disclosure: This post is sponsored by Wagner.

Is it wrong to be in love with a column?

Because if it is?

I don’t want to be right.

(total aside: I was already in love with this column and it was 1/4 of the way finished.)

We’ve had metal columns holding up our carport since I was wearing blue eyeshadow and stirrup pants.

They were fine.

They were sufficient.

They were really good at holding up a roof.

But here’s the thing.

Just like stirrup pants?

They needed a little updating.

Here’s an easy and economical way to update your metal columns with tons of money left over for summer vacation.

Here’s a before picture taken of that exact same column before we started.

Yikes.

See how they needed a little help? And when you looked at the house, these metal columns were almost invisible on the carport.

They were definitely pretty once upon a time and if I found them at a yard sale, I’d take them home and make something creative out of them for my house.

But holding up my carport?

Ummm.

We needed to change them up a little.

I’m sharing the step-by-step of what we did below, but if you want the Reader’s Digest version?

Here’s a video we filmed of the process with all the details.

How to Cover Metal Columns

supplies:

treated plywood

wood glue

wood putty

1″ x 1″ pine

1″ x 4″ pine

1″ x 5″ pine

1″ x 6″ pine

1/4 round

decorative molding

Wagner Flexio 5000 paint sprayer

exterior white paint

caulk

Step 1: Cut plywood boards

Our metal columns were 21″ x 1″ x 8′.

We cut two treated plywood boards for each column—one for each side.

Our plywood boards were cut 24″ x 1″ x 8′ to fit the metal columns.

We also cut a 1″ x 1″ pine board and glued it to each side of the larger plywood boards (the video shows this really well).

Step 2: Attach a foundation to the top and bottom of the columns

We then attached 1″ x 1″ boards on either side of the column at the top.

This was a foundation for the larger boards to attach around the columns.

For the foundation at the base of the columns, we drilled holes into the concrete and attached these metal brackets.

We repeated these steps for each of the columns.

Then we primed the plywood boards.

Step 3: Attach the plywood boards

The next step was to attach the plywood boards to either side of the column.

We added one side to the top and the bottom using our foundation pieces.

Next, we reinforced the middle (as shown in the top picture) with some additional braces.

Then we attached the other side of the plywood with finish nails.

Step 4: Attach 1″ x 5″ boards to the side

We ripped down 1″ x 6″ to 1″ x 5″ boards to fit the sides of the columns.

Then we used finish nails to attach the 1″ x 5″ boards to the sides of each column.

We attached one board to side of each column.

This is when I fell in love.

Step 5: Attach moldings

The last step was to cut 1″ x 4″ pieces for the top of each of the columns and nail them in place.

Then cut 1″ x 6″ pieces for the base of the columns and nail them in place.

Add 1/4 round around the base of the columns.

Add a decorative molding 16″ down from the top of the column.

Step 6: Caulk and fill in with wood putty

Make sure your boards are primed and caulk all around the edges where the boards connect.

Use wood putty to fill in the small nail holes.

Sand smooth.

Step 7: Paint

Now you’re ready to paint.

I used the Wagner Flexio 5000 Paint Sprayer.

I cannot recommend it ENOUGH! It saves you so much time (especially on a project like this) and the results are so professional and it’s SO EASY to use.

All you do is remove the base, fill with paint (we used exterior white paint for this project) and reattach it.

No messy tubes or trying to connect with paint cans.

Just add paint and go.

Then all you have to do is plug it in.

Turn it on, pull the trigger and spray.

(total aside: You can see the entire paint sprayer in action in the video).

And after we used this?

The project was finished before you could say stirrup pants.

Want to see the after?

Just a reminder.

This is where we started.

And now?

Can you see why I fell in love?

It’s seriously one of my favorite DIY’s EVER.

The carport is happy.

I’m happy.

And who knows?

Maybe one day stirrup pants might become a thing again.

If so, I’ll be ready. 🙂

disclosure: this post was sponsored by Wagner .

All opinions are my own.

Please see my disclosure page for more information.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.

Comments

  1. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Amazing! What a difference some wood can do for outdated, necessary columns. :) Your backyard is so inviting!! And you are looking absolutely stunning and so happy!!! Extra Happy!!!!

  2. Image for Kristi Essman Kristi Essman

    They look great Karianne! I have also seen this done where the scroll work was removed from the sides. Basically leaving the required structural post in the center and then a box was built around the post which looks really nice also. I especially like the additional trim you added it just gives it a nice finished look! Great Job!

  3. Image for Kris Kris

    Oh, look at your cute little matching shoes and shirt! Your columns look wonderful and thank you for showing us a distanced view so we could see the whole effect.

  4. Image for be be

    I grew up with those metal post at my house. We were always having to repaint. The covers make all the difference in the world. Actually doesn't look like the same house. Moulding is a wonderful thing. Stunning!!!!! You never know, one day the metal post will be back in style and you still have them. Great project!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Image for Laura Miller Laura Miller

    EVERYTHING you touch gets prettier!!! Your parents must really be thrilled and proud of how you are for your family home!!!! LOVE the columns!!!!!

  6. Image for Sharon Sharon

    Love love these posts. I had a handyman come look at ours; explained how just to put wood around them. Oh no, he wanted to tear everything out and really didn't understand why I wanted to cover them up. lol. I said not necessary; they are holding up our porch. So sent him on; still haven't found someone that understands "pretty".

  7. Image for Carm Carm

    The wood columns look nice but I wonder if they will be harder to maintain than the metal ones as the wood rots and decays. If the house is sold I hope the new owners will realize there are metal supports underneath and they don’t have to replace the entire support columns. How upset they could be. Personally I love the metal ones too they are very similar to the ones my parents had in front of their house. I know the metal, steel or iron not sure, are a pain to maintain. Having had to paint them myself the design means it would take ages and they seem to need painting every year.

  8. Image for Sharon from East TN Sharon from East TN

    Well, I can easily see why you are in love! Those came out beautiful and what an upgrade for the entire full view of your home. You guys did a great job.

  9. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Ohmygosh, Karianne!! First, helllooooo...so sorry you haven't heard from me for a while. Truth is I had something bad happen in my life and got depressed. I know that's no excuse but I've been having a few years long pitty party. I still check in once in a while but, honestly, don't always read the posts (*sigh*) and I'm so sorry for that. Anyway, today I just had to find out why you've been having one of your twins do all the modeling for the photos... WOW, girl! Imagine my surprise when I figure out that its you!!!! With your hair straight, you must get comments all the time when you're out with your twins from people who think you're triplets. Not even kidding. I'll bet that really happens! Anyway, I am so happy for you. But whatever weight you are, Karianne, you'll always be a ray of sunshine, inside and out :-)

  10. Image for Yvonne Davy Yvonne Davy

    That was a great job and turned out amazing I’ve been wanting to something similar but bigger bottom then tapers smaller to cover our columns Thanks fir sho of

  11. Image for Dee Dee

    Oh my word! KariAnne, I can see why you are in love with your columns, and rightly so!!! What a difference! I just love the change, it looks so finished now, elegant, and as if they were made just to be there, well I guess they were! Your directions were fantastic, so clear, and well written, it made me want to grab the same tools and get to work on the metal round columns we have holding up our back porch! I must say, I was a bit distracted by your cuteness, and had to keep looking at your photos because it sure looked like one of twinnies doing the work, but I know it's all you, my friend!!! Just the cutest little tool girl ever in the face of ever! In all seriousness, you inspire me in every way, and now I have another project to add to my list! xo

  12. Image for Cassandra E Cassandra E

    I haven't been blog tracking much lately. I had some off time today to escape, and I see two transformations. Both the originals look good, and the transformation looks good too. Great idea.

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