How to Replace Outdated Newel Posts

Written by ehow home & garden editor | 13/05/2017

The newel post anchors the entire balustrade for a stairwell. Older generations favored different designs than contemporary home owners, which means you may need to update the newel posts. This not only provides a fresh look to the stairway, it also allows you to incorporate your own sense of design.

Locate the plug on the underside of the banister next to the newel post. To loosen the plug, drill a pilot hole, insert a screw and use a pair or pliers to pull out the plug. Some newel posts also have a bolt holding them in place. Look for this and remove it if your newel post has one.

Use a putty knife to break the glue around the base of the post. A wooden peg under the house may secure the newel post in place. If you can't easily lift it out, check for the peg and remove it.

Pull out the outdate newel post. Before you insert a new post, reinforce the joint at the bottom of the stairs with a screw.

Insert the new post. You need to match up the fittings for the new post. If you take the old newel post to a woodworking shop, they can custom make a newel post to fit the old fittings.

Replace the attachments. Work in reverse starting with the last item you removed. This could be the wooden peg under the house or it may just be the plug.

Repeat Steps 1 to 5 for all newel posts.


  • Always drill pilot holes to prevent wood from cracking.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always drill pilot holes to prevent wood from cracking.

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