How to Use a Tree Trunk As a Porch Post

Using tree trunks as porch posts is environmentally and cost friendly.
Using tree trunks as porch posts is environmentally and cost friendly. (Image: tree image by Einar Bog from Fotolia.com)

Whether you are trying to be environmentally friendly or you just like the look of natural building materials, using tree trunks as porch posts is the way to go. These natural porch posts are not only beautiful, but provide strength, stability, and are easy to maintain. By following a few easy steps, you will be able to provide your home with that rustic, outdoorsy look, while knowing that you are also providing your porch with strength and stability.

Things You'll Need

  • Tree Trunk
  • Measuring Tape
  • Electric Saw
  • Paint scraper
  • Electric Sander
  • Paint brush
  • Tung Oil (China wood oil)
  • Large nails
  • Hammer

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Measure the distance between the base of where the post will rest to the ceiling of your porch, using your measuring tape. This measurement is vital in having a snug, secure fit to provide your porch with support.

Cut the tree trunk according to your measurements, using your electric saw. Use caution, ensuring a smooth cut. At this time, you may also remove any branches, or you may leave them for a more natural look.

Strip the bark from the tree trunk using your paint scraper. Use caution so you do not damage the inner trunk. This will be the visible part of your porch post. Removing the bark is not a requirement. You may leave it on the trunk for a more rustic look.

Sand the stripped tree trunk using your electric sander, if you chose to remove the bark. A hand held sander will work as well, however, you will find that an electric sander will provide better results. The electric sander will give a more even sanding pattern and the tree trunk will have a smoother look. If you chose to leave the bark attached, no sanding is required.

Apply the tung oil to the sanded tree trunk, using your paint brush, and allow it to dry for 24 hours. This will ensure the tung oil has properly sealed the post. Tung oil is an all natural finishing oil that provides a sturdy, flexible, and reliable water-resistant coating. This will be the best, since your post will be exposed to the weather daily.

Attach your finished post to your porch using large nails and a hammer. The use of larger nails will provide you will a deep, secure hold to your porch floor and ceiling.

References

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