Your front porch is the first thing you and your guests see, so it’s important to keep it in ship shape.
Refreshing your front porch doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money. Just follow these tips.
1. Power Wash the Exterior
The easiest way to refresh your porch is to clean the whole front of the house. Spraying siding with your garden hose or a pressure washer set on medium should be enough to remove dirt and grime.
Be careful. While pressure washers make quick work of cleaning siding, fencing, driveways and sidewalks, they also could damage wood surfaces.
Always follow the pressure washer’s instructions, and consider these guidelines:
- Don’t use chlorine bleach in a pressure washer; use oxygen bleach instead.
- Use a surface cleaner attachment on your pressure washer when cleaning large horizontal areas.
- Find the distance from the nozzle to the surface that cleans best without causing damage.
- Use a wide nozzle on softer surfaces to reduce the chance of damage.
- When cleaning wood, move the nozzle with the grain of the wood.
Watch, “Using a Pressure Washer to Clean the Outside of Your House” for more information.
2. Patch Any Cracks
You may not think much about cracks on a concrete front porch, but don’t just cover them with an outdoor rug.
Remember: Small cracks lead to big cracks. Water easily gets into hairline cracks, which expand and contract during freeze-thaw cycles, causing the crack to widen, which leads to bigger problems down the line.
Don’t wait another day — go ahead and fix hairline cracks with Quikrete FastSet Concrete Crack Repair. It’s an easy job that will take care of troublesome hairline cracks quickly.
After removing any dirt, dust or loose debris from the crack with a can of air or leaf blower, squirt the material into the crack using a caulk gun. It’s a liquid that seeps into the crack before hardening in about one hour. For deeper cracks, you can use sand as filler or make several applications.
Dealing with wider gaps? Then you’ll need a concrete crack sealant. Grab a chisel and hammer and widen the gap by 1/4inch and break away deteriorating concrete. Clear the loose material with a brush, insert backer rod into cracks more than ½-inch deep, and apply Quikrete Advanced Polymer Concrete Crack Sealant with a caulking gun. Let cure and then resurface the top.
While you’re at it, patch any cracks on your driveway and walkway for a uniform, finished look!
3. Paint the Porch Rails
Wrought iron handrails are common on front porches because they’re durable, but that doesn’t mean they’re maintenance-free.
If you have an older home, take a close look at the porch rails — there’s a good chance you’ll see peeling paint and rust. You may even see a broken baluster.
Fortunately, all these problems are easy to fix!
First, pressure wash the handrails to remove some of the peeling paint.
Next, remove rust with a wire brush; use a drill attachment to speed up the process.
As for the broken baluster? Insert a threaded rod into the bottom of it. Then apply auto body filler to the outside of the threaded rod and allow it to set. You can shape and sand the auto body filler to match the rest of the handrail post.
After that, apply anti-rust primer to the entire handrail and then apply two coats of oil-based enamel paint from a spray can.
Have wood railings instead? A common problem with these is rotten wood, especially if landscaping grows too close to the porch.
Watch, “How to Repair Rotten Porch Flooring and Railings” for more information.
4. Add Some Style!
Want to wow guests? Then display your personal style before they make it through the front door!
The easiest way to transform an old, worn-out concrete porch, patio, steps, sidewalk or driveway into a beautiful new surface is with Quikrete Re-Cap Concrete Resurfacer. It’s an easy job and you can do it in a day. Just clean the surface with a 3,500-psi pressure washer, protect the slab’s joints with weather stripping and apply with a squeegee, trowel or brush. Add a textured finish to prevent slips.
Once you’ve tackled the porch or patio, move onto the flora! Nothing softens a home’s appearance and boosts curb appeal like plants, and there are many affordable ways to add some to your home.
Porch planters greet visitors at the front door and come in materials such as ceramic, metal, plastic, clay, wood and stoneware. Each has its pros and cons — ceramic, stoneware and clay are breakable; metal is prone to dents; plastic lacks natural character; and wood stain fades — so weigh those with your style preferences before purchasing. Or just build a planter from pressure-treated pine. It will last for years and gain character with age.
Installing window boxes can instantly enhance your windows’ appearance and show off your gardening skills. Vinyl or plastic window boxes cost as much as $100 at the home center, but if that’s outside your budget, there’s always the do-it-yourself route.
You can even add a small plant on each step! Create a faux antique glaze on inexpensive clay pots for a weathered look without the wait!
What are your ideas for a front porch refresh? Tell us in the comments!