The boards around the base of a square wooden column can become damaged or rotten over time due to exposure to the elements. Here’s how to remove and replace them.

How to Replace Column Base Boards:

  1. Remove Old Base Boards: Use a hammer and pry bar to remove the damaged boards around the column base.
  2. Cut New Column Base Boards: Cut new pieces to match from pressure treated or rot resistant wood, mitering the corners at a 45° angle on a miter saw.
  3. Trial Fit Boards to Column Base: Test fit the pieces around the column to make sure the joints are tight.
  4. Nail Boards to Column: Attach the new base boards to the column using corrosion resistant (galvanized or stainless steel) finishing nails.
  5. Cut and Attach Cove Molding: Miter cove molding to fit around the top of the boards, and attach it with finishing nails.
  6. Caulk Column Base: Caulk the nail holes and corner joints using a quality exterior acrylic latex caulk.
  7. Paint Column Base: Prime and paint the new boards with quality exterior paint.

Watch the video above to find out more.


Danny Lipford: While the base boards around outdoor columns are strictly ornamental, they are also the most easily damaged by moisture.

Now, remove the old boards with a hammer or pry bar, and cut new ones from pressure treated lumber matching the old dimensions. You’ll need a miter saw to make the two inward facing 45-degree cuts on each piece.

When all four pieces are cut, dry fit them in place to be sure the joints are tight before attaching them with finish nails. Smaller finishing nails can be used through the corners for extra security.

This column had a cove detail around the top, so we’re replicating that with four mitered pieces of cove molding in the same profile. When everything is in place, seal all the seams with caulk to prepare for painting.

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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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