Porch Post Trim

By Robert Robillard on Columns

Adding Trim to a Porch Post

Dear Concord Carpenter,

I have a side porch that has painted 4×4 posts.  They are fairly new and in great shape but ugly.  I want to make them look bigger and better.

A friend told me to buy 1×4 and 1×6 trim and rip the 1×6 trim to fit.  Any ideas?

Thanks Ron F

Dear Ron,

Your friend is “almost right.”  Most 4×4 posts measure 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ or slightly larger than that – especially if it’s pressure treated.

I suggest you buy 1×6 for all four sides and rip them  slightly larger than the actual dimension.    I prefer to assemble 3 sides, slip it over the post, shim as needed and then install the final trim board to the post.

Allowing for shimming here is not a bad idea as the post will expand and contract differently than the trim.

When fastening the post trim make sure to the install nails only at the top and bottom of the post and only into two opposite sides.  Fastening to the post this way will allow the trim to be less affected by the posts seasonal movement.

Your trim can be primed pine, cedar, pvc or other depending on your budget, tastes and desire for maintenance free.  I prefer pvc.  be forewarned that dark colors and pvc  are a recipe for massive movement, especially on sunny sides of the post!  Avoid the  dark colors on pvc.  Read this post on Porch Repair



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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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