Wrapping porch posts in 1x pine?

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Old 09-11-16, 10:14 AM
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Wrapping porch posts in 1x pine?

I've got two new 4x4 pressure treated posts supporting my 5x5 porch roof. The old posts built maybe around 1940 were also 4x4's wrapped in 1x lumber and I'd like to do the same thing. The height is about 8 1/2 feet so at least 10' lengths are needed.

We picked up some 1x4 and 1x6 Quality pine boards from Menards. They say the species could be spruce, pine, or fir. If these were primed on all six sides would they hold up okay, or would it be better to return them for something more durable?

We will be attaching pressure treated railings to whatever boards are used. Also, do you have a preferred way of boxing posts in?

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Old 09-11-16, 10:23 AM
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If you prime it on all sides with an exterior oil base primer the pine should be well protected. Some like to miter the corners and while that looks nice - the joints are always prone to open up. I prefer to them edge nailed. Not sure if the PT posts need to dry out some before you wrap them ..... but I'm just a painter, the carpenters will be along later.
 
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Old 09-11-16, 11:24 AM
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I concur with Mark on the overlap joints. Mitered joints will be difficult to fit and will open up with time and weather. Likewise, let the posts dry a spell before you build your surround. Let your surround stop slightly from the decking to prevent wicking of water up the wood.
 
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Old 09-11-16, 04:45 PM
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Thanks guys. The old posts were wrapped with 1x4s and had quarter round molding on all sides. That did start to open up as the bottom parts decayed. I will nail them as you suggest and leave a gap above the deck.

So you don't think it would be worth exchanging the lumber for something more rot resistant like cedar? Sorry if I seem overly cautious but I've never built something that has to stand up to the elements before.

The posts were put up about 2 months ago. Does that seem like enough time to let them dry out?

A neighbor said he uses LP Smartside to box in his posts. I looked at it but the edges seem pretty rough. Wasn't sure if it could be sanded enough to get a decent looking edge.
 
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Old 09-11-16, 05:13 PM
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You can use 1x4's for two sides opposite each other, but will need to rip down 1x6's to 5" to make them flush, OR, you can just center the 1x6's and leave a relief on the edges. It doesn't look too bad. SPF should stand up to the weather with proper paint application. Cedar will be good, but a little expensive. The posts will continue to dry for a few months, so there is no real need to hurry.
 
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Old 09-11-16, 05:37 PM
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I'd at least consider using PVC trim board (Axek or equal) for this. Or, if they are to be painted a dark color, then Boral trim board. No worries ever about rot and the paint will hold up for a long long time. If you have a router you can use a lock miter bit to get the mitered appearance with little chance of the joint opening up down the road.
 
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Old 09-11-16, 05:56 PM
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The old posts were wrapped with 1x4s and had quarter round molding on all sides.
That's a nice way to do it. Rounded corners look better, imo.
 
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Old 09-11-16, 06:08 PM
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Okay, whichever way we end up boxing them in I'll be sure to prime the cut edges.

It would be about $30 more to box the posts in cedar. If you think it would be worth the price difference I'd gladly go for it. Menard's seems to be the only place to stock red cedar in 10 foot lengths, and their boards are 13/16 thick. Not sure if that would be an issue.

Do you have any preference on primer? I was going to use Hallman Lindsay's alkyd primer, but I could buy a quart of something else if it would help.

That might be a problem if the posts should dry for another few months. This is the front porch and I was hoping to get railings made and installed soon, before winter. Am I asking for trouble if I box them in mid to late October?
 
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Old 09-11-16, 06:12 PM
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Menards sells preprimed 1x and quarter round, btw. The 13/16 boards are only an issue if you use the quarter round, since quarter round is usually 11/16. Personally, I think it would look good to use the 1/2" quarter round and create a beaded look on each corner. Gives you a corner to caulk before painting for a nice seamless look.

I also like creating a base wrap out of pvc, since it's the part that weathers the most.
 
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Old 09-11-16, 06:47 PM
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CarbideTipped: Looks like HD and Lowes carry a pvc board by Royal Moldings. I like the idea but a little expensive at $20 and $30 each for 3 1/2 and 5 1/2 boards.

XSleeper: I see some pre-primed poplar boards at Menards, are those the ones? That's a good idea about a pvc base wrap. I will leave a gap and make those in spring. Just need a miter saw.
 

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Old 09-11-16, 07:39 PM
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No, it's primed spruce/pine #2/ btr. Its with all their lineal cedar and pine 1x4, 1x6, 1x8, etc...

They also have pvc boards in 4/4 and 5/4. If you only wrap the bases with it, you would only need a single 1x10. They should also have some nice pvc mouldings to set on top of the 1x10 for a base cap.
 
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Old 09-11-16, 08:00 PM
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Thanks, I found the poplar on Menard's website. Must've missed it earlier. Never used pvc before, is it hard to paint? I forgot the bottom of my railings will probably be in the way of any molding taller than a few inches.
 
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Old 09-11-16, 08:20 PM
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Yeah, poplar is good for interior work... not so much as an exterior wood. PVC is not hard to paint... 100% acrylic paint only... avoid dark colors. Glue miters and joints for best results. Some like to prime it before painting because it is so slick. Zinsser Bondz is a good choice.

Any base cap you make should be tall enough for the bottom railing to butt into. I picture your columns being 5" wide by the time you wrap them with your primed pine. Then if you wrap just the bases with another 3/4"... such as with a pvc 1x10, they would be 6 1/2" wide... 9 1/2" tall. Then a decorative base cap could go on top of that. Your bottom railing will be butting into those bases at less than 4" high.

Similar to the post base trim in this thread.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/de...im-detail.html
 
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Old 09-12-16, 03:23 AM
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Depending on the application, I often reprime preprimed wood. IMO a site applied exterior oil base wood primer will seal the wood better than the primer that comes on some wood. I'm not familiar with Hallman Lindsay but as long as it's an exterior oil primer it should be fine.

I don't have a lot of experience with PVC trim but if that will work for you - that's the best way to go
 
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Old 09-12-16, 04:20 AM
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I've used a lot of PVC trim. Re-did all my house corner boards, rake boards, window sill nosing, and door pillasters. Easy to mill. Takes latex paint very well and lasts a long time.....calls for paint with LRV (Light reflective Value) greater than 55....but I've read there are special dark paints that can be used. The heat problem is due to the fact that PVC can expand when hot. The only downside is that it's expensive. I use AZEK brand.
 

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Old 09-12-16, 05:49 AM
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Even if you don't use PVC for wrapping the posts consider using PVC for the base to help keep the wrap wood off the floor and prevent water contact/wicking.
 
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Old 09-12-16, 08:05 AM
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Thanks for all the advice. If it were a choice between the pine and cedar what would you guys use? I still have to check Menards' stock to see what it looks like.

The fellow I'm working with is a retired cabinetmaker and hasn't worked with pvc before so it might be best to stick with wood.

Hope I can get all this done before winter. Just need to get it all primed, painted, and the railings up. Where did the year go?
 
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Old 09-12-16, 08:50 AM
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Cedar is worth it for its natural resistance to rotting. It will last a little longer. You will want to use an oil based primer on cedar. Some like Zinsser Peel Stop sealer on cedar.
 
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Old 09-12-16, 11:11 AM
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Working with PVC is extremely easy. AND it does not have to be painted....so no rush to paint even if you want to. The only downside is the cost. Also if you do paint PVC the paint job will last longer than painted wood...no moisture problems so no pealing. Pine will be cheaper than cedar. If you keep the pine maintained it will be fine.....your cabinet guy should know to not have it extend to the floor so it won't wick water and rot or be a home for carpenter ants. I must sound like a broken PVC record but after having used it outdoors I won't use wood anymore.
 
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Old 09-12-16, 11:30 AM
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Oil base primer is needed with cedar to prevent tannin bleed. While that isn't an issue with pine, you'd still want to use an oil primer because it will seal the wood better from moisture than a latex primer would.
 
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Old 09-12-16, 06:57 PM
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JIMMIEM: you don't sound like a broken record. Having seen the deterioration of my old porch I had wanted to use things like composite decking and maybe some non-wood railings. Unfortunately we ended up having to replace the porch roof too and that kind of ate up the project budget, as well as time.

XSleeper / marksr: I will see what Menard's and maybe Bliffert lumber have in stock for cedar. The alkyd primer I've been using on the cedar siding blocks the tannin pretty well so with luck it'll work on cedar boards too.

Do you guys leave any air gap when boxing in posts, or just nail right to the post?
 
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Old 09-12-16, 07:17 PM
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Treated posts will usually shrink slightly as they dry. Depending on how true the posts are, you can nail the trim on tight. Put a 78" level (as a straightedge) on each side to check for any bow. A really bowed post might need a little shimming behind the trim. The post might be bowed but after you trim it, the trim should be perfectly straight. So occasionally that means there will be some voids behind the trim if you had to shim it. If the post is perfect, you can nail it tight.

If you are trying to miter the corners you include a little extra play in the width of the trim and you dont fasten solidly to the post until all 4 corners are glued and pinned together. This also creates a small void behind the trim to allow for some variation of the post.
 
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Old 09-13-16, 11:52 AM
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One post is fairly plumb but the other is bowed mostly to one side, and a bit back to front.

I should check to make sure 1x4s and 1x6s will be sufficient or if something larger has to be ripped down.

Considering these posts were bought and installed mid-June is it smart to box them in yet?

Would it be a waste of time to make and install the railings to the bare posts, then take them off next spring and box in the posts, shorten the railing lengths and reattach?

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Old 09-13-16, 01:48 PM
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Assuming you don't own a moisture reader [I never have] you can look at the PT wood and get a good idea whether or not it's dry. It will loose some of the color it had when new and often there will be minor checking [little cracks in the wood]

PT wood generally takes 6 weeks to 6 months to dry out enough for stain. Both how wet it was when installed and the climate it's exposed to are the main determining factors. In your case the main factor is for it to be dry enough where it won't warp any after you cover it with 1xs.
 
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Old 09-13-16, 03:47 PM
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I wouldn't put railing up just to take it down again. No reason to wait to box them in.
 
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Old 10-07-16, 05:44 PM
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Hope it's okay to keep adding on to an old thread. The posts are now wrapped in 1x back primed cedar, and I primed the fronts yesterday.

We used 1x4 and 1x6 with a relief on the edges. Should I caulk the seams where the boards meet, and if so what caulk would you recommend?

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Old 10-07-16, 05:52 PM
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Yes. Any acrylic caulk. White Lightning, Big Stretch, etc. Don't buy the cheapest stuff. DAP is popular but not well liked.
 
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Old 10-07-16, 06:07 PM
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Ok, thanks. I can pick up some more Big Stretch tomorrow morning. Regarding DAP, is their Dynaflex 230 not as good either? I've used both the 230 and Big Stretch with this porch project.
 
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Old 10-07-16, 06:15 PM
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The Dynaflex 230 seems decent to me. Way better than Alex.
 
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Old 10-07-16, 06:24 PM
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Or you can jump up to OSI Quad. IMO it seems to do a better job, BUT it is not water soluble, so you have to clean it and your tooling up with MEK or other solvents.
 
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Old 10-07-16, 06:33 PM
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I do have some OSI Quad on hand. It says it needs to cure for 7-14 days before painting, but I'm not sure we have that many good days left in Wisconsin. Is it paintable in a day or two?

Also am not clear on tooling. OSI says it's not recommended but I don't think I could make a bead of caulk look decent without tooling it.
 
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Old 10-07-16, 07:00 PM
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Quad almost skins over too fast to tool. You could push it and paint in 1-2 but it won't be fully cured... Pretty much need to tool it with paint thinner if you're going to tool it. If you plan to tool it to try to make a seamless paint job, imo latex is still best.
 
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Old 10-08-16, 04:10 AM
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I'd likely just use white lightning caulk, not expensive, easy to use and gives good results. I think it says on the label to wait 8 hrs before painting, you can cheat a little. The issue with painting over caulking too soon is the paint will 'crack' over the fresh caulk.
 
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Old 12-11-16, 11:00 AM
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I managed to find some bundles of 3/8" cedar cladding at Lowes last summer. I used it to wrap my 6"x6" posts and the beams that support the polycarbonate roof. I used PL Premium and nailed them to the posts using lap joints which I then sanded flush prior to the deck finishing. It has turned out very well so far.

 
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Old 12-30-16, 07:27 PM
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I would have used woodlife coppercoat sealer and then primed and painted it if you were set on using a non-treated wood which I would not suggest to use anyway.

Cedar is just my favorite wood because of the smell and look, and I have a small ~13 year old ground-level cedar deck on 2x10 laid flat over some gravel looks almost brand new still but the same type of deck under the garbage pails is rotted (don't remember but might not have gravel under it). Neither are stained or sealed.

Anyway, I would have suggested instead if you were set on using pvc boards and wrapping each side and adding decorative mouldings and then having to plug the nail/screw holes and caulk the joints etc and deal with possibly bowed wood, I would have just found a 8-10' 4x4 column wrap, either cylindrical or square. They run about $120 more or less but building it from pvc like azek would probably also cost around that much and not look as nice not to mention it's a lot faster to install the premade sleeve. Would have propped the roof up with a bunch of 2x4s, uninstalled those PT 4x4s and then slipped the sleeve over them and reinstalled and then remove the 2x4 props and return them.
 
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Old 01-12-17, 11:51 PM
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I can't edit in IE11, and I don't have chrome, but just wanted to mention if anyone finds this thread looking for similar info and prefers to use premade columns, they also have ones that snap together and you don't have to prop the roof up with 2x4s and remove the 4x4s.
 
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Old 01-13-17, 02:56 AM
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The edit function terminates after a short period, so no matter which browser you have you can't edit a post after that time. Adding a comment is fine. Yes, I have used the snap together columns, bases and capitals and they look great.
 
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