I named my blog #NotJustARealtor because I believe my passion for design, staging, and real estate truly go hand-in-hand. The purpose of my blog is to hopefully inspire you with my designs and staging tips and tricks so you can try new things and build equity in your home in the process. I also try my best to keep things on a budget and offer budget-friendly tips. Like many young families, we too are on a budget and I think with a little DIY and creativity you can really save some bucks.
My most recent project was to take on a refresh of our front porch, now that we are FINALLY seeing some sun (hallelujah). This included:
- Staining the front porch.
- Painting the front door and mailbox.
- Putting a decal on the front door for character.
- Hanging lights.
- Painting some old patio furniture….read on for why this project failed miserably.
My husband built the porch last year, however we never got around to staining it as we had too much on the go, including welcoming our youngest daughter to the family and re-doing our backyard! Luckily, it’s a covered porch, so the wood was protected from the elements over the long drawn out winter. I bought a pint of stain and that would have been enough to do the entire porch, however, I also used some of the stain on my custom real estate posts (feel free to ask me about these). I’m happy with the stain; I chose a natural colour so it brings out the real beauty of the wood and goes well with the colours of our house. The staining itself was not too much work, but I did it when it was really hot out so in retrospect, I should have chosen a cooler day to do this project (but let it be known I am not complaining about the sun and heat that we’re having). The cost of this project was approximately $25 (I’ll only count the cost of one pint of stain as that’s about all it took).
After looking at front door pins on Pinterest for the last two years or so I finally decided to go with a high gloss black paint. The previous front door colour was a grey-blue and was looking a little tired, plus the colour didn’t really go. Again, for a DIY project, I’m happy with how it turned out, however, it would have turned out better had the door been sprayed rather than using a roller and paint brush. What I did find helpful was following a certain pattern in painting – thanks again to Pinterest for this information. The cost of the paint (again I bought a pint) for the front door was $20, but I only used about a ¼ of it on both the front door and the mailbox. I will eventually paint the inside of the door as well.
To add a little character, I purchased the cutest vinyl “hello” decal from a store local to me and this took about 2 minutes to apply to the door. The decal was $8 and I LOVE how it turned out.
A couple of years ago we bought some Edison globe lights from Costco and had been stringing these in our backyard for the last couple of summers. This year, I wanted to put them up on our front porch and really make it a place that we would sit out and enjoy in the evenings once the kids have gone to bed. Before wrapping the lights, I removed all the bulbs as they’re very fragile. I think we originally paid about $50 or so for one set of lights but since this isn’t something new I purchased for this purpose and I’m simply just re-using them, I’m not going to count this in the overall budget.
Finally, I ended this porch refresh with a bang. But not in a good way. I decided to paint a couple of pieces from our old patio table using the high gloss black paint I used on the front door. Well, not every idea I have is a good one. I only got about half way through one piece before giving up. I think the black paint against the beige is too much contrast and just doesn’t work overall. Also, this painting was tedious and I almost instantly regretted it from the start and thought to myself, it would be easier to just buy new furniture. While I’m giving up on painting the furniture today, I might tackle this in a different colour another day and might try spray paint instead….I’ll keep you posted on how this turns out.
All together, the porch refresh project cost $53 + tax. I’d say that’s quite reasonable and I’m very happy with the outcome (other than the furniture fiasco). If anyone has any suggestions for the patio furniture, please share them. I need inspiration here!! And because I don’t want to leave you with the ugly images of the painted patio furniture, here is one more of the finished porch:
Fiona White – REALTOR® with Sutton Group – West Coast Realty