I worked a lot on the front porch this weekend. I painted primer on the columns on Friday afternoon and got the railing up this weekend. The white columns look very nice now that they are a uniform color and create a nice contrast with the bare wood deck. Unfortunately it started raining before the paint dried and some of the primer washed off. Doah!
I did the railing with two cedar 2x3s for the top and bottom rails. The slats are ½” rough cedar fencing with every other board either 5 ½” or 2 ¾”. This creates an interesting pattern where one board is wide, the next is narrow, the next is wide, etc. However, after getting some of these boards in place, I realized that the railing would not be strong enough for someone to lean against it. So, after some trial and error I found that a 45” newel post made from more 2x3 cedar that anchored both rails to the deck framing did the trick. I then decided to butt two of them together, creating a 3x4, then mounted two different pairs for each section of railing, 1 support post every 4’ or so. This made for a very strong railing. After I got the support posts in place I cut and mounted a cap for each railing made from regular 2x6 decking.
The next big challenge is going to be the hand rail for the steps. I’m still not sure how I’m going to do this.