While Joe was busy installing his in-ground sprinkler system, I took up a project of my own – the front porch area. I’m proud to say I did this project entirely myself in a couple days’ time. Granted, it was way easier than installing a whole irrigation system, but I still feel good about it.
DIY Front Porch Fix
Since this is the official year of the outdoor projects, here are some lovely before pictures of the front of our house. You can see the lattice is breaking away and the paint is chipping off it. The porch boards are weathered and even rotting in spots. Safety hazard as well as an eye sore.
Our main goal was to clean it up, even if just a short-term solution. People tend to gather up front here when they stop by, but there’s nowhere to sit and it’s certainly not much to look at.
We were not interested in remodeling the whole porch. Someday this could be a mudroom, big entryway, or extension of the kitchen. We’ll save those ideas for the future and for now, just fix the problem at hand.
Replacing the Board
As I mentioned, there was a rotting board right outside the front door. We kept a Welcome mat over it so nobody would fall through the porch. How sad. Time to replace.
We picked up a fresh deck board and got crackin’. Check your local lumber yard for treated deck boards. They’re all standard size so it takes the guess work out of finding a good replacement fit. Once I unscrewed the old board, I cut the new one to size and put it in place. Using deck screws, I secured this into the support beams below. They I cut off the rotted portion off and repurposed the old board for the rest of the way.
Prepping the Porch
Step 2 was power washing the deck boards with our friend’s pressure washer. That thing is fun to use, let me tell you! I seriously enjoyed stripping the grime off the porch and making clean lines with the pressurized water.
Step 3 was taping off the house and getting our paint roller ready.
Paint vs Stain
This was a tough call. I’m not sure what the right option for you will be, but do your research before deciding if you want to stain or paint. We chose this Behr Deckover paint because it was easy to apply, required zero sanding beforehand and hoping will be low maintenance going forward. However, a friend recently told us they’d used it and it started chipping after two years! So I really can’t vouch for it at this point. Only time will tell.
This is the absolute thickest paint I’ve ever seen. We picked one with medium texture, so basically there’s a little bit of sand in it, providing some grip for shoes. You can choose between no texture, medium and extra.
I felt like a witch brewing up something in a cauldron. You need two hands to stir this stuff!
We decided a 5 gallon bucket would be enough for two coats on our small surface. We ended up using about 4 gallons, all said and done.
I wanted to see what the cedar color would look like. As the tag says, it’s not returnable, so be sure you like the look. This wasn’t cheap – I think it was around $400.
Here’s my first few rows of the first coat.
And after the full first coat.
Well, it’s not a total transformation, but it is quite a bit better than before. We decided to rip out the tacky lattice altogether, although Joe says creatures will get under the porch now.
I also touched up the hand rail and we mooched the table and chairs from our neighbor who was about to throw them out. I was looking for a wood spool or some sort of outdoor table, and voila. Ask and you shall receive.
Here’s a closeup. I did go back and touchup a few spots on the house too 😉
It’s funny how we haven’t really been using our back deck this year, but we have been sitting out here for breakfast now. Having a cup of coffee, reading the paper, and listening to the birds.
You don’t get the same look as stain, but was an easy enough solution and we can revisit our plans for the spot in a couple years. I think we’ll try stain next time if it starts to chip.
All in all, this facelift was much needed and maybe even inspired a new color scheme for our exterior if/when we repaint our whole house. It was an easy enough weekend project that was totally doable for one person. It built some confidence in me to tackle the back deck too. Maybe not this year, and maybe not with Deckover paint, but we’ll see. I think there’s maintenance with decks any route you go.