Before and After: 4 Paint Colors and $300 Give This Plain Porch Some Pep

published Nov 23, 2020
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Before: Gray house with white front door

In a year when most social interactions are taking place from a distance, it feels especially important to have a vibrant and welcoming home exterior. Unfortunately, Tanna Bartlett’s front porch didn’t exactly fit the bill. “My sister and I moved into our house three years ago, and there was nothing wrong with the porch. It was just kind of there,” Tanna says.

“Overall, everything was just dusty,” Tanna says, so over the summer, she borrowed her dad’s pressure washer to try to clean up some of the dirt. The power wash took up more than just dirt, though: “Large chunks of paint came off under where the welcome mat was. It seemed like a sign the whole thing needed to be repainted, so I washed it three more times to take off as much paint as possible,” Tanna says.

Aside from the now-chipped floor, the railing was also starting to chip and rust. The porch was definitely in need of some help, but Tanna put the project on hold until the heat of summer was over.

In the fall, Tanna started with a deep gray color (Behr’s Shadow Mountain) for the base of the house and the steps. Next, she painted the porch floor a pale, icy blue (Behr’s Polar White) and stenciled over it with a geometric pattern. Using the same dark gray for the stencil as the base of the house helped tie both together.

For the door, Tanna chose a sweet pinky-peach color (Behr’s Pink Mimosa), which pops against the gray siding. She also swapped out the old light fixture for something more modern.

Tanna wanted to swap out the old house numbers but didn’t want to drill new holes, so she turned to a tutorial found on A Beautiful Mess to create her new faux greenery house numbers. A clever DIY helped her get it done even faster: Rather than making her own box from scratch, she used a shadowbox with the glass removed.

The chairs got a makeover, too, with fresh paint (Krylon’s Peacock Blue) and a new golden pecan-toned stain on the tabletop. The project cost a total of about $300, and Tanna is eager to add even more to it next year.

“I love how everything turned out,” she says. “I can’t wait for spring to add more plants!”

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