I’m am doing an extensive first floor remodel of a 1970s two story home. Part of that remodel included updating the homes staircase.

Originally the stairs were painted white. The customer wanted the threads returned to a natural finish. When we sanded the wood it was discovered that there was quite a bit of old damage. In particular the areas where the old spindles attached to the threads were unsightly.

The owner did not want to spend the additional thousands of dollars necessary to replace the staircase so I came up with a partial solution. I routed out the old damaged areas and replaced them with new wood. When the stairs were sanded and stained they looked considerably better.

Are my patches invisible? No. However, the staircase looks significantly better.

See the photos below for more details.

Marks and damage left from the staircase’s old spindles.
These stairs were painted completely white and had a carpet runner. Their threads were sanded down to bare wood.
Using a small router. The piece is wood is being used as a guide.
Using a homemade guide for the router.
Damaged areas routed out.
Wood filler is added to fill in any gaps around the patches.
The repaired stairs are re-sanded and stained.
Making the best of a bad situation. The repaired areas are much less obvious.
The staircase with top rail, spindles, and post installed. The repaired areas are no longer obvious.