To use old porch columns in decorating, place them inside the house to divide and enhance an open floor space without blocking the view or cut the pillars into sections to use as accent pieces. Damage from the elements often makes old columns too weak for continued outdoor weight-bearing use.
Porch columns are usually hollow, so to use them to hide wires or unsightly metal piping, split the column, put the pieces around the wires or pipes, then glue the halves. Alternatively, cut hollow columns in half the long way and then mount the pieces directly against a wall or under a fireplace mantle. Or, cut old columns into tubes for decorative purposes, such as making umbrella stands, planters, or legs for tables and stands.