When we were house shopping, our realtor asked us to tell him the top three things we were looking for.
I had a bucket list and a very high expectation that I would get everything on it for the price that I wanted.
I didn’t think I was being unreasonable … after all, I wasn’t asking for a castle with a turret, or a moat, or even a drawbridge. Although a gatehouse would be nice, it wasn’t a necessity … a 2-car attached garage would be sufficient.
There were two specific things on that list: a patio/deck and a front porch … this is Virginia, after all!
Well let me tell you what … this house is PORCH RICH! It has a front, two-tier back, and side porch. Whoo hoo!
We LOVE to be outside. And the porch is the place to be, whether for grilling, dining, reading, storm watching, playing board games, or just relaxing with friends.
Our first summer here, though, we quickly realized that we weren’t going to be able to do a whole lot on those porches if we didn’t screen them. Let’s just say this … California ain’t got these ‘kinda bugs.
And so our side porch makeover got pushed to the top of the “to-do” list.
The side porch looked like this when we first moved in.
See those stairs? I love them!
Or should I say, I LOVED them.
After we’d lived here for a while we began to notice a strange pattern … everyone was using them as if they led to the front door. There are patio doors on the deck, but they lead right into the kitchen, not into a normal side entrance. And to make things more difficult, the light switches to the porch are on the outside, not the inside (see them there by the door?)
Can’t you picture it now?
Some stranger comes a ‘knockin after the sun goes down. I open the door and say “Excuse me … can you step back so I can turn on the lights?”
I’m a worrier … trust me, the chatter in my brain has come up with all kinds of crazy scenarios.
As it so happened, a couple of months after we moved in I had to make a trip to California, and when I came back, something looked a little odd, but I couldn’t quite figure out what it was. Seriously … it took me three days to figure out that Mr. SFV had had enough of the side door visitors and he removed the stairs.
Poor UPS and FedEx delivery guys … they were totally lost!
Both porches were in their original construction state when we bought the house. The posts and decking were still unfinished. A porch makeover was definitely needed! Fortunately, it didn’t need to be too extreme.
Our first shopping trip to Lowe’s® was to figure out what we would use to cover the wood. The paint specialist in our Lowe’s has always been very helpful and hadn’t failed us yet, so we hunted him down. We told him what we were doing and how we intended to use the porch.
He recommended we stain the porch, not paint it. And so we came home with several gallons of Olympic® Maximum Stain/Sealant.
First thing we did was take the broom and “brush” any dust and cobwebs off of the posts and the floor. Then we taped off the railing and the floor around the posts.
Then we applied the first coat. It went on just like paint, but absorbed more like a stain (without having to wipe it off.) The first coat gave it a weathered-look.
The second coat did the trick and gave it the clean, crisp white I was aiming for.
Now that the posts are done, it’s time to do the floor.
We used the same Olympic® Maximum Stain/Sealant in gray.
First we cut-in the perimeter.
Then went back and rolled the rest. Always remember to start in the furthest corner and work your way to the exit.
The first coat went on similar to the white, although it didn’t seem to soak through quite as much, but it still definitely needed a second coat. It’s so true, a can of paint, or in this case stain, provides a huge transformation!
Next on our porch makeover is adding the screen.
How about you? Do you have a porch in need of a makeover? What are your favorite things to do on the porch?