I get so wrapped up in beautifying the inside of our home that sometimes the outside doesn’t get the love it deserves. Does this happen to any of you? This time, however, a flash of inspiration led to a mini makeover for our outside entry and porch.
Ready for it? Here it is.
Fans of the show Fixer Upper will recognize this as the welcome sign at the Magnolia silos.
I fell in love. So simple, so lovely, so brilliant. I have never been a great fan of door mats and did away with ours long ago. We enter the house through the garage, anyway, and guests to our home pretty well always remove their shoes of their own accord.
Once I got the idea of painting our own welcome sign I marched myself right down to Home Depot, picked up some of this paint, and got to work painting the porch in front of our front door.
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Actually, it didn’t work out that way. The real story involves a bit more craziness, and I’m going to tell you about that, because it’s how home improvement projects just go sometimes.
Our porch had not been painted in about 8 years, so it was due for a little upkeep. Also, we rented the house out for a time while we lived on the coast, and while we were gone we had non slip treads installed. When we got back it looked like this.
Okay, that’s after I started painting. I have a devil of a time remembering to grab a photo first. Safe, but not so attractive. So I scrubbed it clean, then dug through the paint cupboard and found a gallon labeled “Front and back porch and trim.” Bingo. I gave it a good mixing and started slopping it on. Instantly alarm bells started going off in my head. It’s so white I thought. Guys, I don’t know what to say about why I went ahead and did it all, but I did. And when it was done I couldn’t get the image of Ross’s over whitened teeth from that one Friends episode out of my head.
For the next 24 hours we pondered what to do. Repaint all the trim? It could use it, but we are considering repainting the entire house in the next couple years, so it doesn’t make sense to do that now. And there is that whole bit about painting an entire house because you set out to paint “Welcome” on your front porch.
Then my husband found another paint can. Also labeled front and back porch. Oooooops. After removing the paint roller the house painters left in the gallon for us (gross) and giving it a good stir I recoated the entire porch. And there was joy.
Finally I was able to paint my welcome sign. In order to get it exactly right I printed the word off on an engineering print at Staples, then traced it onto the porch in pencil. Then I used Rustoleum protective enamel to paint the letters. I went with an oil based paint for a couple reasons. First, despite the advances in latex, I felt the oil would hold up slightly better. Second, oil based paint has a longer dry time but a shorter cure time. This allows for a longer grace period in fixing it exactly how you want it and a greater ability for the paint to level out before drying. The oil cures in one week’s time instead of one month, which is a plus when painting something that gets foot traffic.
Here it is!
I love it.
To further warm up the entry I purchased an artificial boxwood tree from Home Goods (low maintenance for the win!) and built a wooden planter box. You can find that tutorial here.
Then I stood back and admired my work.
…And decided that the door handle just had to be black now. Fortunately painting a door handle is a pretty simple diy, and after a couple hours it looked like this.
And that is how I started painting a welcome sign and ended up making over the front porch.
My preference is for simple design that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. I think a home is a reflection of who you are, and I love the welcoming ease of the entry that sets the tone for the rest of the house.
We spent about $135 on this. We were able to keep that cost down mostly because we had the paint and the planter was diy. The wreath comes from one of my favorite online stores, Antique Farmhouse. You can get it here. Keep checking back in if it goes out of stock as it seems to be a pretty popular item. UPDATE: You can also get the wreath at homedecorators.com, here.
That’s it! Finally turning my attention to the front entry is giving me the motivation to jump into other outdoor areas this summer. How about you? Any outdoor projects this summer?