A Mini Front Porch Refresh

Good news!  Bryan and I were able to have a little date on the front porch this evening.  The best part is that I wasn't tripping over toys and the view was quite charming!

I know that some posts are far more exciting for me than they are for you, and for that I apologize.  This is probably one of those posts, but sometimes I just get so gosh darn excited to celebrate the little things.  It is those little projects that sometimes bring the most impact to the feeling of your home.

A few weeks ago when spring finally hit Wisconsin, I took the following photo with my phone.

So pretty!  The grass was green.  The kid's toys weren't piled on the porch yet.  The flowers were blooming and I had just purchased some hanging baskets that I tossed into our painted planters.  There was a lot of colorful life happening, and I was in love.  From a distance.

Our front exterior is what Cher from Clueless would have referred to as a full-on Monet.  From far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess.

Forgive the awful photo; it was taken late Sunday afternoon at my breaking point {when the sun was setting}.  We had returned home from a nice Father's Day gathering and walked up to the front door to see a very uninviting entry.  The hanging baskets had been placed in the yard to be watered from the recent rainstorm {and they were barely surviving}, the boys had left traces of their popcorn snack, the trim was chipping, the siding was dirty, the doorbell was broken and something funky was happening to the finish of the door hardware.

Seriously.  What kind of first impression is that?  And remember what it looked like to the right?  Wait, you probably don't because it wasn't at all worth remembering.

A complete disaster.  Well, the can't-take-it-any-longer bug came and bit me right in the rear because within five minutes of returning home, I was already scraping down all of the trim surrounding the front door.

That's right.  The first step was to take my painter's tool and scrape all of the flaking white paint around the exterior of the door.  I followed up with a good sanding and a fresh coat of white paint {which I forgot to photograph since I was going at this on impulse}.  I also used a magic eraser to scrub the dirty siding.

My initial solution for the handle was to clean it up and then give it new life with some silver rub n' buff or gilding.  I don't even have any type of understanding why it was looking so shabby, but it the finish was completely chipping away.

To begin the process of prepping the hardware for the new silver finish, I grabbed some liquid deglosser.

And after carefully scraping away some of the chipped finish, I rubbed the deglosser over the entire surface of the handle and lock with a microfiber rag.

Ah-mazing difference!  I thought I would need to update the hardware with the rub n' buff or gilding, but the deglosser was all it needed to look shiny and new again!  

With three busy little guys, the door receives a lot of traffic so we decided to add a kick-plate to protect the finish.  Bryan was thinking he would have to completely remove the door to get the kick-plate level for installation {he figured it would slide all over while trying to screw it in place}, but a few strips of double sided carpet tape later....

And he was able to stick the kick-plate in place at the base of the door, and screw it in without any issues or movement.

Our doorbell has been broken for quite some time and we had purchased a replacement one from Home Depot awhile back, which had been waiting for this day of redemption.  The new doorbell was initially a deep and shiny nickel finish, however, it didn't match any of our other exterior finishes.  It was too shiny and dark to match the door hardware and too shiny and light to match our light fixture.  As we all know, that is nothing that a little spray paint can't fix.

The rest of the front porch updates were basic and simple.  All of the boy's toys were relocated to the back patio where they can use them and store them within our fenced yard until our garage is ready for them again.  And this time I actually took the time to sort all of the toys and organize them on the shelves within the baskets.  I also gave the little side table a coat of blue spray paint and finally got around to properly planting my geraniums.  I swapped my grey stripe pillows to the back yard and brought out the blue stripe pillows to the front.  A final sweep with the broom and our front porch was a much happier place.

Sure, cleaning everything up is an obvious improvement, but what I was most happy with were the updates to the door trim, hardware and doorbell.

And although I took the before photo at sunset with awful lighting and shadows and the after photo mid-day {which means the after shot automatically appears much more fabulous}, I am still over the moon giddy with the end result of what a drop everything and get it done attitude got me.


And after!

The exterior is not necessarily deemed done, but this super simple refresh sure makes it much more welcoming for us and our guests.  I see many more front porch dates in our near future!

Anyone else tackling any projects out of pure frustration?  I would love to hear all about them!


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