If you’ve read the story of our renovation then you will remember there was not one thing remarkable about our newly acquired house. Except maybe the fact that it was only 2 miles from the Atlantic Ocean!! We viewed our house twice before putting in our offer and honestly neither myself nor my husband can remember it even having a screened in back porch! But on move-in day…..oh there it was, in all it’s glory. Even with it’s disgusting, worn, mildewy, indoor/outdoor carpet and with the ceiling falling down, we found ourselves out there taking breaks from the work at hand. That was the day we moved in! Skip forward a couple years—-it was taking a while, but we were slowly but surely working to make this our home. And I do mean slowly!!! One of the smaller things I felt we could do, was to make each of the three entryways as pretty, functional and pleasing to the eye as possible, for I knew it would be quite some time before we could say that about the house inside. Somehow I rationalized that if we walked through a pretty area to get into the not so pretty area, it would somehow make it easier to swallow!
Beginning with that yucky carpet, we removed everything in the porch. There were some old pieces of furniture the seller had left behind, out they went. My husband tore down the water damaged plywood ceiling and we stood back to assess the space. It was a blank canvas. What did we want for this space? It would be nice to have the windows added so the space could be enjoyed throughout the year. But really since we already had multiple living areas in the house we decided that money would be better spent elsewhere, so we agreed to keep the screens.
Amazingly, the concrete slab was in perfect shape beneath the carpet. We knew we didn’t want tile so we decided to go with something called increte. It has an appearance of stamped concrete but it’s not the whole concrete slab that is stamped, it’s just a top layer of the product that goes on top of the existing concrete. Then it is stamped with whatever mold you choose. We chose the herringbone pattern with a brick border. Perfect! Good choice! Next, we painted the inside cedar siding at the same time we painted the exterior of the house. We used Beyer Weatherproofing All-In-One Wood Stain & Sealer. It has a 25 year guarantee which means hopefully we won’t have to repaint for a very long time! Been there, done that!! Not fun! My husband replaced the torn screens and installed a new screen door. It was looking better already! We had an electrician come out and do some modifications to the existing electrical. (like removing the lamp post that was in the corner)
Now for the ceiling.
We wanted tongue and groove. It would be pretty pricey but we could save money by installing it ourselves. We had the pine boards delivered and got busy painting them. We chose Haint Blue. To learn more about the history behind “haint” blue porch ceilings, here is one article that I found to be very thorough.
It was hot! July in the South Hot! The whole family was working on this project, as 16′ boards are not so easy to work with above your head. A lot of time was spent priming the boards and then painting the boards. Paint, dry, repeat! We were able to get a few of the boards installed before we called it a day.
Day 2 During breakfast I gave my little spiel about how we had to clean up the work area a bit so no one would get hurt. Everything had been placed inside the porch the evening before, saw horses, air compressor, miscellaneous tools, extension cords, we had laid a tarp out on the floor to protect our newly stamped floor.
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Work was barely underway when I took a tumble! Yeah the one who cleaned up so no one would get hurt. Yeah, that one. Apparently my work boots (AKA flip flops) got caught in the tarp and down I went. Should have just been a little inconvenience, but NOOOOOO. Turns out my right arm was broken pretty good, as my husband told me later I had two elbows. Never a dull moment! We spent the entire afternoon in the ER, so needless to say no work got done that day which pushed the project back for another week. But the family got it done and hubby installed a new ceiling fan, and whoa what a difference. It was gorgeous. The only distraction left was the ugly old slider patio door. That would be another project in itself!!
We went on to furnish our porch with a Tommy Bahama indoor/outdoor rug in Seaside pattern, which just so perfectly coordinated with the craigslist polywood Adirondack furniture we scored.
Our porch makeover was definitely money well spent. We enjoy it pretty much every day, with our morning coffee while watching the birds at the feeders or taking an afternoon break with a glass of iced tea, or even having an adult beverage after dinner. Tell me, where do you go when you need a moment’s reprieve from the daily grind? I once had a friend with 3 very active little boys. One day she confided in me that every once in a while she would go into her bedroom and lay down on the floor beside the bed nearest the wall, where she wouldn’t be found. Pretty hilarious, right?? She went there to catch her breath. Don’t misunderstand—-her boys weren’t that young and they were always safe. And she only stayed there 5 minutes max. But it was long enough to recharge her battery for the remainder of the afternoon! I hadn’t thought about that in years, but she was a character and I can just see it now!!!! Hopefully she now has a more comfortable place to escape to.
Read about how I transformed the step here.