Front Porch Beginning

The front porch has long been the glory of our home, in our minds.  It spans the length of the front and down half the east side of our  home, with a slate walk all the way around, two sets of stairs, and entrances on both sides.

The first thing we did upon moving into our home was to prune back all of the vines and branches reaching up around the edges and onto the roof.  The protective shield of greenery did keep the porch clean from the street dirt, and provided a load of privacy, but also hid this gorgeous porch from view.  In the above photo, you can see what we saw upon viewing our home for the first time.

Almost ten years later, we find that we need to not only repaint, but also rebuild sections of our beloved porch.  After chopping down the vines, a year later we put on gutters, which dried out the porch significantly.  But, that also meant that the porch now was able to dry rot, which it did in sections.  It began slowly and we noticed significant damage two summers ago.  We can no longer put off repairing our porch.

In the process of repainting the back porch, I have learned the best products to use to coat the front porch and have begun the sanding process.  Bill has used beams to prop up the front edge and will begin tearing out the rot this coming weekend.

We will need to replace the wood footings under the columns and many floor boards, but hopefully none of the spindles.

I will begin repainting the floor and ceiling in sections, hopefully coating at least half the porch before winter.  The weather, cold and rain, will determine how far I’m able to go.  By next summer, we hope to finish painting and repair.


Back Porch!!

Much delayed sharing on this one. . due to life, work, etc., albeit. . .  I bring you our back porch project.  

Basically, the floor and rails, siding, ceiling were all painted when we purchased the house in 2009, but the floors haven’t worn well.

My back porch

In order to get going on this project, I started by painting the ceiling a pale blue.  Recently, I learned that ceilings are or were painted blue as a deterrent to prevent birds from nesting in the rafters.  I just thought it was a beautiful old tradition, so I chose a soft robin’s egg color and transformed our ceiling from a dead white.

Next, I sanded off the old paint layers. It took me 3 years to refinish the floor on this small area and now the stairs are peeling after just one season.  (I blame the harsh harsh weather and the fact that the stairs have absolutely no shelter.)

The wood on the stairs is new, but so is the primer and a high quality porch paint.  We had thought a stain would work, but the system we used on the front of the house was no good after one year, so I was hoping the paint would do better.  Since Bill and I both know paint pretty well, and have refinished loads of things, we really thought we nailed it.  I’m going to hunt around for something better to topcoat and I’ll be sanding the rough spots this late summer to repaint those stairs.

After sanding the floor, both Bill and I chipped away at the railings.  We finished that in only a day and began priming.  We have been partial to the XIM primers for exterior.  They look like an adhesive, but are thick and go on clear.  They bond to everything and hold on to the exterior house paint we are using.

Once the rails were primed, two coats of fresh exterior white applied, I primed and coated the floor.  I chose a slightly darker taupe color to hide the dirt more.  I will likely put on a fresh coat this season just to help the wear.  Our winter weather is quite harsh on exterior wood, and we want to do all we can to preserve these porches.

In the meantime, I have been enjoying the freshly painted floor, ceiling and rails of the back porch.  And, we moved my adorable, albeit rusty glider back here last fall.  I put up a few lights and a fan, and its my current favorite outdoor spot.  Makes it easy to watch Will in the pool and our backyard is lushly green and quite private for being such a small space with close neighbors.

This summer, we are facing into the front porch.  It has some rough damage due to lack of gutters, but it will be a doozy to redo on our own.  Plus, we have interior projects to finish and show you soon. 😉




My Porch Swing

My favorite gift that Bill has ever given me was an oak tray, distressed and stained beautifully.  We use it for nights we snack on cheese and olives from the couch, or if we happen to have a breakfast in bed occasion.  Bill made it for me for our first Christmas together and it is still one of my treasured things.  But, I have to say, he out-did himself this year for Mother’s Day.

Bill made me a porch swing, or rather a porch bed.  Since our wrap around porch is big enough to be a 5th bedroom, Bill made it into one.  I took our old futon mattress and found a weather proof cover for it, added some pillows and Wa-La!  (Or however you spell that.)

Berthel porch bed