Even if your garden is well tended and the lawn perfectly mowed, one of the usual problem areas in the backyard are the wood columns that are used to support the decks. Because these columns are constantly exposed to the wind, rain, sun, and other elements, they quickly wear out and become faded and cracked. This eventually adds to a drab look for your home. Here are ways to make decorative wood columns.
Varnishing. Whatever type of decorations you will use for the wood columns, it is best to start off by adding a layer of varnish or other finishing compounds on the column. Be sure to scrub away the layer of dirt on the wood columns by using sandpaper. Once the surface has been cleaned off, add a layer of varnish. Coat the wood at least two times. You can also use other wood finishing oils that will help keep the wood waterproof and make the color and grain of the wood stand out.
Stenciling. Once you have applied the initial layer of varnish, you can decorate the columns by using stencils. Stencils are the easy way to decorate the columns, since the stencil sets can be purchased at home supplies and even arts and crafts shops. Use a wood friendly spray paint and position the stencil sheets over the columns. It is best to use adhesive tapes to keep the stencil sheets in place, especially when you are working alone.
Carving. For highly artistic individuals, carving prints and patterns into the wood columns is another idea. Take a pencil and sketch a design on the surface of the wood column. Use a soft edged mallet and a wood chisel to dig out the outlines for the wood patterns. If you have never carved wood before, you can practice using spare pieces of wood around the house, or even chopped logs and branches.
Paint. Painting the wood columns is another easy way to add instant décor. You can paint the columns in single blocks of color, or you can paint details into the wood column, such as fleur de Lys prints, small leaves, and other patterns. One advantage which painting has over stenciling is that you have much more liberty with the designs that you are making on the wood columns. Not everyone, however, can wield a brush. Start the project by making small and simple designs. As you learn how to use the brush, you can create more complex patterns. And if you commit any mistakes, remember that you can always cover this up with a layer of paint.
Texture. Finally, you can decorate the wood columns by adding in texture. This can be done by coating the wood with wind and water resistant glue. Before the glue dries up, sprinkle fine white sand into the wood. This will create an instant rough rock surface that will give your columns a sand sculpture look.
Choose one of these options or use all of these to create the decorative patterns for your wood columns. Just be sure to plot out the design on paper first, so that you will have a blueprint to guide you as you go along with the project.