Deck Rail Planter

Make your deck more colorful with this planter-topped railing.

+ enlarge image This planter can accommodate potted plants or a soil mix.

If you choose soil mix, waterproof the interior of the redwood with asphalt-type sealer. To create a stair-stepping series of level planting beds, hold a shingle vertically in place 6 to 12 inches up from the bottom end of the railing. Leaving the shingle in place, layer about 1 inch of pebbles, then fill within a few inches of the top with soil mix. Repeat the process. Snake a drip-irrigation hose along the surface.

If you will use pots, lay shingles and shim the low ends to create flat bases for the number of containers you choose. Screw the shingle/shim assembly into the underlying 2 x 4. Space about 6 inches to create a full look as the annuals grow.

What you need:

  • Redwood 4 x 4 posts
  • Redwood 2 x 12s
  • 2 x 4
  • 16d galvanized nails
  • Drill with 1/4-inch bit
  • Ruler
  • Soil Mix(optional)
  • Asphalt-type sealer (optional)


1. Sandwich 4 x 4 posts of the railing with redwood 2 x 12s.

2. Add a 2 x 4 bottom to the planter.

3. Secure with 16d galvanized nails.

4. Drill 1/4-inch drainage holes every foot or so.

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