Does your porch have dated metal columns that needs updating? Read about how we transformed our front porch and added lots of curb appeal by replacing the metal columns with farmhouse style wood posts.
Benefits of updating your metal porch columns
- Increase curb appeal. One of the most obvious reasons to replace or update your metal porch columns are that these wrought iron columns look dated and don’t do you any favors for your curb appeal. More modern porch column options (wood posts, vinyl columns, etc.) will add more charm and make your home appear more inviting.
- Increase property value. Whether you are interested in selling your home or not, it is always nice to know that updates you make to the home could be more $$$ in your pocket in the future!
- Safety. Wrought iron porch columns have been around since the 50’s. With so much age and wear, they are often wobbly, missing screws, and less supportive than they once were.
Ways to update metal porch columns
There are two main ways to update your dated porch columns, which one you choose depends on your budget and your comfort level tackling DIYS.
Cover or wrap metal columns
Rather that removing or replacing your metal porch columns, some people choose to simply wrap or cover them with wood. This is a great option if you are working with a smaller budget and don’t have to tools to replace the columns yourself. All you have to do is cut some wood strips to cover all four sides of the metal posts and create a wood “box around them”. This gives the illusion of wood posts without the labor of removing them and completely replacing them. You can find a great DIY tutorial on this method here from the Thistlewood Farm.
Replacing metal columns
If you have a bigger renovation budget or can tackle this project on your own, removing and replacing metal porch posts are another option.
What materials to replace metal porch columns?
There are tons of options for swopping out metal porch columns with more sturdy and attractive options. Which one you choose comes down to your budget and what look you are going for. Here are some you can choose from:
- solid wood posts
- turned wood posts
- vinyl columns
- stone columns
- round vinyl columns
- tapered columns
How we replaced our wrought iron columns with wood posts
For our home, this is the option we choose to go with. We normally do most projects around our home on our own, but my husband didn’t have the tools to tackle this project on our own. Plus at the time this was done, we were up to our ears with other DIY/demo project so we choose to have our contractors replace the metal porch columns with wooden posts. They charged us just $350 to replace the posts and took them just once afternoon. SCORE! Once the posts were installed, we sanded, stained and sealed them ourselves to save some extra money.
Replacing metal columns with wood posts
We choose to replace our wrought iron porch columns with wood posts. I knew the wood posts would add way more curb appeal and fit it more with the farmhouse style of our home.
What is the best wood for porch columns?
If you decide to go the route of replacing your metal porch columns with wooden posts, its important that you choose a wood type that will durable over time. With any wood that you choose, it is important to select posts that have been pressure treated since their chemistry makes them resistant to rot. These are some wood species that would make excellent exterior porch columns as they naturally have rot resistant properties:
- yellow pine
- white or red oak
- Douglas fir
Sanding and staining our wood posts
Our contractor had some 6×6 yellow pine posts leftover from a previous job. He was so sweet and gifted them to us which really helped our wallets as well! The posts were older and definitely showed lots of wear (which I loved!) but I did want to clean them up a bit once they were installed.
First, we completely sanded down each of the columns using our orbital sander. My husband started with an 80 grit sand paper and used it to remove bits of chipping wood and stains. Then we worked up to a 120 grit sand paper to further sand out any rough patches. This process would help the stain fully penetrate the pores of the wood and give a more even application.
After the columns were smoothed out, I decided to slightly stain them. I didn’t want to go with a dark stain as I liked the light colored wood. But I worried the yellow pine would further develop yellow undertones after we sealed it. So to counteract the yellow undertones on the yellow pine, I chose to stain the columns with some leftover stain we had on hand. The stain we used is called Nordic by Rove + Dwell (formally known as Old Barn Milk Paint). This is my absolute favorite color stain because it has the perfect mix of brown and gray undertones. I diluted the stain to a 50/50 mix of stain to water to make sure it wouldn’t end up too dark. I figured I could always end up adding another coat of stain if necessary.
I used a old shop rag to buff the stain into the wood and get a even coverage. One great thing about this stain is that its water based, so if you get any on your hands, it is pretty easy to wash off with soap and water. After doing just one coat of stain on the columns, I was pretty happy with the result and decided to skip a second coat. The difference was subtle, but the wood was slightly less yellow.
Using an exterior sealer on our wood posts
After perfecting the appearance of the wood posts with sanding and staining, I sealed our posts with a exterior wood sealer. I knew that sealing our posts would be essential to keeping them long lasting and resistant to rot. However, I was worried that by adding a exterior sealer they would turn an ugly yellow color or change to a much deeper color. We tested out two sealers from Lowes. Both had similar results and it was hard to tell much of a difference between the two. We decided to go with Thompson’s Water Seal because it had better reviews online about being waterproof. So I applied two coats over all the posts using a chip brush. In the end these wood posts are so beautiful and really change the look of the entire home. I could not be happier with the way they turned out. I hope this post inspires you to update your wrought iron porch posts on your home!