To repair a loose staircase baluster spindle:

  1. Apply wood glue to a flat toothpick.
  2. Push the toothpick into the gap between the baluster and railing.
  3. Score the toothpick with a utility knife, and break it off.
  4. Wipe off any excess glue.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information


Joe Truini: If you have a wooden balustrade in your home, you might be familiar with this problem—a loose baluster. It’s not that big of a problem, but if you don’t repair it immediately, you may have to replace it. So, we’re going to avoid that with a really simple tip using a toothpick.

First, take a little wood glue and apply it to the toothpick. And it’s best using flat or square toothpicks, as opposed to round ones. Then we’re going to take it, find the loose baluster, and just jam it up into the space behind the baluster at the top where it goes into the underside of the handrail. Look at that. It’s as tight as all the others.

And now, we’re just going to take a sharp utility knife, score it, and snap it off. There you go. You just use a paper towel to wipe off the excess.

Now, in this case I was able to fix it with a single toothpick. But if the hole is too large, you can put toothpick on both sides, and that’ll solve the problem.

Editorial Contributors
Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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