How to Replace Side Panels on Hardwood Stairs


Wooden stairways often have decorative side panels attached to the stringers to improve the stairs' overall appearance. This trimming is subject to wear over time, and its aesthetic appeal reduces as a result. Replacing the trimming helps improve the look of your staircase, but care is needed to ensure the new panels are the exact same dimensions and have the same angles as the originals. Proper measurement and care saves you extra work in correcting mistakes.

Things You'll Need

  • Pry bar
  • Soft sponge
  • Mild detergent
  • Pencil
  • Miter saw
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush or sprayer
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Stair epoxy
  • Remove the existing panels by prying the material off with a pry bar. The trim may be connected to the side of the stair with nails or adhesive. Use care to avoid damaging the original panels because they are useful in preparing the replacements.

  • Clean the side of the stair with a mild detergent and a soft sponge to remove any debris or remaining adhesive. Get the stair as clean as possible because debris or dirt interfere when attaching the new panels. Allow the stair to dry completely.

  • Trace the shape of the old panels onto the wood for the new panels with a pencil. The angle on each step of the trim is vital to ensure it matches up properly when applied to the stair. Either cut the new panels, using the tracing lines, with a miter saw, or have the cuts performed professionally if you aren't experienced in woodworking.

  • Paint the new panels with a paint brush or sprayer if you plan to color them. This helps prevent getting paint on the stairs accidentally.

  • Attach the new panel to the side of the stair. Either nail the new siding in with a hammer, using the old holes in the stair, if possible, to avoid adding more holes, or glue it in place using an epoxy stair adhesive. Follow instructions on the epoxy packaging for best results.

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