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Question DetailsAsked on 1/7/2018

what's the best way to make skinny exterior pillars look bigger?

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1 Answer


You can buy high density foam, polyester resin, and fiberglass bases, capitols, and columns designed to fit around a 4x4 or 6x6 - though most require that they be put around it during column erection - not after-the-fact But there are some split ones designed to fit around in two pieces which are glued together.

For standard plain 4x4 or 6x6 or 8x8 column, also VERY common (and cheapest) to just overlay the faces with 3/4" or 2x material to "bulk up" the column, then build out the bottom and maybe the top with additional peices to give it a fancier look - using plain wood or (for capitol and base) shaped moulding pieces.

Google for it - put in terms like "decorative column images" or "enhanced architectural column images", or look at design idea websites especially on Pinterest, for thousands of pictures of options.

Another option commonly done (though does tend to promote faster decay) is overlaying with lattice or trellises or such - with or without plantings like ivy growing on them.

Whichever you do, you need to pay close attention to waterproofing the joints/seams to avoid it getting into the interior and rotting the column. In cases being totally encased I use treated wood for the center part of the column - or sand down and finish with insect and rot-preventative copper treatment before overlaying it, to minimize that risk.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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