Before and After: Front Porch Makeover

During my blogging hiatus, Mike and I were pretty busy with home projects. I love, love, love working on our house, but really, I only like "non-intensive" things - like painting, cleaning and decorating. Things that can be easily started and stopped and don't need tools that require any actual skill of any kind.

That's why this project was perfect for me. For a long time, our front porch was a pretty big eyesore (both the inside and outside). It seemed like the rest of our house had been completely redone, but we had forgotten the front of the house in the process. One of our friends said it best after they had walked through our front porch into the rest of our house: "Wow, I wasn't expecting it to be this nice!"

Uhhh ... surprise?!

So last fall, in between tons of trips, weddings and well, general life, Mike and I worked on redoing our porch, both the inside and the outside and today, I'm going to show you the inside.

Here's the porch just before we started the project:

The wood floors were in insanely rough shape. At one time they had been painted the most ugly brown color you've ever seen, and on top of that it was now incredibly chipped and worn. The trim was in the same disarray, chipped and peeling, with dead bugs and dirt everywhere (oops - suppose we could have easily taken care of that one). The once white stucco had turned yellowish-brownish and on top of that, we had several window panes broken and chipped that needed replaced. Based just off our front porch, our house looked like it had been abandoned for years.

I wish I had progress photos for you, but as I mentioned I wasn't blogging when we did this project, so I didn't make it a priority. So, let's just jump straight to the after, shall we?


Sorry about the Christmas bouquet. It's my only remaining Christmas decoration, promise! I'll switch it up soon for spring ...

Okay, here's what we did:

  1. Powerwashed the entire thing. My dad brought up his powerwasher one weekend and we sprayed the porch down, inside and out. You wouldn't believe the amount of dirt that came pouring down the front steps - it was disgusting and I couldn't believe that was coming out of our house. The house we had been living in for over a year. Sick. 
  2. Scraped, scraped, scraped. We scraped and sanded down all the trim, removing any peeling or loose paint - best, yet most painful, arm workout ever. I whined like a baby to Mike every night, and tried to get him to do my hair for me each morning since I could barely lift my arms. Bad idea - boys don't how to make ponytails.  Oh, and like the good kids we are, we wore facemasks! Pretty sure we were scraping off paint straight from when the house was built in 1924.
  3. Removed broken window panes. This was hardest and most time consuming part - and sadly, I made it take a little longer. I did a lot of the scraping around the windows and well, sometimes my hand would just spaz out and somehow glass broke at the same time - it was crazy! Mike still doesn't believe me that they were always two unrelated yet similarly timed incidences.  Anyway, those odd occurrences meant we had to replace even more glass than we originally thought - making it take much longer.  We ordered glass from Minneapolis Glass Company - it was all custom cut because we needed all polygons, not rectangles - old house syndrome. Mike would remove the old glass pane (or pieces) by chipping away at the old grout until it came loose. Once all the glass was out, he chipped out the old grout so we were just working with the wood frame. 
  4. Installed new window panes. Mike installed the new glass panes by pinning each one in place with window glazing points. I would then come through and glaze the exterior of the windows. (We used DAP 33' 1 Qt. Window Glaze - we went through buckets of it.) I could do a whole blog post on how to glaze, but well, that'd be boring, so feel free to do a quick Google search and tons of tutorials will pop right up. 
  5. Painted! This was actually the fun part because we began to really see the porch transform. We primed it first with primer we had on hand, then we painted the trim in Behr's Ultra Pure White Porch and Floor Paint. We had stucco paint left over from the old owners, so we just gave that a fresh coat. 
  6. The floors are actually another story in and of themselves, and I'm just realizing this post is super long and I probably could have broken our porch makeover into about 12 different blog posts . So instead, I'm going to break it up into two and talk about how we painted the wood floor in another post, on another day. 
Once everything was finished, I just "shopped the house" using furniture and other items we had on hand to decorate. The only thing we purchased was a slipcover for a hand-me-down love seat that had been on the porch previously. In the future, I'd love, love, love to makeover a couple of chairs in a fun color to put in front of the trunk to make it a little easier to have groups out here.

Here's a closer look:

And just one more before and after shot:


  1. I'd like to have a cup of coffee with you out there next time we're up! :)

  2. Looks great - nice job! Have you thought about painting the ceiling a lighter color - white or light blue? It would really lighten it up and might be a fun/different feel.