Update a Column





Introduction: Update a Column

About: Nursing pays the bills and feeds the habit....addicted to DIY:)

I'm remodeling my parents old house... 30 years of memories and a family neighborhood turned rough. I moved them closer to me and swore I would put all my own resources as well as every last ounce of energy I had into it if they would just agree to move. They did- and I have finally completed the inside and moved to the exterior.
Not wanting to purchase new columns I came up with a plan.

Step 1: What You Need...

1. 1/4" plywood sheet- (I used pine)
2. Nail gun (pin nailer would work too) and compressor.... Or good ole' hammer and nails...
3. Wood glue
4. Wood filler
4. Trim of choice
5. Paint
6. Miter saw
7. Jigsaw or reciprocating saw or table saw
7. Finishing sander with 60/120/220
8. Measuring tape and pencil

Step 2: Measure and Cut

Measure your column. Height and width. Add 1/2" to the width to allow extension of 1/4" on each side. I measured one at a time and cut because you have to take into account the width of the blade you cut with- and if you measure all at once you will end up with smaller pieces and have to cut new ones.

Step 3: Nail 'er on Up

I used a nail gun with 2" nails to attach the plywood to the existing column. Then used a pin nailer with 1/2" pin nails to nail the butt joints together. The plywood is so thin... It wasn't possible for mitered edges (for me) and kudos to anyone who can do that!!

Step 4: Glue and Fill

Glue the nail holes. I promise you...you will be glad you did this. Then fill nail holes with wood filler as well as the areas at the butt joints as needed.

Step 5: Sand

I did a rough sand with 60 grit just to get any rough edges under control and moved to a 120 and finished with a 220 grit using the finishing sander.

Step 6: Trim It

Trim in itself is a preference. I used some left over trim from the inside and a 2x2x8. I Mitered the edges according to the new measurements at the base of the column using a miter saw at 45 degrees and used the pin nailer with 2" pin nails and repeated prior steps of glue, filler, and sanding with 120.220...(no 60 on the trim). I also glued my joints.

Step 7: Paint

Finally... I did an oil based primer in flat white, sanded with 220 and painted. Will do another top coat once the other one is complete!

Step 8: Final Thoughts....

You can spend less money...but more elbow grease in trying to remove old paint and refinish. Sometimes spend more money in attempting to use strippers or whatever else. I just decided to do this to update the look as well as the paint.

Total cost for materials for both of mine... $25 with tax for sheet; Probably 5-6$ for trim wood; 4$ glue; $15 for paint- and plenty of paint left over- this would be if you had zero supplies to start with.... Few bucks for nails and sandpaper.... I had these and buy them in bulk so I can't really give a great estimate on that.... Overall- inexpensive. Especially if you have most of this lying around from other projects like I did!:)

As you can tell.... I still have the other column and facia to replace... But I hope this can be helpful for some of ya'll out there!:) Happy renovating!!!!

Fix & Repair Contest

First Prize in the
Fix & Repair Contest



    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest

    12 Discussions

    Excellent move. The spindle columns did not go with the style of the house anyways. Glad you chose the straight columns. They go well with the house, and they look modern, now. Good job.

    3 replies

    Thank you for the kind words! They had similar outdated smaller columns with ledges on the inside that I basically walled off- made a HUGE difference in appearance! Straight lines are Classic- you can never go wrong with it in my limited experience?

    I have similar column's in front of my home that I've wanted to update. Thanks so much for sharing!!

    1 reply

    I hope it works for u if u do chose to update yours! I have had people stop by since working outside and all they talk about are how great the columns look! If you move forward with it and have any questions feel free to ask! ❤️

    I also want to respectfully say that saying "all the material is meant to be used in the home" is really an inaccurate statement. Although the product suggested may be more durable long term- and I do appreciate the suggestion- bc I'm always trying to improve...this is a 1950s home with the same plywood on many parts of the the exterior as well as on the soffits. The paint is peeling but the wood is in tact! Maybe it's different in Oklahoma- but plywood is used for many exterior structures, flooring in sheds, roof sheathing, and more. And I would say the wood used on the trim is also used on exterior structures. The only thing that was bought for the interior and used exterior was the upper part of the base trim which is still solid wood. I felt like I needed to say that in case someone wants to update their column and actually believes those aren't exterior materials. But again- I honestly appreciate the suggestion!

    Thank u for the constructive criticism. I will take that into consideration in the future.

    Just one piece advice, although these look great, all the material you have used it meant to be used inside the home. The columns and trim are going to rot away. Primer and paint does last forever. I would suggest using Hardie board little more expensive but way more durable. They look great and would work for a quick flip on a home. Anytime I do to something to my own home it is built to last.

    Thank you for the suggestion! I updated the intro photo as you suggested! I don't usually show my work--so I'm so excited ya'll liked this!!!!!Made my day!!!:)

    The new ones are a big improvement - well done! You might chnage your intoductory photo to show off the hard work you did.

    Great Update! I like the new look, and extremely simple 'ible to go along with it!