I created this all-weather patio rail out of all vinyl material and it was easier than I thought it would be.
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Step 1: Start With a White Vinyl Picket Fence
I started with this all vinyl white picket fence from Home Depot. Admittedly, it was an easy way to start. These were cut to fit between the upright posts.
Step 2: Chop Off the Tips of the Pickets.
I ran each section of the fence through my table saw to chop off the tops of each picket. You have to go really slow because the picket will chip and splinter easily. Be sure to wear your safety glasses!!! You could also just use a jigsaw with a fine blade. Don't worry about chewing up the top of the rail because it will be covered.
Step 3: Top Off the Rail With 1"x6" Solid Vinyl Board
I knotched out for the 4x4 uprights and put the top 1x6 right on top of the chopped off picket fence.
Step 4: Support Under the 1x6 With an All Vinyl 1x4.
I attached the supporting 1x4 beneath the 1x6 top with deck screws. The white screw covers are also from Home Depot and they press right into the head of the screws. I put a drop of vinyl adhesive on each one. I created a jig of sorts (scrap of 1x4 with holes pre-drilled) to make sure my screw holes would always be in the same place for each uprigtht.
Step 5: Nice Rail on Both Exterior Walls of the Porch
You can also see that I hung vinyl lattice along the "neighbor" side. You can see right through it, but it adds a bit of privacy.
Step 6: Finished Off With Vinyl Trim
Also from Home depot, this vinyl trim was super easy to work with. In fact, that is what I liked most about the job is that the vinyl material cuts like a dream and as long as you have your material supported, it works great since the vinyl doesn't have much strength.
Step 7: Done
The finished deck can be pressure washed each year and never needs painting.