We have a nice old staircase with iron balustrades.

But at the bottom of each is some horrible fixing, we are unsure what it is for - maybe a build of paint as the stairs were painted at one point in the past from previous owners.

Does anyone know what it is and if it can be safely scraped away?

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Yes you can clean it up, but hopefully what is under it looks better that what you see now.

It looks like somebody's sloppy caulk job.

  • So it can all be scrapped away - i dont want to damage the soundness of the stairs – Marty Wallace Nov 7 '16 at 9:20
  • Scrping may be a bit to harsh of a way to do it. A single edge razor blade in a holder to carefully cut the excess flush with the tread is a better way to go about it. The caulk, if that is what it is may be the thing helping hold the baluster in place. Scraping make rake more out than you need. The cutting action I describe will keep material in the drilled hole the baluster is in. Single edged razor is what I would try first, a sharp wood chisel may do better, but since it will hit the metal and dull quickly, it will need to be sharpened often. – Jack Nov 7 '16 at 15:38

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