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How Do You Refurbish a Staircase?

In many homes, the staircase is a key focal point to the space due to it taking up a lot of room and being used so regularly to manoeuvre between the different levels of the property. However, as decor and style changes, the staircase can begin to look outdated in comparison to the remainder of the house. Therefore, London Joinery Services are here to explain exactly how to refurbish your staircase and make a big difference to your decor.

So, how do you refurbish a staircase? Some simple steps to refurbishing your staircase include; replacing your handrail, renovating any worn treads, replacing old newel posts, and even giving your staircase a lick of paint. These steps can transform your old staircase into a statement feature that demonstrates your style and creativity.

Keep reading to find out more about what tools are required to refurbish a staircase as well as whether a staircase refurbishment is worth it.

How to Refurbish a Staircase

It is easy to assume that renovating a staircase is a difficult task but actually if you have the correct information, it can be quite achievable. Below we have detailed some of the simplest steps you can take to make a big difference to your outdated staircases.

Replace/ Refit the Handrail:

Before you decide to completely replace your staircase, it is a good idea to try and replace or refurbish particular features of the staircase instead. This is because it can make a bigger difference than expected, and may end up saving you a lot of money. By simply measuring the length and width of your current handrail, you can shop around for a handrail that is more suited to your new decor and replace it quite easily.

If you need some guidance on how to replace your handrail, take a look at this helpful video below.

Renovate the Worn Treads:

Another step that can make a big difference to the renovation of your staircasing is to replace any worn treads and risers that you notice. The treads in your stairs can become quite worn if they are exposed and not covered in carpet. The treads are a very easy component to renovate and can make a big difference to the aesthetic of the staircase. To renovate any tired looking treads, all you need to do is sand down the wood until any paint or treatment is removed and then retreat the wood again.

Replace the Newel Posts:

The newel posts are probably the feature that can make the biggest difference to how dated your staircase looks, especially if they are not in line with the decor around your house. Replacing the newel posts can improve both the structural support and the design of the staircase, to give it that refreshing look. You can replace the newels for something more understated such as wooden newells or you can go for something more fancy by installing glass in between the newels, which can open up the space and add more light.

Here are some before and after pictures from when the old newels were replaced with glass on a staircase by The London Joinery Services.

Refresh the Staircase with Paint:

Another simple way of bringing some colour and life back into your outdated staircase could be to paint it. You can paint the staircase a completely new colour, paint the newels a different colour to the handrail, or even add your own designs. Either way, we would recommend that any wooden aspects of your staircases should be sanded down before you apply fresh paint to them. This will make sure that the pain application is as smooth and effective as possible.

Below are some before and after pictures from when the staircase was refreshed with some paint by The London Joinery Services.

What Tools are Required to Refurbish a Staircase?

Deciding to refurbish your staircase is one part of the challenge, but you also need to make sure that you have the correct tools for the job. The last thing you want to do is be halfway through and then realise that you don’t have the correct tools for the job. Therefore, we have created a handy table of the tools you may require for your staircase renovation.

Hand Sander

​A hand sander is a key piece of equipment that you will require for refurbishing your staircase. Using sand paper will take so much longer and will not create a desirable finish as well as hand sander would.


If you decide to remove or fit new newels, you will require a drill with appropriate drill bits depending on the type of newel. Whilst you might be tempted to use a screw driver for this step, you will not be able to secure the newels tight enough to create a professional finish. You want them to be safely secured for when you are using the staircase. The drill can also be used to replace handrail.

Paint Brush, Painter’s Tray & Masking Tape

When painting the staircase, you will require paintbrushes and masking tape to make sure you don’t get excess paint on other areas of the staircase. This is particularly helpful if you are choosing to keep the handrail as natural wood but paint the newels a contrasting colour.

Pencils & Ruler

Pencils and rulers may seem very simple but are essential tools for refurbishing your staircase. They are useful for making measurements and markings which will help with the installation of new features of the staircase.

Hand Saw

It is always helpful to have access to a handsaw when you are refurbishing a wooden staircase. The reason being that, it is quite easy to have measured certain features incorrectly, and you may end up needing to shorten pieces such as the handrail or the newels.

Sealant & Wood Glue

Sealant is also an important part of refurbishing your staircase because it helps to finish off any raw edges by making them appear smoother. Wood glue is also very useful for any instances where you need a quick fix for fitting small pieces of wood together.

Is a Staircase Refurbishment Worth it?

It is understandable if you are torn between refurbishing your staircase or just leaving it for another couple of years, however the difference that it can make to your home is often underestimated. By completing even a simple restoration on your staircase you can create a focal point that can seem quite artistic. This is particularly effective if you choose to paint your staircase because you can make it as unique or as simple as you please.

What’s more, by refurbishing your staircase, you save yourself a lot of time and money, whilst also not having to be without an usable staircase in your property. Refurbishing a staircase can be a lot quicker, especially if you are only changing the odd feature such as the hand rail.

Furthermore, it is worth refurbishing your staircase because it means you will have more control over your design rather than ordering something that is similar to every other household. You can choose the colours, materials and designs yourself and to top it off everytime you look at it you will know it was something you did yourself!

Staircase Renovation at London Joinery Services

London Joinery Services have a fully equipped workshop in North London, that is ideal for manufacturing and refurbishing a variety of bespoke joinery products such as hand-crafted furniture and staircases.

If you are interested in discussing your staircase renovation options and seeing how we can bring some life back to your outdated staircase, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.

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