How to Make Stone Pillars

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Outdoor landscaping, beyond typical fencing and shrubbery, can add depth and beauty to a property while also defining its parameters. One common type of yard decor used in landscape planning is the stone pillar. Pillars provide height for a flat yard, and often serve to identify an entrance point on the property, such as a driveway, porch, walk or garden opening. Most pillars or columns, however, are made from wood, which creates a different look. You can convert your existing wooden pillars into attractive stone pillars using a few home improvement techniques.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Tar paper
  • Hammer stapler
  • Plumb lines
  • Bucket
  • Mortar
  • Trowel
  • Wire brush
  • Flat stones
  • Measure the width of your wooden pillars as well as the distance between the pillars and any nearby objects, such as doorways or sidewalks, to determine how much space you have to work with. Adding a stone veneer to the pillars will make them wider, and thus take up more space.

  • Cover the wooden pillars with tar paper, using the hammer stapler to secure the paper. Cover only the surfaces to which you plan on adding stone.

  • Mark the outermost edges of where you will add the stone, using plumb lines. Use these as guides while you work.

  • Mix up a bucket of mortar and add some to a trowel. Smooth the mortar over the tar paper to create a base coat of mortar on the pillars.

  • Rough up the base coat with a wire brush to create a more uneven surface. Let this coat dry completely.

  • Pour mortar around the base of each pillar, using your plumb lines as guides. Press your first layer of stones into this mortar. Fill in the gaps between the stones with more mortar.

  • Smooth out another layer of mortar on top of the stones. Make sure that the mortar fills in the gap between the stone and the dried base coat.

  • Lay down another layer of stones. Arrange the stones so that they are providing some support and would be able to stay stacked without the mortar.

  • Fill in the gaps between the stones with the mortar. Repeat steps 7 through 9 until you have completely covered the desired area of the pillars. Fill in any remaining gaps, particularly between the wooden base and the stones.

  • Let the mortar dry completely.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can reinforce the strength of the pillars by adding a piece of metal grid, or lathe, around the tar paper. This will make a more uneven surface and will allow the mortar to adhere better.

References

  • "The Visual Handbook of Building and Remodeling;" Charlie Wing; 2009
  • "The Complete Guide to Masonry and Stonework;" Tom Lemmer; 2006
  • Photo Credit Adrian Peacock/Creatas/Getty Images
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