Thursday, June 21, 2012 3:17 PM EDT
Last month, tired of perpetually peeling paint and constant clutter, my husband and I decided to DIY a front porch makeover
. The first step was literally the first step: The stairs needed a complete rebuild
. While the project continued to move forward, we got a jump on the exterior paint shade
, consulting with Valerie Clubine of Signature Interiors in Unionville.
During our first consultation, Valerie stressed that you should always look at your exterior paint colour choices outside
. Seems like a no-brainer, perhaps, but many people don’t do think to do it. “Colours will always look darker inside than they do outside,” she explains. “If you’re looking for a colour that’s truly rich, you need to see how it will look in the sun, which will wash it out. Many clients think a colour is far too dark, and then they see it outside and realize it’s perfect.”
It’s also important to compare your colour-shade selection(s) to your outdoor brickwork
. Often, there will be a colour you don’t realize is there. Fact: many a red-brick home will indeed look
red from a distance, but up close you can discern shades of green or yellow or brown in the brick. This is a plus: additional colour(s) can help you choose a more interesting colour, and also, one that better reflects the true shade of your house.
We chose a nature-inspired grey/taupe and a deep brown that went with both our antique-brown brick and our new door. You read correctly: Two exterior colours rather than one.
“This is a much more interesting choice, especially in older homes,” says Valerie, “because you can showcase the railings, pillars and panels in a unique way.” The paint colours we chose:
- Fedora by Behr; colour # S H 740 (this is the darker of our two shades)
- Baby Turtle by Benjamin Moore; colour # 515 (this is the lighter of our two shades)
- Paint type for both shades: Behr Premium Plus Ultra Paint/Primer in One Porch and Floor Paint (Acrylic latex) ($4 per 3.79 L)
To get a bit of insight into the painting side
of the project — since we’d tried, and failed, to paint the old porch several times (it peeled every year!) — I also consulted with Home Depot expert Moss Brookfield. His advice
was on-point and catchy: “When you buy a home
, it’s location
,” he said. “And when you’re painting the outside of a home, it’s preparation, preparation, preparation
We were going wrong each year because we were painting over layers of already peeling paint; as well, we weren’t paying as much attention as we should have to the prep work
. Moss points out that the results you get when painting outdoors are 100% determined by the effort you put into preparing your home prior
to applying that first coat. What this meant for us was two days of sanding and cleaning the porch floor and pillars. And when we were finally ready to paint, there was a rain delay. “Painting during rainy weather
is a very bad idea because paint does strange things when there’s humidity in the air,” Moss says. Even though much of the porch is sheltered from direct rain, moisture can cause bubbling, premature peeling and improper drying. So, simply, never paint when there’s rain
, or even a threat of it.
When is the best time to paint in general? Spring to early fall is the ideal time of year for exterior painting.
“It’s not a good idea to paint early in the morning,” Moss advises, “as there is a lot of dew and moisture. Wait for a clear, dry afternoon.”
In total, prep included, it took us three days to complete the porch-painting project. Next Up: Choosing the Right Plants for Porch Appeal