Spring Refresh: 3 No-Fail Projects to Boost Your Curb Appeal

published Mar 7, 2019
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Credit: Lowe's

If you feel like you’ve been slogging through cold, rain, and slush for too long, we’ve got good news. Spring (officially) starts March 20, and the shift is in the air. Every week for the lead-up, we’re working with Lowe’s to share quick updates you can do in a weekend, including step-by-step instructions and a list of supplies.

This week we’re at the gateway to your home, the front door. If thinking about feng shui works for you, your front door is where chi (or energy) enters your house, and a healthy front door is essential to a healthy home. If thinking about home value is a bigger motivator, an attractive front door is one of the easiest, cheapest improvements you can make to up your home’s curb appeal. Either way, there’s no better way to greet the world with the renewed sense of optimism a front-door upgrade brings.

Credit: Lowe's

1. Fix Up Your Front Door & Shutters

With a fresh coat of paint on your front door and shutters, you can make your home feel instantly warmer and more inviting. Lately, we’ve been seeing people use blues for the right balance of perk and quirk. Deep, moody shades add drama while softer hues convey peace and calm.

  • Shop for supplies. You’ll need some basic tools like GE Supreme Sealant Caulk, a Purdy 6-piece Paint Applicator Kit, 3M 120-Grit Premium Paper Sandpaper, and Valspar Interior/Exterior Primer. And if you’re into blues, we recommend Valspar Destiny for a lighter look and Valspar Indigo Streamer for a dark, classic color. 
  • Remove your front door, shutters, and hardware. Use an existing storm door or a large piece of plywood to temporarily keep out bugs and drafts while you work. Remove your shutters using shears or a saw to get behind the shutter and the fasteners.
  • Start with a clean, smooth surface. If necessary, sand down old doors and shutters to remove any peeling pieces.
  • Repair any cracks with caulk. Dabbing small amounts, work the caulk into the cracks with a putty knife. After it dries, sand down the repaired spots until they’re smooth. Wipe up any dust from sanding before you begin priming.
  • Apply one coat of primer. Working in a dust-free area, apply a single coat of primer with a wide paintbrush. Cover the front and side edges of the door and shutters. Once the primer has dried, flip the door and shutters over to prime the back. If the primer drips or goes on chunky, lightly sand the surface to smooth it out. 
  • Apply at least two coats of paint. Once the primer has completely dried, paint from the top down, in this order: (1) Bevels, (2) Panels, (3) Center Stile, (4) Rails, (5) Outer Stiles. Use a wide brush for corners or crevices and a small roller for flat panels. Make long strokes, and clean any visible lines with a dry cloth. Add more than two coats to increase the color saturation.
  • Reinstall the door and shutters. Let the door and shutters fully dry, then reinstall them using your original hardware.
Credit: Lowe's

2. Decorate Your Porch or Stoop

Whether you have a full front porch or just a few steps, you can make your home feel more personal with planters, a wreath, and a welcome mat.

  • Planters make the biggest difference. Choose large containers filled with flowers to flank a doorway, and smaller ones as space allows. Think railings, corners, and hanging baskets. For a modern porch or patio, try a Pink Wire Plant Stand with allen + roth Grey Resin Planters and Black/Glaze Ceramic Planters.
  • Roll out a welcome mat (or rug). Add color and fun underfoot with a doormat or even an outdoor area rug. On a larger porch, place an all-weather rug like the Garden Treasures Bright Palm between the steps and front door to separate your entrance from a seating area. When choosing a rug, try matching it to your main exterior paint color.
  • Hang a wreath. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to celebrate the change in seasons. For spring, we love a Green Leaf Wreath or Lemon Spring Wreath.
Credit: Andrew F. Kazmierski/Shutterstock

3. Bonus: Landscape Edges and Borders

Look for areas where a little bit of landscaping will make a big impact. These could be streetside green strips, front walks, and mailboxes.

  • Stock up on garden essentials. A few basic go-tos include Scotts Nature Scapes Mulch, Miracle-Gro All Purpose Soil, the Corona Stainless Steel Hand Trowel, and (of course) plants and flowers.
  • Break up the soil. Using a hand trowel, prep the soil in your planting area. 
  • Plan your design. Place the plants on the ground where you think they’ll look best, leaving some space between the leaves to allow them to grow wider.
  • Dig your holes. Go 2–3 inches wider and deeper than the pots that house your plants. Add a layer of enriched soil to the bottom of each hole.
  • Plant. Remove each plant from its pot, loosen the roots, and then place the plant in its hole. Fill the hole with enriched soil.
  • Mulch. Cover the planting area with mulch to retain moisture and keep weeds down.