On deck: Making the porch a safer place

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Considering the number of times I’ve featured it alone, it’s clear I’m enamored with my porch, right? It’s such a sweet spot to hang out, usher in a brand new day and bid it farewell, too, thanking God for allowing you to see both ends of it.

It was the first thing I loved about this house. I had a porch at my old house, though it was never as cozy and welcoming as this one. And as much as I love this porch, it was also a death trap.

The photo above, taken just before we moved in in June 2012, shows the warped, rotting decking. And, God love it, it just couldn’t hang anymore. I couldn’t hang with it anymore, either. Once a carpet cleaner was at my house and as I left the porch to get a check from my car, my heel got stuck in the split section two boards from the post on the right and I went flying down the steps (embarrassing). And under the swing was worse. We had to break up.

So this summer, after getting the go-ahead from the historical board (a must if you live in a historic district), my parents and I ripped it up and my dad replaced the old boards with composite decking left over from a deck project at their house.

A last before shot:


And the demo:


My mom and I spent hours removing nails and screws from the joists. I think there were about 83,000 of them.


We trashed the railings because they were in very bad shape.


I was kinda digging the porch without the railings, but because it’s built up and not on the ground level, safety is priority. The handrails did come down, though, because they weren’t secured anyway. My neighbors don’t have handrails on their stairs, so I don’t have plans to replace mine.

Anyway, the decking’s been done for months and one section of the railing was painted, but with illness and winter and everything, this past weekend was the first time we dug the paintbrushes out and got to work. Well, the girls and I did.


It was kind of a messy endeavor, but they were super excited about it. They even touched up the door and threshold, which looks great (except for the paint on the windows and the wooden siding, eek).


There will be a lot of touch-up paint in my future.

Oh, and Jenna said now that the front half of the porch railing is done – the two front sections and one of the side sections – we’re done. “No one will see the back sections!” she said. She’s the boss.

In addition to the railing, Jaylen and I finished a project we started right after Thanksgiving. I bought a wicker furniture set for $100 from a local resale shop (that has since gone out of business, wah) and two summers on the porch had faded it. It needed help.


Eight cans of Krylon’s Oxford Blue later – yes, EIGHT, spraying dried-out wicker is a pain – we have these adorable guys.


Here they are on the porch (with cuckoo bananas early morning shadows, but I don’t get home during daylight right now). I didn’t plan it, but the blue chairs and the green table coordinate pretty well with my Joss & Main birdy pillow. The rug does as well, but I keep tripping on it, so it needs to either lay flat or go away.

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(There are the paint splatters from Jenna’s paint job.)

We still need to:

  • finish painting the railings
  • touch up the paint around the base of the deck and the side of the house
  • sand down and repaint the columns
  • paint the other french door and the steps
  • install curtain rods, like this guys made from galvanized plumbing parts, and rehang curtains
  • soften the place up with some potted plants, like ferns

I would love some sort of table near the swing, too. I love sitting out there with iced coffee and a book/my iPad on summer mornings and always need something closer.

Is anyone as eager for summer as I am? I can’t wait to sit out here when the weather warms up.



2 thoughts on “On deck: Making the porch a safer place

  1. Melissa
    January 23, 2015 at 8:36 am

    This is looking SOOO cute 🙂 We hung curtains in our sunroom using copper pipes and I LOVE IT. The fittings work so well as curtain hangers, especially going around a corner.

  2. Janessa
    January 23, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Love the blue wicker furniture! That color looks great with the other pieces. And I agree summer needs to come on, or spring. I would settle for spring too.