Black Iron Stair Railing Makeover

Looking for a budget friendly stair makeover? Don’t miss this simple, affordable way to get a modern iron stair railing look.

black iron stair railings on floating stairs

Rebuilding stairs can be complicated and expensive. Fortunately, on the #clientmomanddad project, we were able to give the staircase in the entryway a fresh, modern look with black iron stair railings.

modern black stairs in entryway

Wood Stairs Makeover

Any time you tackle a big home improvement project, the struggle to find the perfect save/splurge balance is real… And the #clientmomanddad project was no different. After a completely new kitchen, all new bathrooms, new floors, new fixtures, and more, there simply wasn’t a lot of budget left over for new stairs.

But something had to be done. The 80’s floating stairs with green carpet definitely wasn’t going to match the new aesthetic of the home, and the gap between the balusters was too large for safety and current code.

80s wooden stairs before makeover
entryway with orange wood stairs

We considered many options: replacing the stairs entirely, adding more decorative newel posts at the bottom and top of the stairs, having a custom wrought iron stair railing crafted, and more… But as the other projects grew and the leftover budget shrank, we began looking for alternative options.

And I am so glad we did.

french doors and stairs in entryway with black iron stair railing, SW Iron Ore

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Black Iron Balusters

We explored several local stores and online stair parts websites while considering our options, but we were surprised (and pleased!) to find the solution on Amazon.

The secret to this black iron stair railing look is this pack of black iron balusters. We were able to do the entire staircase for less than $100… talk about an inexpensive way to update the look!

As you can see, these stairs have a facemount railing (which just means the balusters are attached to the face of the handrail and runner, rather than being installed in the side of the boards), which makes the installation even easier.

facemount black iron balusters interior

They also offer affordable square and round traditional-mount black iron balusters. All are powder coated for outdoors, but can be used indoors, as well.

We applied the new iron balusters to the wood handrail on the stairs as well as the staircase railings at the top (not pictured). I love the clean lines the iron spindles provide!

DIY Staircase Makeover

We had contractors doing what amounted to a gut job on this house, so we had them do the black iron stair railing, too. But this would be a very do-able DIY stair railing makeover!

light wood floors, white walls, black stairs with black iron balusters

To accomplish this black iron stair railing look (for a cheap stair makeover):

  1. Prep your stairs

    Remove any carpet, nails, etc. and clean the stairs thoroughly to be free of any oils or dirt.

  2. Remove old balusters

    We only kept every third wooden baluster. Unless your new balusters will use the same holes as the old ones, fill those holes now.

  3. Prime and paint your stairs

    These stairs were primed and painted with SW Porch and Floor paint in SW Iron Ore. If you have stair risers, you might consider painting them white like this.

  4. Install new black iron balusters

    Measure carefully to ensure all your balusters are aligned correctly and install on the facing of the stair railings. We installed three between each of the remaining wooden balusters to make the gaps between balusters smaller than they had been previously.

My parents are considering the diy project of adding some oak stair treads to match the floors, but for now the painted stairs are holding up beautifully. I love the new contemporary look and think the contractors did a great job on this space, and I’m excited to see what my parents continue to do moving forward.

see through black floating staircase in eclectic home

Whether you are exploring entryway ideas, staircase makeovers, diy stair railings, or wrought iron stair railings, I hope this simple stair railing idea was helpful to you!

wall color: SW Snowbound | stairs and French doors: SW Iron Ore
iron balusters | light | floors | vintage rug (details)
black pots (similar) | blue and white pottery (similar) | marble top table: custom

modern stairs makeover with black iron railing and balusters

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  1. This looks great. I have a similar situation and was trying to figure out how to make it look better without spending a fortune. I love this idea! Thank you for sharing and including what you used and directions. I can’t wait to use this idea!

  2. I have a similar style oak staircase in desperate need of an upgrade. So happy to see how this turned out for you. You have inspired me to try this. How many inches of space are there between your finished balusters? I really like your spacing!

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