How to Make a Custom Trellis Porch Rail

Add instant curb appeal with a custom trellis porch rail. Follow these steps to upgrade your front porch.

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Instead of a traditional porch rail, this modern design instantly adds to your home's architectural style. The open square design allows for little faces to peek out but also provides privacy. Bonus: The design creates lovely shadows on sunny afternoons and could serve as a trellis. To amp up your curb appeal in just one weekend, check out our instructions for this DIY porch rail below.

Note: This project should be modified per the measurements of your porch. The distance between our porch beams is 96 inches.

Download the porch railing diagram.

continue reading below

What You Need

  • 4x8-foot marine-grade plywood sheets (we used three 3/4-inch-thick sheets, but this will vary by size of porch)
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Paper grocery bag
  • Scissors
  • Jigsaw
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • 2x4 boards, 96 inches long
  • Drill with drill bit
  • Nails
  • Level

Step 1: Make Stencil

Download the plan and draw the trellis pattern on the paper grocery bag. Use a ruler and pencil to get straight lines. Measurements for the stencil are found in the illustration above, as well as in the project download. 

Cut out L shapes and middle square shape.

Step 2: Trace and Cut Stencil

Line up the stencil 2 inches from the shorter side of the plywood board and 1 inch from the top. Using a pencil, lightly trace the stencil cutouts. Continue tracing the stencil until entire board is covered. 

Use a jigsaw to cut out the L-shape corners and inner square of the pattern. Sand any rough edges.

Step 3: Prep Top and Bottom Rails

Use a router to notch a 1-inch strip through the 2x4s to create rails.

Use drill and screws to attach the rails to the top and bottom of the trellis-cut plywood.

Step 4: Prime and Paint

Prime and paint rails and trellis panels using desired color and a paintbrush. Use an exterior-grade paint and apply one or two coats for best results. Let dry between coats.

Step 5: Attach Board

Use the drill and screws to attach the panels to vertical porch beams. This will require several people to help hold and secure the board. Use a level to make sure board is even before securing panels. Position the board 4 inches above the porch surface. 

More Porch Projects

Download the porch swing diagram.

 

 

 

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