How to Make Your Banister Look Like New

So, our puppy (Fisher) who I always talk so highly about, destroyed our banister on our stairs while we were away on vacation. We had wonderful people taking care of him, but I guess he was a little upset that Mom and Dad were gone so long.
We came home to this and much more (far left picture). By the end of this post you’ll see how we transformed it to look like this (far right picture)

Here’s a close up of the damage.
The edges of the banister at the landing (far right picture) were eaten so much there were no corners at all and almost every dowel was chewed on.
We had a new house project that was at the front of the list..fix our stairs. It was either going to be hundreds of dollars for a professional to do it OR we could try it ourselves!
We went for the latter.

Here’s What We Needed (and how much it cost):

  • Timber Mate Wood Filler ($12 Amazon… we got an 8oz container which was just enough for our project)
  • Putty Knife (already had) ($7)
  • Trash bags (already had) ($10)
  • Painters tape (already had) ($3)
  • Sand Paper (already had) (between $2-5)

Most of us have some, if not all of these things hanging around the house, but in the off chance you don’t it’ll all cost you $37. Still one heck of a deal!

Step 1

Line your trash bags along the edge of the stairs and secure to the banister with the painter’s tape. This will help with clean up big time!

Step 2

Sand down the banister until it is smooth to the touch.

Step 3

Wipe down the area you’ll be working on with a damp cloth/paper towel. You don’t want any dust, pet hair, etc on the “new” banister.

Step 4

Apply the putty! Follow the instructions on the container. Ours said to add and mix a percentage of water to the putty which helped the application to be less clumpy and more smooth. In this step DO NOT make it perfect. Just throw it on there and cover all the areas you want to fix. We will sand it down and make it perfect later.

 Step 5

Wait. Ugh, I hate this part of projects. Depending on how much you applied, you’ll need to wait 2-8 hours. Cue Jeopardy music.

Step 6

Now we sand! Sand down the areas you applied the putty. This is your sculpting time to make it match the rest of the stairs. You may even find that after you sand it down and make it smooth, you might need more putty to fill out an area you missed. That’s okay, just wipe down the area with a damp cloth and apply more putty. Repeat step five and begin again.

Step 7

Last Step! Paint the areas you fixed with the matching banister paint.

Step 8

Give yourself a HUGE pat on the back, grab a beer, and enjoy that since of accomplishment. You just saved yourself hundreds of dollars AND now you know how to fix your banister.


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