Porch Makeover in Progress

As previously mentioned, our plans for the long weekend primarily surround a grandiose DIY porch makeover undertaking: removing all exterior wooden slats, removing all 1960's (?) striped screen panels, scraping & wire brushing remaining wood trim & panels, painting remaining wood elements (interior & exterior), hanging new aluminum screen panels, and finally affixing new white vinyl slats for the finish.

Here's what we were working with to begin with: a screened-in side porch original to the 1956 house with what we think is original screen which has a striped pattern made at the time to add privacy (the idea being that it could be seen out of but difficult to be seen inside of) and original painted wood slats. All of the above was showing some age, wear and tear:

We (meaning Tim) began by removing all of the wooden slats from the exterior, then ripping off the screen panels one metal staple at a time. While Tim did much of the "heavy lifting" I started in on scraping, wire brushing, and wiping down the remaining wood elements that would need to be painted later.

As the screen continued to come down, we were both astounded at how much brighter the porch instantaneously became. By midday, we had all the slats & screen removed and had prepped all of the remaining wood in preparation for painting.

Detail of before and after chipping wood vs. smoothed down below. We heard time and time again when talking about this project how important it was to scrape and smooth down ALL chipping paint on surfaces we planned to paint - otherwise any new paint would simply chip off in the same way the old paint already was.

Basil, our supervising weimaraner puppy, wasn't quite sure what to think, but he kept the situation under control at all times with his curious nature trying to be right in the middle of everything. The funny part was - we were worried he might try to jump from the porch into the front yard now that the screen was removed (we don't allow him to run free in the front) but he actually stayed within the guidelines of the porch at all times. He enjoyed sticking his head outside where the old boundaries were with the screen but never once tried to leave the porch.

Tim hauled away all the debris to our local recycling bins since the old screen was aluminum - it was crazy seeing it all in once place once it had been ripped out:

At this point, we had met the goal we set for the day (removal and prep) but still had some momentum and energy left in us so we went ahead and cracked open the cans of paint to get a first heavy coat on the remaining wood elements. We used an exterior semi-gloss finish paint which claims to be a severe weather protectant and have a lifetime warranty - we shall see.

After taping off the porch, painting was the most fun I had during the work today. It was relaxing and one of those things that gives an instant feeling of gratification with the before and after effect.

So you can see we got further than we thought for the day - it feels great. Tomorrow we plan to touch up the paint in the morning, measure to make sure we know how much screen and how many slats to purchase and then head down to my mom's place on the river to spend some good old family time together. Monday morning we plan to get back to business by hanging the new screen and nailing in new white vinyl slats.

By the looks of it, our "supervisor" was pretty tuckered after a full day of work:

In case anybody is wondering - yes that is white paint on the side of his nose. He couldn't help himself. Any big plans for your weekend?
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  1. No big plans here. Although we did go to a couple nurseries for items for our garden. We need to make a path that goes from our house to our shed so we aren't tracking dirt back into our house all the time. It will be good to have a long weekend though. I love your porch. I wish we had a screened porch. We need one to protect us from the giant mosquitoes here in TX. You would think that in our extreme drought that we wouldn't have any, but they are survivors.

  2. Come fix mine when you are done! :)
    I just plan to relax and maybe do some planting in the yard I haven't had time to do yet. Hope you have a nice weekend.

  3. Wow, looks tons better already!

  4. @ Jocelyn - a Texas garden sounds amazing - what types of vegetables are in season down there?

    @Burnt Mill - Whew we will be tired after this project is finished but who knows - we might just show up on your doorstep.

    @Holly - Thanks so much - amazing how quickly a coat of paint can change the look of things!

  5. Well, actually we don't have a vegetable garden YET. It is just a flower garden at this point but we do have a spot to put a few raised beds because we really want to grow vegetables. It gets warm here pretty early so people are able to start growing things pretty fast. It is already 100 degrees though so that can make it tough on some plants.

  6. Cool looking porch! We need to repaint our front porch too (my favorite place because of the porch swing...swinging with a glass of wine at sunset = 2 thumbs up!)

    This weekend we tried to bunny proof our garden (bunny won...who know they could squeeze through a fence that had 2 inch openings in the chicken wire?) So he is very full now after eating up all the strawberries and we are rebuilding the fence to have smaller openings :)

  7. oh! good job! I can't wait till we can move out of our tiny apartment and into a house- I'm craving DIY home projects!

  8. Can't wait to see the finished project. I'll bet you'll have fun looking for "finds" to load it with! No porch to work on here in Michigan, but we worked in our community garden at the church. 88 plots of veggies for the masses. Love to dig in the dirt!

  9. @Jocelyn - I think raised beds must be the way to go. I'm wishing we had put them in as well since we have SO many weeds! It's hard to keep them at bay when trying to do it all organically.

    @newhopebeading - good luck with those little fellas! We have a little wire fence around our garden too which seems to work for larger animals but not the bugs!

    @M - I totally know the feeling.

    @Jacquie - the community garden sounds awesome. We still haven't gotten active in one in our neighborhood yet. Yes! Will be fun to find new things to put on the finished porch.

  10. Wow, what a lot of work you've done! It is looking great!

    Basil is as sweet as always :)

  11. Jealous of your porch, it looks awesome! The hard work will be so very worth it. I dream of having a home and such a porch one day :)


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