Saturday, July 15, 2017

Porch Painting Before + After

So, after living here for 9 years and working on the exterior of the house little by little for the past 3, we FINALLY got some paint ON THE HOUSE!!

So, the last time I wrote about painting was when we were finishing up the soffitt around the porch.

To jog your memory

Here's what the house looked like before the soffitt and trim were painted way back in 2012:

And here's the "after" from last fall:

And finally, the finished-ish product!

It didn't look half bad and I was feeling pretty confident in our color choices for the whole house.

When the weather was consistently nice we decided to go ahead and get started on painting the actual porch. Before we get started, I realize that this is probably not how you go about painting a house. There are rules! You work tirelessly scraping and filling and sanding and priming every square inch of the house before you start painting. HOWEVER, I have seen those poor souls. I have walked my dog by their scaffolding week after week, month after month, giving them a little wave of acknowledgement until the weather gets too hot or too cold and they retreat for months at a time.

So instead, I decided to clean, prime, scrape and paint just the part of the house that was in reasonably good shape - the porch - to fortify myself for the crap journey that lies ahead.

And you know what? It totally worked! Am I looking forward to putting scaffolding on our roof in the fall? NO, friend. But I've seen the progress and it's wonderful and I want to finish the job. So, without further ado:


To start with, we took everything off of the porch. Every plant hook, stray nail, wreath screw, unused porch swing 2x4. Everything. Including the porch furniture

Here's my dear mother and father working way harder than anyone 45 years old ever should : P

Looks better already!

Then up went the scaffolding so we could power wash the ceiling of the porch. P.S. My mom is the only person on the earth who can look this pretty while hoisting scaffolding above their head. I said it.

Then my dad got to work playing in the water er I mean, POWER WASHING THE PORCH lol while we scraped paint off of the balisters and trim. I didn't get a lot of pictures of this because
1) scraping
2) water and cameras don't mix

But here's the before of the porch floor:

And after:

Dang. Thank you power washer!

I should mention that over the course of this paint odyssey, we've looked for/tried every paint scraping tool known to man. This guy is still my absolute favorite but my mom tried this heat gun from Harbor Freight and honestly? It worked pretty well. I was shocked. It cut through latex paint like a hot knife through butter and even took off a lot of the enamel paint, too!


Another thing my mom discovered - this lovely lady hiding right up underneath the porch rail with her bbs : /

I shouldn't be surprised since Conan and I have found two of these before around the outside of the house but I just always assumed they weren't a thing in Kansas. Brown recluses? Sure. Everywhere. But black widows? I thought we left them in the smoky mountains of northeast Tennessee when we moved here 22 years ago but I guess they followed us. Sorry, everybody!


By the time I got a picture, we had already put a coat of paint on the windows so that's why they're cream colored but you get the idea. Nice and sparkly white!


You can see at this point that we had already painted the siding and trim. So much for taking a bunch of photos : /

BUT, Conan did highly endorse this trim brush:

When you're painting what has to be MILES of trim everyday, it really is worth the $6 to get an actual trim brush with one of these stumpy, soft handles. Your wrist will thank you for it!

Here are some of those miles of trim:

Funny story: We actually painted the balusters and railing a different color than what you see in this photo (there was no red trim and the white parts were the color of the siding) then, we stepped back to look at it and immediately knew it didn't look right. We hopped in the car and drove around looking for porches with rails like ours to see where we went wrong and the answer was - not enough contrast. Conan re-primed and re-painted the rails in a day so that I could get my bunting up by Memorial Day : )

When it came time to paint the treads on the stairs we were equally stumped. I noticed that a lot of the photos I liked on Pinterest of similar houses had the risers painted the color of the balusters and the treads, the color of the trim so that's what we decided to do!

We used Valspar Porch, Floor & Patio paint because it had a little grit to it and you could have it custom tinted.

Here's Conan plugging away with his handy dandy trim brush.

Another of Conan working on the steps because I a) love my little bunting that took years to find and b) Wichita flag!

We also gave the fence a couple coats of primer and the same cream color paint as our risers and balusters. Here's the before:

And the after:

And that brings us to today (well, a few days ago, actually)!

We still need to prime and paint the steps on the south side of the house and re-install our railing that's just sitting there oh, and PAINT THE REST OF THE HOUSE but I'm really pleased with how it's turned out. What's even better? The neighbors seem to like it : )

Thanks to Mrs. DIY for reminding me to include the actual paint colors and brands on this post about PAINTING THE HOUSE ; )

Siding/Columns: Olympic One, Satin Latex in Tortuga

Dark green trim: Valspar Signature, Latex Satin in Olive Smudge

Red trim: Pittsburgh Paramount, Latex Satin in Dutch Boy's Red Farmhouse

Up next?

We did something crazy AGAIN ; ) Can't wait to share this little nugget!


  1. Hey Katherine! When painting the stone/brick columns, what type of paint did you use? Latex, Acrylic, Milk?

    1. and BTW - i LOVE the color palette, super complimentary to the house. Lovely job!

  2. This is so great. You guys are truly doing an amazing job. I love your idea to do the "easy" stuff first so that you're motivated to do the hard stuff later, too! Congrats on rescuing this place.

    1. Thank you! We'll see if we're still motivated when it finally gets cool enough to work on it again - hopefully we remember how good finishing this felt!

  3. Whether you want the whole home painted, just interior, exterior, or even just a section of the property. DuPaint provide a painting service that adds an extra element of colour and style to your home.


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