• In this video, This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers shows how to use cellular PVC trim stock to build a weather-resistant outdoor planter.

    Steps:
    1. Build frames for the sides of the planter. Cut the pieces to size, and arrange the pieces into frames for one long side and one short side. Screw blocks to your work surface to create a jig that holds the frames in place.
    2. Glue the pieces of the frame together with PVC adhesive. Once the glue has set, remove the frames from the jig, and make the second set of frames the same way.
    3. To install the beadboard, lay the frames face side down in the jig. Mark the thickness of the short sides at each end of the long sides. Dry-fit the beadboard pieces together, face side down. Center the beadboard pieces so that their ends overlap the legs of the frame and fit between the marks.
    4. Apply PVC adhesive to the frame and to the face of the beadboard. Lay the first piece of beadboard flush so that the top and bottom are flush with the frame's rails, then screw it to the frame. Glue the rest of the beadboard pieces the same way. Repeat for the second long side.
    5. Install the beadboard on the short sides the same way as the long sides, but make sure the run extends all the way to the ends of the short sides.
    6. Attach ledges to the interior of the long sides to support the planter's floor boards, flush with the beadboard's bottom edge.
    7. Glue the sides of the planter together, short sides set between the long sides. Clamp the corners, drill pilot holes and screw the sides together.
    8. Glue the floorboards to the tops of the ledges.
    9. Attach a cap to the top of the planter, using a 1-inch block as a spacer for the overhang.
    10. Fill the screw holes, sand the exterior, and apply paint. When the paint is dry, add flowers.

    • 6 hours over three days
    • About $150 for a weather- and pest-proof 4-foot-long planter
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      You must make a jig to build it, but cuts and assembly are simple.
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      Tools List

      • miter saw
        Miter saw
      • drill
        Drill/driver
      • adjustable clamp
        Clamps
      • tack cloth
        Tack cloth
      • 3-inch wide paint brush
        Paint brush

      Shopping List

      1. Cellular PVC trim boards We used AZEK trim. Get two 12-foot 1x4s and four 12-foot 1x3s. If 1x3s aren't stocked, rip them from 1x4s and use the scrap for the ledges.

      2. Cellular PVC beadboard Choose 5½-inch tongue-and-groove boards or similar.

      3. Plywood and scrap 1x material

      4. PVC adhesive Choose a clear glue with a slow setting time, such as AZEK adhesive.

      5. 1-inch pan-head stainless-steel screws6. 1 5⁄8-inch trim-head stainless-steel screws

      7. Spackling paste rated for outdoor use, such as CrackSHOT, to fill fastener holes.

      8. Fine-grit sandpaper

      9. Latex exterior paint For dark colors use a reflective paint, such as VinylSafe by Sherwin-Williams, so that the PVC won't warp in the heat.