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How to Repair a Handrail in Drywall

Steve Bradley

A loose handrail can lead to serious injury and must be repaired immediately. However, how you go about fixing it depends on the type of material it is attached to. If the handrail is for an indoor staircase and is attached to drywall, you must make some basic repairs to the drywall before rehanging the handrail. Luckily, with a few simple materials and a little know-how, this is not a hard job.

Step 1

Take the handrail off the wall by using a screwdriver to remove the screws. If the staircase is longer than 6 feet, have someone help hold the handrail once each section of screws is removed. Without assistance, you risk further damaging the wall by causing the handrail to pull too hard from the remaining screws.

Step 2

Remove any loose drywall material from the screw holes on the wall. With a small putty knife, gently scrape the area so that nothing is left but strong material to work with.

Step 3

Insert quick-setting joint compound into the damaged areas and screw holes with a small putty knife. If the hole is deep, you may need to apply the patch in layers, waiting about a half an hour for drying time between each one.

Step 4

Cover any large ares of repair (more than 1 inch in diameter) with mesh drywall tape. This will add additional strength to the repair. Cover the tape with a thin layer of patch.

Step 5

Sand the compound once all areas have fully dried, which should take about one hour. Then paint to match the rest of the wall.

Step 6

Reattach the handrail using 2-inch drywall screws to ensure a strong hold.