Dressing up your front porch is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to boost your home’s curb appeal. Finding the right colors and adding a fresh coat of paint makes things look well cared for and updated. So, if you’re planning to beautify your house by repainting the front porch, here are the 4 steps to get there.

1. Consider the House’s Style

Look at your porch from all angles before deciding on a paint color scheme or style. Is the home sedate and classic, or is it bold and modern? Do you want to honor a historical style of architecture? Should the porch blend into its surroundings, or do you want to make it a focal point that draws attention? What existing trim colors or hardware styles will you be keeping, and how can you make the porch blend with them?

Most porch paint palettes feature between one and three colors. A simple color scheme is most appropriate if you want a neutral result or you’re using a single color to stand out from the background house colors. Many homeowners opt for two colors: one for the flooring and one for the railings or columns. If you want to add a third color, you can use it as an accent on the trim.

2. Make it Fun

Most people fail to consider ways to use paint colors to make things fun and unexpected. This can be as simple as using a bold contrast color that will really pop next to the rest of the architecture.

It could also be something decidedly more fun, such as painting a pattern on the floor. The type of pattern you choose is limited only by your imagination. Try a simple wide stripe to create a modern and eclectic feel. Or you could create a design of your own on stiff paper and make it into a template to create a repeated pattern by hand.

3. Choose the Right Paint

Of course, whatever colors or patterns you paint on the porch won’t look good if they don’t age well. Even in Southern California, porches need to be protected from the heat of summer, high winds or salty sea air. For this reason, it’s vital to give the paint job a good base. Look for a good weather-resistant exterior paint suitable for your climate and use a specially designed floor paint for high-traffic areas.

You’ll need to choose between an oil-based exterior paint and a latex exterior paint, as well. Oil-based paints will likely have a more glossy finish while latex enamels create less glare. Either choice is fine on a porch, but the oil base may cause some additional slickness underfoot if you get a lot of rain or ice.

4. Prepare the Surfaces

Prepping the existing surfaces before you start painting is key to a good end result. Depending on what paint already covers the wood or other material, you may need to do some hand scraping or sanding, or you may need to use a solvent paint stripper. Heat stripping, sandblasting or power washing should only be done by experienced individuals as these methods can be dangerous if not performed properly.

If your porch is covered with a lot of old paint, or there’s a chance you may be exposed to lead paint, you may want to leave the job to a professional who has experience in handling removal. Paul Schubert Painting Inc. provides free estimates for residential painting tasks like this.

Whatever color scheme or fun designs you choose, updating the paint on your front porch is sure to provide a quick façade makeover and give you a space you’ll love to come home to.

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