P is for Paint Series: Porch Edition

Awesome news, my Dad is home from the hospital! He still has many weeks of rehab and recovery in front of him but he's making big strides every day and we continue to celebrate all the victories: big or small :) 

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I love paint because how dramatically it can change the look of a house, room or piece of furniture, for very little money. The day we first saw our house, I knew we would paint the exterior. While white houses with contrasting brown trim are on trend right now in Nashville, I felt like there was something off about the combination of our two colors. My theory is that the white used (PPG's Horseradish) is a warm white and the brown/white look is better with a cool white (no beige undertones). The trim color, Sherwin Williams Sealskin, was pulling the beige out of the warm white paint making it look a little dirty/beige even though it's actually white.

I also thought all the contrast and dark lines made the house look much smaller than it is.

Shortly after we moved in I had some quotes for getting the house painted and they were all WAY more than I wanted to spend. Originally I thought I wanted to paint the body of the house navy and everything brown, painted white.  Unfortunately, with the dark brown paint covering the trim around 16 windows, the gutters and the soffits, it was going to be upwards of $6,000 to make a big change which was NOT in the budget.

After thinking on it all winter, looking at inspiration pictures and analyzing the paint colors of various houses around the neighborhood, I figured out what really bothered me about the exterior was the window trim. We have white vinyl windows, which cannot be painted, but the trim around them was dark brown,  making them stick out in a way that I didn't like. Like I said in an earlier post, I fell completely in love with the Modern Farmhouse style which typically is a white house with white trim. I got really excited when I started finding inspiration photos of white houses with white trim and dark gutters! That would be doable for this DIYer!

Inspiration photos

I grabbed a can of leftover paint and primer from the garage and got to work! Painting the trim was SUPER easy, albeit time consuming. I say easy because since I was using the same paint as the body, I didn't have tape anything off or be particularly careful because even if I got paint on the house, it would just blend right in. Also, since the house was painted three years ago, everything was in great condition: no peeling paint and only minimal caulking. It was definitely time consuming because everything that was painted had to be cleaned, needed 2 coats of primer (with an hour dry time in between) and two coats of paint (with a 24 hour dry time in between). 

I started with the two vertical pieces of trim in the bumped out section and then moved to the porch columns. I figured it was best to start with those before I moved to the windows. 


Two pieces of trim down, and it's already looking better!

I was instantly happy with the results! It took me a couple of weeks, breaking the work out over the course of a couple of weeks due to weather and nap times but I'm finally done painting the trim on the entire house! We did snag some guys from the house under construction next door to paint the trim on the second story, but otherwise, the rest was done by me!

In addition to painting the trim, we had a new front door installed. Insert praise-hands emoji!

Oh my goodness, I loathed that front door. If you'll remember from my last P is for Paint post, I painted the door, not once but twice - taking it from burnt orange to light blue to fuchsia. Nothing could fix the fact that the door was dented and that the frosted glass was both hard to see out of and just not my taste. 

We had it replaced with this simple craftsman style door that we purchased from Home Depot. The new door is fiberglass (yay! no more dents!) and compliments the style of the house. It's also a very popular door in our neighborhood, which helps with continuity. The door came primed in white so it needed to be painted too!

Sticking with the Modern Farmhouse style, I knew I wanted it shiny and black! I painted the exterior of the door Sherwin Williams Greenblack, which is the same color as the black wall in our living room and the interior is painted the same color as the trim. There's definitely less light that comes into the entry way now (but also less barking from puppies who can no loner see out the window) so having it a nice bright white helps to bounce the light around a bit. 

Thanks to the weird afternoon light, this picture makes the paint look much more yellow than it really is.

I also painted the inside of the transom because our house is all sorts of unlevel - the transom window including. Painting the trim of the transom black helps hide the the fact that the window is angled down to the left. 

As you can probably see from the blue painters tape, I also painted the porch floor! Boy was it in rough shape! At one point, as many houses did, it had astroturf covering the floor. I'm not sure if it had been painted since then, but it definitely wasn't painted when the whole house was renovated back in 2013. 

The actual painting, using Valspar's Oil Porch and Floor Paint in Montpelier Ashlar Gray, wasn't too bad, but the prep was pretty labor intensive. I powered washed the porch, let it dry, swept, scrubbed it with soap and water, power washed it again, let it dry, swept, vacuumed, and swept again. This got off a ton of chipped paint and really prepared the floor for the new paint. It took two coats of paint (24 hours apart) and now we have to wait 6 long days for it to cure. 

And just like that, our house looks completely different!

Sunshine and blue skies also help ;)

See? What did I tell you about the power of paint?!

Next is the fun stuff: installing the new front path, staining our new fence and getting the furniture back on the porch. I'll be adding to the landscape in the fall and we're having some new shade trees planted this week. 

I'm so happy with the direction we're taking our little house. We love it SO much and I feel like with the changes we're making, it's really becoming our own. 

Love y'all!


  1. WOW. What a transformation. And I cannot believe that you have done so much yourself. You are killing it, girl! The house looks amazing with the new trim color. I would've never guessed that just painting the trim could change it so much. And the color really does look so much white now! LOVE the new front door. And the door color, and that you painted the transom above it. Have you painted all the trim on the back and sides of the house too? I can't wait to see more!

  2. Also, you're making me feel really lazy. I need to go DIY something, stat!


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