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This 1901 farmhouse belongs to the mayor of Silverhill, Alabama, Jared Lyles, and his wife Christie, who share it with their children, Jackson and Adalyn.

We’re here to help fix up the family’s front porch. The porch surfaces are worn and a little dingy; the under-skirting looks more “farm” than “farmhouse,” and without working lights, fans or door lock, it isn’t very functional.  

The Projects

Repair Front Columns

First, we find out how rotted the columns are and remove all the damaged wood.

Then, we use JB-Weld Wood Restore Liquid Hardener to seal up the wood’s pores. Then we cut some hardware cloth left from the underskirting to hold up the epoxy putty we’ll add later.

After mixing the epoxy putty together, we spread it out to fill the void and smooth it over to make it flush with the column surface.

Old front door on farmhouse in Silverhill, Alabama

Repair and Refinish Door

The front door is original to the home — and you can tell it is when you look closely at it. So, we’re going to remove the door for refinishing. 

We brush stain stripper on the door; it’s made from citrus oil, so it smells nice. It removes the door’s stain, but the peeling portions look like earwax!

After staining the door, we apply spar urethane and watch the door’s details pop, restoring the door to its former glory.

Revive Door Set and Lock

When the Lyles moved into their home, they loved that the lock used a skeleton key, but for years struggled to actually unlock their doors.

The lock adds so much character to the front door, we can’t get rid of it, so we’re going to find a way to fix it!

We’ll strip the antique lock plate’s lacquer before opening the lock itself — but first, we take a photo of the lock, ‘before’ so we know where everything should go after we work on it.

Fortunately, nothing appears out of the place, so we just clean the lock, oil all the parts and put it back together.

Build New Shutters

We’re adding farmhouse shutters to the Lyles’ home, and we’re going to build them ourselves.

Watch, “How to Build Farmhouse Shutters” for the complete step-by-step guide.

We need to stain these shutters, but the stain needs to match the one we’re using for the door.

The best way to match wood stains is to get sample pieces of wood, and stain them with different shades, using the same wood as the project.

We used Minwax, Golden Oak for this project.

Repair Porch Skirting and Install Lattice

Jared had installed under-skirting made of cinderblocks, so we’re going to replace those with latticework.

To create lattice panels, we make a frame from treated 1-by-2s, then we tack lattice strips on from the backside.

Christie applies the same stain we used on the shutters to tie the look together.

Install Ceiling Fans and Light Fixture

We removed some siding on the front porch so our electrician, Jeremy, can install a new light fixture and two ceiling fans.

We prime all sides of the replacement siding to lock moisture out and make sure the siding lasts a lot longer.

We also:

Post-Production Thoughts

We’ve put some sparkle back into this old home. The wall, ceiling, floor and steps all look bright and new thanks to some cleaning and fresh paint.

While the light and fans will make it more comfortable, the repaired columns have been returned to their former glory and the natural beauty of that old front door has been restored, complete with a functional and newly polished lock.

The shutters and lattice we added not only coordinate with the door, but they also fit perfectly with the character and charm of this beautiful old farmhouse. 

And all these materials cost less than $1,000!

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Editorial Contributors
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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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