Tuesday, June 17, 2014

66 A Mini Front Porch Refresh

Good news!  Bryan and I were able to have a little date on the front porch this evening.  The best part is that I wasn't tripping over toys and the view was quite charming!


I know that some posts are far more exciting for me than they are for you, and for that I apologize.  This is probably one of those posts, but sometimes I just get so gosh darn excited to celebrate the little things.  It is those little projects that sometimes bring the most impact to the feeling of your home.

A few weeks ago when spring finally hit Wisconsin, I took the following photo with my phone.


So pretty!  The grass was green.  The kid's toys weren't piled on the porch yet.  The flowers were blooming and I had just purchased some hanging baskets that I tossed into our painted planters.  There was a lot of colorful life happening, and I was in love.  From a distance.

Our front exterior is what Cher from Clueless would have referred to as a full-on Monet.  From far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess.


Forgive the awful photo; it was taken late Sunday afternoon at my breaking point {when the sun was setting}.  We had returned home from a nice Father's Day gathering and walked up to the front door to see a very uninviting entry.  The hanging baskets had been placed in the yard to be watered from the recent rainstorm {and they were barely surviving}, the boys had left traces of their popcorn snack, the trim was chipping, the siding was dirty, the doorbell was broken and something funky was happening to the finish of the door hardware.


Seriously.  What kind of first impression is that?  And remember what it looked like to the right?  Wait, you probably don't because it wasn't at all worth remembering.


A complete disaster.  Well, the can't-take-it-any-longer bug came and bit me right in the rear because within five minutes of returning home, I was already scraping down all of the trim surrounding the front door.


That's right.  The first step was to take my painter's tool and scrape all of the flaking white paint around the exterior of the door.  I followed up with a good sanding and a fresh coat of white paint {which I forgot to photograph since I was going at this on impulse}.  I also used a magic eraser to scrub the dirty siding.

My initial solution for the handle was to clean it up and then give it new life with some silver rub n' buff or gilding.  I don't even have any type of understanding why it was looking so shabby, but it the finish was completely chipping away.


To begin the process of prepping the hardware for the new silver finish, I grabbed some liquid deglosser.


And after carefully scraping away some of the chipped finish, I rubbed the deglosser over the entire surface of the handle and lock with a microfiber rag.


Ah-mazing difference!  I thought I would need to update the hardware with the rub n' buff or gilding, but the deglosser was all it needed to look shiny and new again!  

With three busy little guys, the door receives a lot of traffic so we decided to add a kick-plate to protect the finish.  Bryan was thinking he would have to completely remove the door to get the kick-plate level for installation {he figured it would slide all over while trying to screw it in place}, but a few strips of double sided carpet tape later....


And he was able to stick the kick-plate in place at the base of the door, and screw it in without any issues or movement.


Our doorbell has been broken for quite some time and we had purchased a replacement one from Home Depot awhile back, which had been waiting for this day of redemption.  The new doorbell was initially a deep and shiny nickel finish, however, it didn't match any of our other exterior finishes.  It was too shiny and dark to match the door hardware and too shiny and light to match our light fixture.  As we all know, that is nothing that a little spray paint can't fix.

The rest of the front porch updates were basic and simple.  All of the boy's toys were relocated to the back patio where they can use them and store them within our fenced yard until our garage is ready for them again.  And this time I actually took the time to sort all of the toys and organize them on the shelves within the baskets.  I also gave the little side table a coat of blue spray paint and finally got around to properly planting my geraniums.  I swapped my grey stripe pillows to the back yard and brought out the blue stripe pillows to the front.  A final sweep with the broom and our front porch was a much happier place.




Sure, cleaning everything up is an obvious improvement, but what I was most happy with were the updates to the door trim, hardware and doorbell.



And although I took the before photo at sunset with awful lighting and shadows and the after photo mid-day {which means the after shot automatically appears much more fabulous}, I am still over the moon giddy with the end result of what a drop everything and get it done attitude got me.

Before...


And after!


The exterior is not necessarily deemed done, but this super simple refresh sure makes it much more welcoming for us and our guests.  I see many more front porch dates in our near future!

Anyone else tackling any projects out of pure frustration?  I would love to hear all about them!

 

66 comments:

  1. Hi! I am brand new to your blog, but I have to say, I love it! What an adorable way to redo a porch, with just a few small changes...but what a huge difference. Can't wait to follow along with you for more great ideas!

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    1. Thank you! So happy you found me Kim!

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    2. Jen, gotta say how much I love getting on your site just to see what fun things you've thought of next. The seconds it takes to load your page seems like hours, as my anticipation builds to see if you've posted a new blog. Love it!!

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  2. Como siempre espectacular tus cambios. Yo también soy de las que prefiero restaurar a comprar, es mucho más satisfactorio.
    Un saludo desde Mallorca

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  3. Wow, nice one in reorganizing your front porch. I also has it in my to-do-list (2 years ago) but never got the time to tackle it as I'm quite a busy woman. Thank you for sharing. This is really inspiring.

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  4. Hello, Jen. I love your blog - You give just a huge inspiration to take care of my/our unfinished things. Like right now reorganizing our entry. Everything is ready, just waiting the bug bit. Keep doing what you are doing. Love Ritu

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  5. It looks great! It's always impressive to see how little changes can make a huge difference. I love the color of the door, too. Very cheery!

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  6. I love this! I am actually in preparations to repaint our front door and spruce up our front porch (which is very sad looking!) I never thought of using the deglosser for the handle, we thought we were going to have to replace the hardware because it is chipped and very worn looking. I may have to try this first! Have you ever had any luck with spray painting door hardware at all? Ours is currently gold, and I would love for it to be silver, but my husband was skeptical about whether it would turn out.

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    1. Hi Caitlin,

      I have not personally attempted to spray paint door knobs. You can find quite a few posts here: http://www.pinterest.com/explore/painted-door-knobs/

      I am guessing that it will get you through a few more years with your existing hardware, but I am not sure how spray painted hardware holds up to daily wear and tear.

      Best of luck! :)

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    2. I painted mine over a year ago and they still look like new and they get lots of wear and tear!

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  7. Lovely. Amazing what a little refresher can do! Any tips on where to find the deglosser? My Lowe's/Home Depot say they've never heard of it when I tried to locate some for an earlier project. Would you venture to use deglosser on a bronze finish? My door knob has the same look as your "before" picture.

    Shar

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    1. Hi Shar!

      I found ours at Home Depot - in the paint department near the paint thinners I believe.

      I would maybe use it in a small spot that is not as visible to test it before using it as I don't have too much experience with the product.

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    2. Hi Shar, and Jennifer!
      My door hardware looked exactly like Jennifer's picture above (it's also the exact style coincidentally). My hubby and I went out twice to buy a new set but couldn't decide on something we both liked lol! So, I took our Dremel tool and took off the peeling dull finish and revealed gorgeous beautiful silver metal. It's not shiny like chrome but looks great!

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  8. Looks great! You've motivated me to tackle some projects I've been ignoring!

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  9. I just did this yesterday with my bedroom dresser! I was so sick of looking at it! It was painted brown, except for the side by the wall which was still the old stained finish... because last time I painted it, I didn't feel like moving it..... And I hated the color and it looked awful and boring and half finished. So I had it, pulled out white and bm wythe blue paint and painted it on the spot. I love it! I also pulled down a fluorescent light fixture in the kitchen out of frustration this week. And now a wire (capped) is hanging there until I find the right light fixture. Apparently I am short tempered with my house this week!

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    1. Haha! Must be something in the air! I love it! That is the only way to get things done sometimes. :) Happy you love the new dresser!

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  10. So gorgeous! Love it all! Do you know what that flowering tree is called in front of your house?

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    1. Hi Julie!

      It is a flowering crab apple tree. Absolutely beautiful in the spring, wish the blooms lasted all season. ♥

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  11. Absolutely gorgeous! I love your style. Those colors are so fun :)

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  12. Great update! I'm new to crafting and DIY. How do you know when to use spray paint and when to use exterior paint? I was expecting you to use exterior paint on the outside table.

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    1. It really depends on a huge variety of factors. What I am painting, what the finish is, what the exposure is.... The table is on a covered porch, so it should be fairly protected from harsh heat or rain, so spray paint should hold up just fine. Exterior paint is always a good idea on heavier traffic items or pieces made from wood.

      xoxo!

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  13. Love the updates, of course!

    I also wanted to say thank you for addressing your front door hardware as mine is doing the exact same thing and I wasn't sure how to fix it. I assumed it was a Florida heat thing, but now I know better and can clean it up!

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  14. Everything turned out lovely! It looks nice and inviting. =)

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  15. Hi! I've been following your blog for a little while and I love your home. It's so happy!! And I have 2 boys so its great to see how you can manage o have a beautiful home with a family of boys :). Just wondered if you could share where you got you chairs on your front porch, they are exactly what I'm looking for!! Thank you!

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    1. Hi Tara,

      I purchased them a few years ago from Pottery Barn. We really love them and they have held up so well!

      xo!

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  16. Wow, the kick-plate bounces off the light beautifully and really adds a lot! I never would have thought. I love the color of your door...we just painted ours red (which was a major step for me) and we're loving the punch of color! :)

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  17. Did you diy that sunburst mirror or buy it? Can you share the link?

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    1. Hi Alanna,

      I purchased it from HomeGoods a few years ago. They always seem to have a great selection of mirrors.

      xo!

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  18. Love your blog - quick question about flaking paint. So just scrap it off, sand and repaint? No need to caulk or patch? or it depends on how much comes off? We are pretty handy inside DIYing stuff but we need to show the outside some love. Any recommendations on good exterior paint that holds up? thanks!

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    1. Hi Vanessa,

      I scraped majority of the paint off so I was able to sand everything down nice and smooth and just repaint. It probably depends on the condition of the wood, you could always add wood filler or patch it if needed.

      For this project I just re-used paint we had on hand that matched our exterior finish, however, we have recently started using the exterior Behr Marquee paint, and I have been pretty happy with how it stands up to our climate.

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  19. The porch looks so happy and cheerful! Love the updates! And I can totally relate to that "I've-had-it" feeling. Last weekend I got to that point with our spare room (which I've lovingly referred to as No Man's Land since we moved in.). I cleaned it out and organized it like a mad-woman from top to bottom. I'm adding the finishing touches to the closet in there this weekend (My new craft closet! Woo-hoo!) but can't believe the difference already. It's such a fantastic feeling of freedom to get something like that done and actually have function where you couldn't even walk without tripping before. :)

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    1. Congratulations Christina! I know the feeling, it is one that is so addicting. :) So happy to hear you were able to get the space cleared out and make room for a craft closet! So fantastic!

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  20. How cute! Mini makeovers are the best instant results!!!

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  21. This is perfect timing. Our front door looks like a mess with paint chipping, wood rot, scratches etc. Our association still hasn't put up gutters to help with the issue but I'm about ready to take matters into my own hands. I'm also REALLY in love with kick plates. They are just so fancy looking but also incredibly usedful at the same time. I think we'll be adding a glass/screen door as well. Thanks for the tips!

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  22. Seriously so stinkin' cute! Definitely a little happy place to have some morning coffee! You always amaze me!

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  23. This is so pretty! It's funny how just a small spruce up can make the biggest difference! Thanks for sharing! Xo Kathy@The Daily Nest

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  24. Liquid deglosser can do that!!!! Who knew? Everything looks great.

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  25. great job! and that kick plate was genius!

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  26. So pretty! And I always love the pops of bright pink that I find throughout your home.

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  27. Looks beautiful! I grew up in Michigan and your home reminds me so much of there... love the green beautiful grass (grass in the south is just not that beautiful!). Those planters are gorgeous and I love your tips for the porch.

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  28. I love your color palette --- what good luck with using the deglosser. It looks like brand new hardware. Brava!

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  29. I just love all your updates, big or small! I'm always inspired by your energy to get things done around the home. The porch looks beautiful!

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  30. It's really amazing what a difference switching the door bell can make, it's all in the details :)

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  31. Gorgeous re-do! I love it when the makeover bug bites -- always makes the project full of pleasure :D Great idea, too, with the kickboard.

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  32. I LOVE it! It may have seemed like a small re-do, but it makes a huge impact-I for one love seeing these kind of seemingly minor changes because they are actually doable! And what a difference! Keep up the awesome "small project" posts!!

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  33. Beautiful, one question where did you purchase the chairs they are great?

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    1. Hi Jackie,

      I purchased them a few years ago from Pottery Barn. We really love them and they have held up so well!

      xo!

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  34. Super cute porch! Love the colors!

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  35. It's a porch like yours that really makes me wish I had one myself! Since you asked about "frustration projects," I can tell you about how our upstairs bathroom was always so dark and gloomy, because the only window was in the shower. We had an opaque roller blind installed on that window, which we couldn't really take down unless we wanted to give all our neighbors a show. So, I started trying to figure out a way to provide some privacy but still let in some light and came upon the etched glass window film covering option and approximately 30 minutes later, I was home standing in the tub applying it to the window. It was totally impulsive, but it made the BIGGEST difference in that bathroom. Suddenly getting ready for work in the early morning hours didn't seem as gloomy a task! :)

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    1. Love that! I have heard wonderful things about the window film! High fives to you, so happy you were able to quickly implement a positive change that you are still smiling about! The best!

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  36. Grow a climber up the porch pillar, rose or jasmine would be lovely. Chloe x

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  37. That's awesome. I got a wild hair a few weeks ago and scraped and painted two sides of our house that were driving me CRAZY. Then I gave the front and side doors a fresh coat of paint. Amazing how just one day's worth of work, that you've been putting off forEVER, can make such a major difference. Glad you have a new fun hangout spot!

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  38. The "can't take it anymore" bug bit me last weekend, and we painted our porch walls a fresh coat of peachy-coraly color.
    What do you think, which colors should I incorporate in the furniture and accesories, that go well with the peach walls? :)

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  39. One of the (many) things I love about your blog is how very real and practical you are. Jumping in and fixing something that bugs you with a few little steps is something we all can relate to and do. Thanks for the inspiration...it looks great!

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  40. Oh my goodness...thank you so much for the deglosser tip! I am buying some today!

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  41. great update! I usually get hit with the fix-it-right-now bug around 9 or 10 at night, lol, and my poor husband wakes up to a totally new room in the house. Might as well work when I've got the urge, because if not I'll be itching to tackle something completely different in the morning! haha

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    1. That is funny because I do the same! I am a night owl and am always sneaking things around the house while the fam sleeps. I say, when the mood strikes, go with it! :)

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  42. Our front porches are so similar...but mine has been overtaken with toys lately! Ah, summer...

    www.california-to-carolina.com

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  43. The two blue planters on the side of the doors, where did you get them or were they a diy project, if they were can you reply with the link?! Thanks!

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    1. Hi Anna!

      I found the wooden planters on clearance last year from Home Depot. They were natural wood and I painted them. They are done in Behr's Ozone. :)

      xo!

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  44. What color is your home and the shutters? You mention the door and planets was wondering about the actual house.

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