How do I remove spindles on walls?

Written by kimberly johnson | 13/05/2017

Spindles are the thin, often decorative rods usually located under the handrail of stairs. They are typically wood but can also be metal. In the past, a common architectural practice was to create half walls to separate rooms such as living rooms and dining areas. Decorative spindles extend from the wall to the ceiling. If you have tired of this look, you can remove the spindles from the wall.

Place the blade of a sharp utility knife at the bottom edge of each spindle where it comes out of the wall. Run the blade all the way around the bottom to cut through any paint or glue. Repeat the process to cut the paint from the top of each spindle.

Put on safety glasses, work gloves and a dust mask.

Insert a wood or metal cutting blade into a power saw using the manufacturer's instructions. If you are cutting metal spindles, a carbide or diamond-tipped saw blade should be used.

Place the saw blade against the centre of one spindle and turn it on. Press the blade against the spindle until you cut all the way through it.

Move the saw blade upward by approximately 2 inches and cut through the spindle again, just above the first cut. When you finish the second cut, the centre section of the spindle will fall on the floor leaving a gap in the centre.

Repeat the process to cut a gap in the centre of each remaining spindle in the wall.

Set the saw aside and grasp the top portion of the first spindle where it meets the ceiling. Pull downward on the spindle while twisting slightly to remove it.

Grasp the bottom potion of the spindle and pull upward on it while twisting slightly to remove it from the wall.

Repeat the process to pull out the remaining spindles from the wall and ceiling.


If the glue or paint is difficult to cut through with a utility knife, use a chisel and a hammer to remove it.

Tips and warnings

  • If the glue or paint is difficult to cut through with a utility knife, use a chisel and a hammer to remove it.

Things you need

  • Utility knife
  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Power saw
  • Carbide or diamond-tipped cutting blade (optional)
  • Chisel (optional)
  • Hammer (optional)

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