Adding a Modern Farmhouse Railing to Your Staircase

Modern farmhouse railing designs can be beautifully functional, but they are often more difficult to build and maintain than simpler fencing styles.

The trick to building a modern farmhouse fence is to use materials that have stood the test of time and to be careful in assembling the fence so it doesn’t get damaged quickly.

If you are going to spend money on an attractive fence design, you want it to last at least for the rest of your home! This guide will show you how to build a modern farmhouse fence that is durable while looking absolutely gorgeous.

The modern farmhouse style has taken over a large part of the décor market in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why.

The look combines rustic charm with a clean, modern aesthetic, making it a great choice if you want to add character to your home without sacrificing comfort or style.

But if you have stairs in your home that are already decorated with farmhouse railings, you may have noticed that they are prone to stains and often don’t match the overall modern aesthetic of the rest of your home’s design elements.

Here are some ideas for adding a modern farmhouse railing to your stairs.

Step 1: Measure your stairway

Even if you already have a design in mind, it’s important to measure your stairs. Many modern houses don’t feature banisters on staircases (or banisters at all, for that matter). 

However, wood handrails and stair rails are increasingly popular. Once you figure out how long your staircase is going to be, think about what kind of railing would look best against your home’s décor. Stainless steel might work well with light fixtures or other metal accessories while wood trim works well with most styles. 

Of course, there are plenty of other options out there as well! Having an idea of what your railings should look like before actually building them will ensure that they match everything else inside and outside of your home.

modern farmhouse railing

Step 2: Choose your railing

You have two options for your railing material: wood or metal. These materials each have their own aesthetic and characteristics, which you should factor into your choice. 

You can choose all wood or mix wood and metal for a unique design. For example, you could use an iron baluster paired with wooden rails or banisters. While it’s recommended that you take into account both aesthetics and budget when choosing your railing material, you’ll likely want something that complements your home’s décor and works with its overall design (modern farmhouse, industrial loft, etc.).

choose your railing

Step 3: Installing the railing

Since wood is organic and porous, you’ll want to clean it regularly with a gentle wood cleaner or soap-and-water solution. This will remove surface dirt, keep your modern staircase ideas looking new and ensure that you don’t have any problems with rot or other decay. 

(Again, avoid using anything too harsh or abrasive.) Using clear sealer on your railing posts and spindles once a year will also help protect against weather damage. If you do see signs of wear on your handrail  warping, splitting, peeling it may be time for replacement.

installing the railing

Step 4: Cleaning, maintaining and repairing wood stairs

Maintaining your stairs is just as important as constructing them. Catching problems early makes it possible to fix them while they’re still minor and prevent more costly repairs later on. 

It can be frustrating if you don’t know what to look for, but with some routine maintenance and repairs, your stairs will remain in good shape for many years. And remember, wood stairs are built once, but they can last forever if properly cared for.

cleaning farmhouse railing

How to Build a Modern Farmhouse Railing that Lasts

Modern farmhouse railing design can be both functional and beautiful, but these designs are often more difficult to build and maintain than simpler styles of railings. 

The trick with building modern farmhouse railing is to use materials that will stand the test of time and take proper care in assembling your railing so that it doesn’t fall apart too quickly. 

If you’re going to spend the money on an eye-catching railing design, you want it to last at least as long as the rest of your home! This guide will show you how to build a modern farmhouse railing that lasts while looking absolutely gorgeous.

Designing Curved Wood Handrails

There are two ways to design handrails for your stairs. You can either find a local woodworker who specializes in custom woodworking, or you can use CAD software like AutoCAD or SketchUp. We’ll walk you through how to do both in just four steps.

Creating Stair Treads from Wood

Stair treads are one of those things you look at for years without seeing them. That’s because most people take stair treads for granted and forget how important they really are. A good set of treads not only makes your staircase safer and more comfortable, but they also help keep your home looking modern and fashionable. 

When it comes time to build or replace stairs, think about getting some nice wood stair treads. They’re easy to install and easy on the eyes, too!

Natural Finish

A natural finish is inexpensive and easy to apply yourself; it’s also environmentally friendly. To create a natural finish, start by sanding your wood with 60-grit sandpaper. 

If you have knots or other blemishes in your wood, fill them in with an iron-on patch made for furniture repair. Next, mix white glue and water together until you achieve a thin consistency. 

Paint your stain on by hand or use an airbrush depending on how uniform you want your color to be. Once you’ve applied one coat of stain, wait until it dries and then spray or paint another coat on top of it; let dry again before moving on to another coat if necessary.

Lumber List

You’ll want to cut your stair stringers and attach them as soon as possible. Be sure that you measure twice, cut once and make sure your cuts are at 90-degree angles. 

Clamp all your pieces together so they’re flush and drill pilot holes through each piece. Then use a jigsaw or reciprocating saw with metal-cutting blades (skip masonry bits here) to finish making your cuts. 

Use galvanized screws with washers for each of these connections, attaching all of them tightly but not over-tightening because you may split one of your boards if it’s too tight that is definitely something you want to avoid doing!

Cutting Stair Stringers

One of your first steps in building new stairs ideas is deciding how you’re going to cut your stringers, or runners. The best method is by using a jig saw with an extension. You’ll have more control over where you make your cuts, and won’t risk damaging any other parts of your staircase with an old-fashioned handsaw.

Attaching Railings

Railings are great for safety, but they can also add another layer of style and beauty to your stairs. It’s important to follow some guidelines when attaching railings or you may be unhappy with them later on down the road. Here are five tips for installing quality railings on your farmhouse stairs.

Installing Guardrails

On any staircase, installing guardrails and balusters in accordance with local building codes is mandatory. Like stairs themselves, they’re also considered an architectural element (as opposed to an improvement or fixture), so if you’re building your own or adding these features to previously constructed stairs, it’s important that they match existing elements as closely as possible. 

However, there are some pretty big differences between guardrails and balusters when it comes to code requirements and functionality so be sure you get them right. Here are some of the most common guidelines

Farmhouse staircase wall decor

Painted or stained wall panels on either side of your staircase can be as practical as they are attractive. And when it comes to stair railings, look for pieces with hand-railings and decorative balusters ideally, they should match (or complement) each other. 

A little bit of style has no impact on your budget: You can pick up new balusters and handrails at local hardware stores or lumberyards, such as Lowe’s Home Improvement or The Home Depot. 

You can also find beautiful handrailings online from companies like Woodland Direct or Lumber Liquidators. As for painting them? Do what feels right  although you’ll need to be careful about painting over wood stains with latex paint.

Modern farmhouse stair railing

Stairways are made of wood, which means they’re prone to rot and damage from moisture and pests. Choosing a new type of railing is a great way to make sure your staircase stands out, but it isn’t always easy for people who aren’t professionally trained.

If you plan on remodeling your staircase in any way, it is vital that you take steps beforehand in order to ensure safety and quality. Follow these tips if you want your home improvement project to turn out well.

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