When my sister and I were little girls on house hunting adventures with our parents, two-story homes were a rarity. We grew up in California, in a place with abundant space and excessive heat ——— no one needed a second floor around there. The two of us always admired two-story homes. I came to see two-story houses and stairways as exotic; the kind of thing you saw on television and read about in books. Such things were the domain of the fancy people who lived elsewhere. Fast forward to 2014 and I live in a two-story house with a stairway of my very own.
After some thinking and talking through of the problem, T hit upon a terrific solution. She carved two neat holes in the wall where the handrail attached. Then, she cleaned and patched the edges and fit in wood squares about an inch deep into the wall. Those were secured with deep screws into the study plaster and lathe that remained. Once in the wall, they looked like this.
The wood had been primed and after some discussion, we decided to paint them to match the wall.
T then re-attached the railing onto the durable wood squares, using the original railing hardware. The finished attached railing at the bottom, where the damage was, looks like this up close.