There are few trends my husband and I are ahead of before Pinterest. But this wrought iron spindles update was one of them. And the best news is the tutorial works when wood spindles return or if you want to update your wood spindles ion your front porch.

I also include money saving tips below.


Our original spindles (balusters) were builder-grade, wood spindles with a high gloss white painted finish. This how-to-replace wood spindles to wrought iron spindles project was one of only two DIY projects where we were ahead of the trend.

This was the other DIY project.


I  lovingly refer to our home’s layout as a “brownstone in the suburbs.” We have five levels with four staircases. Our home has many steps and twice as many spindles. The 141 white spindles did not match our vision for the rustic/industrial/contemporary/farmhouse design feel we envisioned.

 Here is the view from the top level. 


Our kids would entertain themselves by tossing bouncy balls, socks and Goldfish crackers from the top level down to the lower level. 

I like to believe my children were early physics enthusiasts. 

Anatomy of a Staircase 

We started this project with a contractors quote to replace the wood spindles with wrought iron spindles.

His quote was just under $5000. Just under.

After we ran the material and labor costs, we decided to learn how to replace the wood spindles with wrought iron spindles. 

While searching for wrought iron spindles at big box stores and online retailers, we learned every retailer has a different name for the different staircase parts.


We found our spindles via a West Coast distributor. But, since this project, Amazon has many options including these spindles. #ad

Like every DIY project, every decision impacts the price. Our home had 141 wood spindles that needed to be removed and replaced with wrought iron. 

How To Replace Wood Spindles with Wrought Iron

When we calculated the price we were lucky because neither of us liked the fancy, scrolled or “twist” spindles.

Instead, we preferred the clean lines of a straight spindle which was great because it reduced the price per spindle.  


The second decision to impact price was to opt for the hollow spindle (bar) versus a solid bar. We quickly decided with 141 spindles we did not need the solid bar. 

Another consideration that impacted price was the number of “knuckles” on each bar (see image above). 

We decided to alternate the bars with a one-one-two-one-one-two pattern.


The final step was to attach the “shoe” to the base of the spindle and to the floor. The shoe secured the spindle to the base or the rail.” 

Every  shoe had to be tightened with a little screw. Our kids joined in on this last phase. Over the course of several nights, we tightened and double-checked 141 shoes. 

Finally, we found an addtional way to reduce the costs, was to buy in bulk. We approached a few friends and neighbors who had expressed interest to replace their spindles.

And, the bonus was we did not have to pick the same spindle style to get the bulk discount. We received free shipping as long as we mailed the bulk order to one address.

Since we completed this project, Amazon has jumped into he wrought iron spindles. I found these for reference. We completed this project for a total cost just under $1500. We love the look and almost ten years later it was the best decision to replace the wood spindles with wrought iron. Would love it if you pinned the image below for others to find too!

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  1. When are we painting the railings?!

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