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~Jenni



Friday, September 2, 2011

Painted and Stenciled Front Porch

Hello sweet friends!

I hope you are enjoying Labor Day weekend, and soaking in every last bit of summer!

And we still technically have three weeks left, right? I am going by the calendar over here, because I am not ready to let summer go quite yet! :)

And speaking of summer...I am excited because I finished one of my summer projects, a "to-do" that has been on my list for a long time! 

Our front porch was in truly sad shape when we moved in. To disguise its sadness, I covered it with an outdoor rug~ which looked good...for about one day. But pine needles start collecting and they were almost impossible to remove! Add our three cats to the mix, and it was just not a good option for us.

The porch needed a better fix, but it had to be cheap! And what could be a better cheap fix than paint? ;)






 



To get started, I cleaned the concrete with soap and water, making sure to rinse it well! After it had dried, I primed the porch twice. I used House and Trim Primer by Valspar.



It was the perfect match for concrete!

{After primer picture...Please disregard the funky old sheet I was using for a drop cloth!} ;)

For the paint, I used Valspar's Porch and Floor Paint, which I will swear by until the day I die! This stuff is AWESOME, and is the same paint I used when I painted our vinyl kitchen floor. You can have the base white mixed to most any color they have the formula for, which gives you endless options! :)
I knew I wanted ours to be a nice gray...


...and chose the lighter of these two sample colors.

We are painting our house next summer, and are using a dark gray (similar to the darker sample color) for this. By choosing the lighter gray, I know it won't be too overwhelmingly gray, and the porch color will complement the house! {I can't wait to cover over the dark blue we have on the house now!}

After three coats of gray paint, I stenciled the porch with white exterior paint. The stencil package actually contained two parts to create the damask pattern, but I chose to just use the first stencil alone, and opt out of the second part. I liked it better with just the first half! {And how often is what we actually like best simpler? I don't know about you, but this almost never happens to me!} ;)

The one I have learned about painted floors is that polyurethane is key, and the more coats, the better!

{I called it good after four coats.} 
I love Floor Finish in Semi-Gloss polyurethane by Varathane, and found that it makes for a durable and highly protective sealer for painted floors when I used it on our kitchen floor! :)

I love that I can not only sweep every single pine needle and speck of dirt off the porch, but I can wash it, too! :)

Our porch is not completely smooth, and so it was hard to get the stencil perfect! And, in fact, it isn't! 




But unless you get down on your hands and knees to inspect it, you can't tell! And further more, I have decided to remove the word "perfect" from my vocabulary entirely! Is anything ever really perfect? 

Our porch surely isn't, but it is so much better than it was!



And I am so much happier when I walk up to the front door, and every time I step outside!








So, this is before: 
 



And this is after:




Coming soon: the walkway up to the front porch, which is almost as bad as the front porch was, is getting a makeover. I will hopefully be finishing this up next week, and will be sure to show you pictures when it's all done! :)







{I am linking this to the parties at the following blogs: Tatertots and Jello, Just A Girl, Under the Table and Dreaming, Funky Junk Interiors, Thrifty Decor Chick, and
The Shabby Nest.}

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and thank you so much for coming by!  :)

Blessings to you~

Jenni



14 comments:

Kate said...

Jenni

It is utterly gorgeous. How beautiful to look at that everyday. What a terrific post

xoxo
Kate

Nat said...

Wow Amazing! It looks magnificent! I must do my porch! Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing!
Nat
doodlecraft.blogspot

marenmat said...

wow, what a little paint and some pretty flowers can do! Awsome!

Patricia said...

Now that's a great looking porch floor. I love the stencil idea. Way to go!

Janie said...

I Love what you did with the porch! Beautiful..

I am not ready to let summer go either..and hope to SQUEEZE out the last 3 weeks...not that I don't like fall mind you..but it was man who decided that this is "the last weekend of summer", not "the natural way of things", right?

Mel - http://junkinjunky.blogspot.com/ said...

What a fabulous transformation Jenni!

Excellent colour choice and the small detail of the stencil is perfect.

My Blessed Serendipity Life said...

Your walkway is so nice. Love the painted border.

Danielle

~The Robin's Nest~ said...

It looks amazing Jenni~Great job! Hope you are enjoying summer being it JUST started for us this week here in Seattle! :)

gail said...

Jenni ,

it's just lovely and so very inviting. Have you ever painted over ceramic floor tiles?. My kitchen floor is so drab but we can't afford to replace them and I'd love to paint over them.

Blessings Gail

Tiff said...

Hello gorgeous Jenni! I see how hard you have been working! I LOVE that porch! That is the perfect grey and the white stencilling is gorgeous! Happy week! X

The Yankee Homemaker said...

Goodness Jeni! Another fabu job ;)

michelle said...

Jenni you did a beautiful job, I love the stencils that you used. I can't wait to see your pathway. :)
Enjoy your week my friend!
xoxo

Burlap Luxe said...

Jenni
What a welcoming entry walk!
It makes you Oooooh! and Awwwww!!
Love the transformation!
xx
Dore

CosmoGirl Carla said...

Wow! The porch looks great. I really need to spruce up our front porch. This just might do the trick. Oh, btw, that floor and porch paint is perfect for painting furniture too! The paint lady at Lowes says she recommends it all the time because it is so durable. I've painted several furniture pieces in the color "malted milk", a creamy off-white, and it worked great.

Thanks for some great inspiration.