on Jun 05, 2018

    Yes we just moved into a house and the previous owner was required for the.inspection to put in the stair railing. I thought I would choose something but when we came.back before closing he had built a wood banister and railing in pine instead of oak. It is also at my front door and we had to have a carpenter shorten it. The bottom of the first ballister on the floor was cut back a few inches so I could open my door. I wish I painted it white because it wasn't smoothed and stained properly. In your case it looks like your steps go beyond the railing. How would they cut that.. maybe you could have the door open the other direction but still open inside?

  • V Smith V Smith on Jun 05, 2018

    You are so lucky. I have this same railing on 2 staircases and across 26 ft of loft. It is so sturdy, because each picket is screwed into the rail and the structure below, that we hesitate to remove it. On our railings the pickets were stained and left rough it will be a nightmare to sand and paint. It is dated and it is not the Best of the 80's. If you leave it I would suggest you paint it the same color as the walls so that it disappears.

  • Helen Helen on Jun 05, 2018

    There are many . many ways. On the risers, paint white and leave wood natural. use wallpaper or another on risers only. Glue in place different wood trim to made it have a pattern of its own. Paint contrasting color, Mod Podge colorful paper/ napkins on risers. Your imagination can go wild.

  • K K on Jun 05, 2018

    If it were mine, I would get it and the huge handrail taken out. I haven't an idea on cost but if you have a reciprocating saw, you could saw the banister etc off. But that is desperate and I don't know your codes there. ;)

    The cheapest way to improve it, or anything in general, would be to paint it white. And I agree they should be shortened. Pick out something at Lowe's or Home Depot, we have a Menards, they can hire people to put it in sometimes.

  • Judy Judy on Jun 05, 2018

    Personally, I would paint the rail on the wall a slightly darker gray than your wall and then stencil a design on the outside or not. Paint the top of the other rail the same color as the wall rail and then the outside rungs the same color as the wall, That should make it brighter and far less obvious. The rungs will blend with your wall and you won't have to do any construction or give up important safety features. It's all in the paint.

  • Valori Kay Bross Valori Kay Bross on Dec 28, 2018

    Thank you all for your advice and ideas for our railing. We did end up painting it white and I like it a lot better. Ultimately will look for something to be less bulky, so the entry has more space. However, was so excited when I put up my Christmas greenery, loved the contrast with the white woodwork! I love my new gray walls.

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