Art Decor

Our Sad Looking Front Porch

Do you have an area of your house that has so much potential, but you just can’t seem to find the time to work on it? And every time you see it, you get a little embarrassed? Well, that’s our front porch for me.

Every time I walk up to our front porch, I have to remind myself of my personal mantra for the year: I’m just one person, and I only have so much time. I’m going to do what I can (while truly trying to use my time efficiently), not do what I can’t, and feel zero guilt about it.

I’m doing pretty good at not putting needless pressure on myself, or piling heaps of guilt on myself for not doing more. But at the same time, there are some things that can’t be put off forever. And when it comes to the exterior of a house, and dealing with materials and finishes that are exposed to the elements, putting off projects and maintenance can end up getting more expensive as time goes on.

It was about this time last year that I showed y’all the front porch, and how the wood boards were holding up compared to the PVC boards. I had hoped to find time last spring to do some maintenance on the front porch, and yet, here we are. It’s one year later, and the front porch is still looking worn and sad, and still needs maintenance.

So while I want to stay focused on my studio, and I’m determined to do my best to get it done by the middle of August if at all possible (but no guilt if I can’t), at some point before the really hot weather gets here, I need to spend some time focusing on the front porch. It’s looking pretty sad these days, but there’s so much potential here! This is what it looks like as of this morning.

Everything needs a good pressure washing, and then all of the cedar porch boards need to be sanded and refinished/sealed.

And do you remember the tape lights that I put up a few years back? They were so pretty in the evenings!

installing LED tape lights around front porch roof - lights installed and turned on at night

Well, they’ve come down (because just relying solely on the tape adhesive to keep them up in the humidity outside doesn’t work), and the lights are just hanging straight down on the left side of the front steps. I need to get those back up and find a better way to secure them so they won’t come down again.

I always have random stuff on the front porch — an empty box that I put out for a stray cat during a rain storm, items left over from projects because I use my front porch as a work bench since I don’t have a workshop, etc.

The porch ceiling also needs attention. When I painted it the first time, I did so without priming first. Why? I have no idea. I know better than that, especially when painting over boards that are filled with knots. And now all of the those knots are showing through. So the whole thing needs to be primed and painted.

And then there’s the faux stone skirting. I can’t even remember when I started this project, but it’s been half finished for a very long time now. I do remember that I was making great progress, but then had to stop because it started raining. And it rained, and rained, and rained, so I moved on to other projects and never got this finished. It’s been like this for an embarrassingly long time now.

This is the part that I showed y’all at this time last year, and I’m still trying to decide how I want to handle these columns. Learn from my mistake and don’t use primed fingerjoint boards outside. Even if you plan to prime them really well with oil-based primer before using them, just don’t. For outdoor projects, use PVC boards if at all possible.

The primed fingerjoint boards that I used, even though I primed them really well with oil-based primer, haven’t held up well. But the PVC boards that I used have held up perfectly. They need to be cleaned, but the boards are in perfect condition, and the joints (which were put together using the PVC glue) are still perfect as well. None of those joints have split. My shutters, which I also made out of PVC boards, are also still in perfect condition.

You can see the stark different between the two below.

So at some point in the next few weeks, after all of our rainy days have passed, but before the really hot weather gets here, I’d like to spend a few days focusing on the front porch. I just wanted y’all to know to expect that so that when I’m in the middle of a fun studio project, and I stop to work on the front porch, y’all won’t get mad at me and tell me that I need to learn to stay focused. 😀 I just simply can’t put this off for another year. I don’t want to find myself in a position of having to replace porch boards because I’ve put off the maintenance too long and too much damage has been done.

And I really want to finally have this front porch finished! I’d love for guests to drive up to our house, and for our front porch to give them a real glimpse of what they’ll find inside. Because right now, our front porch just gives off “sad and neglected” vibes. That’s not really what I want people to think about or expect from our home.