How to Wrap Front Porch Posts With Cedar
Porch posts serve as structural support for the porch roof but can also provide curb appeal to your home exterior. One way to upgrade the look of your porch is to wrap your ordinary porch posts with cedar cladding.
Cedar is well-suited for covering posts, as it is attractive, grips fasteners well and is naturally resistant to water and insect infestations.
Things You Will Need
- Table saw
- Chop saw (optional)
- 220-grit sandpaper
- Countersink bit
- Silicone sealant
- Wood screws
- Damp rag
- Wood plugs and wood glue (optional)
- Wood filler and putty knife (optional)
- Wood sealer
As an alternative to miter cuts, locking rabbet cuts can be made in the board edges.
Do not use this technique to restore strength to unsound posts, as the cedar boards are strictly ornamental.
Set the blade on a table saw to a 45-degree angle for creating miter cuts. Move the rip fence toward the blade to a distance that will create a cut matching the width of the posts. Keep in mind that the inside edges, not the outside edges, of the miter cuts need to match the width of the posts. Rip four boards for each side of each post.
Cut the board lengths to match the height of the posts by making cross cuts on the table saw, or with another type of saw such as a chop saw.
Sand frays from the cut edges of the boards with 220-grit sandpaper.
Dry-fit the boards onto the posts and drill two pilot holes each near the tops, at the centers and near the bottoms of the boards. Use a drill with a countersink bit. Wrap cloth-covered bungee cords around the posts to hold the cedar boards in place during this process, and position a piece of cardboard under the hooks so they don't mar the cedar's surface.
Apply beads of outdoor silicone sealant to the mitered edges to ensure watertight seals.
Screw the boards in place with corrosion-resistant wood screws and the drill. Remove the bungee cords. Wipe off any excess silicone sealant with a damp rag.
Conceal the screw heads and fill the countersunk holes by gluing in matching wood plugs or by filling them with wood filler, using a putty knife.
Paint the boards with outdoor wood sealer and a paintbrush.
Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.