8 Stylish, Smart Ways to Give an Outdated Concrete Front Porch a Facelift

published Jun 22, 2023
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If you live in a home built anytime in the past 50 years, you are likely all too familiar with the concrete front porch. While lauded for their durability and affordability, these basic front porches are anything but inspiring — particularly once they start to show some wear. However, the good thing about concrete front porches is they are the perfect blank slate for numerous DIY and professional projects and upgrades. If your boring front porch is getting you down, consider one (or more!) of these eight stylish, smart ways to give your outdated concrete front porch a makeover.

Credit: Yardzen

Paint it a new color. 

An oldie idea but a goodie, painting your concrete front porch is one of the easiest ways to transform it. Whether you’re going from an outdated color to a modern, minimalist shade that’ll better blend in with your surroundings, like Yardzen’s head of brand, Kendra Poppy, did to her home (as shown here) — or you’re interested in a bolder, more colorful mural-inspired look — your options are limited only by your own creativity. Consider using painter’s tape to create a unique color-blocked design or a geometric pattern. For color that’ll stand up to the elements, you’ll likely achieve results with epoxy-based pigments, specialty porch and patio formulas, or outdoor acrylic paints.

Add pavers or outdoor tiles.

If you’re up for a slightly more labor-intensive project, using pavers to overlay the concrete on your porch can completely transform it. Plus, aesthetically speaking, there are endless options to choose from at lots of different budgets. Looking for a traditional-meets-rustic look? Chicago-style thin brick might be your best option. While terracotta pavers and patterned tile are great for a more Mediterranean-style home, modern options, like minimalist gray ceramic or faux stone pavers, are also popular, says Andre Kazimierski, the CEO of Illinois-based Improovy Painters.

Build a wooden deck on top.

If you’re feeling done with your concrete porch entirely but want to avoid a huge demolition, covering it with wood or composite decking is a great option. Plus, if you’re handy, it’s a relatively straightforward DIY project, and you’re free to add to the size of your porch or steps without having to remove the existing concrete, says Chrissy Arsenault, owner and designer of Live Original Design based in Ontario, Canada.

“Don’t forget to add a picture-frame border around the porch surface and each step to avoid any exposed cut ends, and a vertical board skirting detail around the face surfaces (sides and stair risers) for a finished look,” she adds.

Credit: House on Wilshire

Use a stencil to paint faux brick.

If an overlay isn’t in the budget, follow the lead of home DIY expert Sheli Bungard, aka House on Wilshire (@houseonwilshire on Instagram), who found an ingenious way to get the aged brick paver look for less. She used a brick stencil, concrete skim coat, some serious color-matching skills, and a little artistic flair to create a faux brick pattern on her concrete front patio that would make anyone do a double take. “It’s coming up on four years since I completed this project, and it has held up beautifully,” says Bungard. “The more it gets worn and distressed, the more authentic it looks.” 

Paint your front door a bright color.

This one doesn’t even require refacing your concrete porch at all! Yardzen expert Kristin Swenson says choosing a bright or bold color for your front door “draws the eyes up instead of down at your tired, seen-better-days concrete porch.” Instead of the standard white or builder’s beige door, consider going for something unexpected like red, blue, green, yellow, or even black. No one will notice your concrete patio anymore — I promise!

Credit: Yardzen

Use planters, outdoor rugs, and decor as decorative distractions. 

Another way to give your concrete front porch a facelift without pulling out your tools? Use outdoor decor to divert guests’ and onlookers’ attention from what’s underfoot. Try flanking your doorway with large, statement planters then swap in new outdoor light fixtures — or bring in string lights for extra ambiance after dark.

“Another affordable way to update a concrete front porch and give it more life is simply to add an outdoor rug,” says Swenson. A rug is “a simple fix for covering up cracks in the concrete, or giving what can sometimes feel like a cold, unwelcoming material a little personality and a more inviting feel,” she adds.

Think about concrete staining.

Just as concrete can be painted to give it a new look, it can also be stained! Concrete staining is a great, inexpensive option that will give your concrete a new finish while helping to protect the surface, says Arsenault. Staining also provides a more natural-looking finish than paint, and the color is known to last longer. However, staining won’t provide the same dramatic finish that paint does, so ultimately the decision between painting and staining will depend on what you’re looking for and how you plan to use your front porch. If you’re more of a subtle person when it comes to decor, staining might be for you.

Install a decorative railing.

Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of updating (or installing) the decorative railing on your porch. “This could be as simple as a fresh coat of paint, or potentially replacing your railing entirely with a wood rail, aluminum pickets, or glass panels for a more modern look,” says Arsenault.