DIY Chippendale Railings

DIY Chippendale Railings by


Many years ago we added a small porch to the front of our home with Chippendale railings.  This fall we noticed that time had taken its toll on the railings and one side was falling apart due to rot.

Damaged Chippendale Railings


The other side of the railing had no rot.

Chippendale Railings with no damage


We removed the damaged side of the railing and began the process of building a replacement.

Damaged Chippendale Railing Removed
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So that the sides would wear evenly in the future, we decided to remove the side that was not damaged and replace it as well.  Our porch was without railings for several months as we built the replacements.

Porch with no Chippendale Railings


How to build Chippendale Railings

We purchased pressure treated 2x4s and 2x2s for the project.  Since we had the old railings, we used them as templates for the new railings.  2x4s were cut to length, and cut on the table saw to the shape we wanted, with a crowned top which generally matched the original shape.

How to Build Chippendale Railings


DIY Chippendale Railings


We started by framing in the  railings with the end post (here on the right) and a sacrificial board on the left – whose end will eventually be fastened directly to the porch columns.  The 2x2s were planed to a slightly smaller dimension so as to square the corners.  The main center cross braces were cut to length and notched such that they would fit together in the center.

Building Chippendale Railings


How to Make Chippendale Railings Cross Pieces


After the main cross braces were in place, the intermediate pieces were cut to length and the cutting angle marked on the pieces.   Once marked, the angles were cut with a powered miter saw (chop saw).

How to Make Chippendale Railings


After cutting, the angles were tested to verify a tight fit and were then glued into place.  The top/bottom and left/right pieces were mirror images of each other, so the angles were all cut the same.  It was important to have a bunch of clamps available to hold everything into place while the glue dried.  Where practical, screws were later added to ensure structural integrity.

DIY Chippendale Railings How to


Building Chippendale Railings


Below you can see that the top/bottom sections are identical, as are the left and right.

Building Chippendale Railings


After both railings were built, we primed them and painted them with two coats of paint.  Here, again you can see the sacrificial board (on the left) that will be removed prior to installation.

Unpainted Chippendale Railing


After the railings were painted, we attached them to the brick with concrete screws and to the vinyl columns with deck screws.

Attaching Chippendale Railings to Brick


Removing the old railings and installing the new ones removed some of the paint from the vinyl columns.  A light sanding followed by a few coats of paint fixed this problem.  The screw holes were filled in and painted over as well.

Attaching Chippendale Railings to Vinyl


Caulk in all necessary areas seals the railings to prevent future rot damage.

Caulking Chippendale Railings


We both are glad to check this project off of our DIY list!

DIY Chippendale Railings


Chippendale doors and railings are very popular in our town.  When I’m walking Sherman or running, I enjoy looking at the many styles of Chippendale doors in our neighborhood.   A local hardware store made our Chippendale front door and Mr. SP crafted the one on our porch.

Chippendale Railings


This project took a few months longer than anticipated due to working on it sporadically.  The wait was worth it!  I’m hoping to get some flowers planted in the pots this week.

DIY Chippendale Railings


Are Chippendale doors and railings popular in your town?  My guess is it may be a southern thing!

DIY Chippendale Railings

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The Golden Sycamore, Imparting Grace, Serenity Now, Tatertots and Jello, Little Miss Celebration, Pink When, Stone Gable, A Stroll Thru Life


  1. I love your chippendale railings, Paula! I had recently noticed that mine (plain, boring railings) needed replacing! I’m going to send you my measurements! 🙂 No, really, you do outstanding work! And I love your porch and front door, too! Heck, I love your entire house! Beautiful. I wonder if my son-in-law can do this if I show him this post . . .

    • Sweet Pea says:

      Thanks, Alli! We were lucky because we had the original railings to use as a guide for making the new ones. It wasn’t terribly complicated, just a lot of cutting and gluing! The painting was tedious, too.

  2. grammygoodwill says:

    I already commented on your FB post, but I love how those railings look and your door, too. I wanted to see if you had made that also. You and your hubby must make a good DIY team! I don’t think I’ve noticed those before, but now I’ll check out houses in Roanoke when I’m out and about.

    • Sweet Pea says:

      I’m so glad you commented! We had the front door made and after examining it, Mr. SP made a matching one for our screened porch. I’ll bet Roanoke is full of Chippendale!

  3. That looks really nice and like a lot of hard work. You have such a great house. I love seeing all of the projects.

  4. WOW, awesome job! Looks beautiful.

  5. I love Chippendale railing, but that is too much of a project for us. Glad you can do it though.

  6. They look fabulous Paula!! What a great and detailed tutorial too! Thanks for sharing!!

  7. WOW! I am continually impressed by your skills! I can’t believe you just built those! They look amazing – I like them even more than the first ones you had!

  8. It is a Southern thing and I love them! Wow Paula, you did such a GREAT job…looks beautiful!

  9. WOW! You guys are super-uber talented when it comes to woodwork! You need to start your own business, you know what you’re doing! -Bev

  10. Love this post so much! Thanks for the great tutorial! You go girl!

    Happy, happy day to you!

  11. You rocked that railing! Your house is so charming! XO

  12. I saw another house with the similar design for their mailbox holder and immediately thought of you, and that’s a good thing 🙂

  13. The railings are gorgeous. Love them and you home is stunning. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me.

  14. caleb crook says:

    looking good mr. and mrs.skulina

  15. Dear Sweet Pea…do you know of any stores where I can buy /order such a railing? We are not do-it-yourselfers!

  16. Anne Hamlett says:

    I am looking for someone to make one wood Chippendale panel for a indoor partially enclosed stair well. is there any company that can take on this task?

  17. Paula…I just saw your project lined on the Blogtalk 2.0 FB group and LOVE your railings! I’ve wanted to build some for the front of our house for the longest time and didn’t know what they were called! Thanks for the awesome tutorial my fried! Pinned for the near least I hope near future project! LOL
    Wendi@H2OBungalow recently posted…DIY Bumble Bee Apron With Free PrintableMy Profile

    • Sweet Pea says:

      Glad you like our railings, Wendi. This style is very popular in Virginia. If you walked around any neighborhood in my town where the houses are older, you’d see a Chippendale door on almost every home.



  1. […] DIY Chippendale Railings from Virginia Sweet Pea […]

  2. […] from Virginia Sweet Pea has an amazing tutorial on her Chippendale Railings!  I love how different these […]

  3. […] Are Chippendale doors popular in your town?  They are in mine!  Just about every house in my neighborhood has a door with a Chippendale design.  A local hardware store made ours and Mr. SP made a matching one for our porch.  You can see how to make Chippendale railings here. […]

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