Even a fresh coat of paint can liven up boring posts.

How to Cover Boring Pillars Outside on a Porch

by Lisa McQuerrey

Whether decorative or structural, simple porch pillars don't have to be boring. You can give your porch a facelift by making cosmetic changes to pillars to better reflect your sense of style and personal tastes in décor. Take into consideration the overall architectural style of your house when deciding what kinds of changes to make.

Faux Finish

A faux finish can add a rustic, whimsical or elegant touch to boring porch pillars. Consider a weathered barn crackle finish or a gold or copper leaf application covered in a coat of antiquing varnish. For a cottage-style porch, stencil-painting trailing vines or flowers can add a touch of whimsy. Use weather-resistant paints, or seal with a weatherproof sealant after completion. Supplies can be found in craft stores or home improvement centers.

Stone Facade

If you have wide pillars, a faux stone or brick facade can add depth, texture and richness to your porch. Home improvement stores and landscaping supply stores carry “sheets” of facade in various sizes, textures, colors and materials and can advise you about the appropriate materials based on the type of pillars you have in place. This process is easiest to install on squared pillars. Many facades look and feel like the real thing, and for a fraction of the price.

Trailing Vines

Cover boring porch pillars with trailing vine plants like ivy, wisteria or bank roses. You can train the vines around the pillars using gardening or floral wire. For an extra decorative element, plant your vines in terra cotta, clay or ceramic pots on your porch and allow them to trail up your pillar from containers rather than from ground planting. You can add additional flowers to the pots for an extra splash of color.

Trellises and Flower Hooks

Install trellises or lattice work in front of your porch pillars. Various sizes and shapes of lattice work can be found in garden centers. Plant trailing flowers or vines at the base of the trellis for floral coverage. An alternative is to install hanging plant hooks on the front of pillars and display large flower baskets that cover the pillars while also showing off seasonal foliage.


Install bamboo, weave or natural fiber, weather-proof rolling shades between porch pillars. Not only does this approach change the look of the boring pillars, it also creates an outdoor space protected from wind, rain and sun. This technique is much more cost-effective than building a sun room or enclosed porch and provides many of the same benefits.

About the Author

Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images