Front Porch Makeover on a Budget


***Update – After the winter and some time inspecting this project, we have found that there were some issues with the application and it did not weather well.  We have decided to remove the product and come up with a new solution.  We think we may have done it much too late in the season and it did not have enough time to cure in warmer weather.  We loved the way the product looked and if we had a rougher surface, it would have been perfect to cover damaged wood.  Hopefully this update helps you decide what is the best solution for you.  If you decide to use the product, please read all instructions carefully. ***

(For information on all our exterior colors, please click HERE)

We have had a lot of home improvement projects going on at once.  The office and craft room are done, and now – the front porch makeover on a budget is done too!

This one, like my work desk – was all hubby.

I should let you know up front – this is not a “tutorial” – this whole project was done with trial and error and figuring it out along the way.

And we are so happy with the results.


I would love to show you a recent before picture with the railings still on, but the truth is, one day, Hubby got a bug in his bonnet and knocked off the railings before I could take a picture.

This picture was taken a few years ago.  The railings had deteriorated quite a bit, but the biggest issue was that the porch was just so small.  With the chairs, we couldn’t even get by.


Because we have the rock wall and raised bed, there really was no need for them – so off they came and the makeover began!

We also removed that overgrown lilac on the left that never bloomed and was higher than the roof.  We will be reworking the plants and beds in the spring.  The rock wall has settled over the past 13 years as well – hubby built when we first moved in – but that is on the agenda to be reworked as well.


Here are the floors of the porch before.  I didn’t like the color we put on there several years ago – and I liked it even less with it faded.


Thanks to ReStore from Rust-Oleum (purchased at The Home Depot) in Taupe, these are our floors now.

I. Am. Giddy.

The process was fairly simple and we are very happy with the results.


These were the posts before.


This was a symptom of a bigger problem – the porch had settled significantly and was no longer level.  As a result, several of the posts were no longer even taking the weight of the roof.

Bad news.

Hubby jacked up the deck in two places and stabilized it old school – with stones.  We have no shortage of stones in these parts.

Once he got everything level it became clear that the porch stairs were never built correctly and should have been three steps instead of two.


This is the new beautiful layered molding at the base of the same posts, re-stained with opaque stain – and actually taking the weight of the roof.

That is a good thing.


When building new stairs, we decided to build new railings in a simpler style.

This a picture of our before post and railing.


These are our new posts and railings.  So pretty!


When we got to the back, it was a big drop, so we left the railing.  One day, while walking around from the back, we both realized how great and logical it would be if there were stairs here too.

At first, we scrapped it for the spring just to get done with the project.


But, while I was away at The Chapel Market, hubby was busy and I came home to this.



It makes such a difference in the usability of the porch.  And while standing there, I realized one of my dreams could come true.

A porch swing will be in my future.


I want to thank hubby for all the staining, building and good old fashioned elbow grease he put into this project.


It is now such an inviting place and we how have an entry where we can proudly invite guests into our homes.



Last year, we had priced out having someone come and put in all new posts and flooring.  That would have been great, and easy.  But this approach allowed us to do this project for the costs of lumber, paint and sweat equity.  We were provided the ReStore product, but even if we hadn’t, it is a small investment compared to replacing the flooring – especially with no maintenance products we had been looking at.

For this stage of our lives, it felt really good to do this ourselves.

Ok, I did nothing but offer opinions, but you get the idea.



Thanks so much for reading and have a great day!


postsignature.pngDisclosure: I was provided the Restore product from Rust-Oleum – however, all opinions and thoughts are my own.

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45 thoughts on “Front Porch Makeover on a Budget”


  1. It looks so good!! I like how it looks with the railing gone and the added stairs at the back. It is so nice to have a hubby who knows how to do all of that. Last year, we redid our tiny porch and installed a sprinkler system. This past summer, we torn the railing and decking off the deck and replaced with cedar vs. the green treated lumber that was there originally. I love it.

  2. what a great guy you’ve got there! it looks so beautiful. but to be fair to the saggy porch, we have all settled a bit the last thirteen years 😉

  3. Laura, your front porch looks amazing without the railings. They really weren’t needed and it looks much more open yet you still have the plantings in the raised bed to give a bit of privacy. Great idea to add the steps at the far end too! Your husband did a great job!

  4. Great work!! I really love the rock wall surrounding your flowerbed. Our ongoing winter project is getting the yard ready for spring plantings, and one thing to tackle is the front bed. Love it!

  5. Laura,
    The front porch “redo” looks wonderful and I can believe how much bigger and open it looks now. Your hubby did a great job! We had a front porch redo this summer by accident when my husband leaned on the one of the railings and it gave way due to some rot. Thankfully, the azalea bush broke his fall and got the worst end of the deal. Because our front porch has more height we would have opted to leave off the railings as well.

  6. Okay, I totally started laughing when you said your hubby got a “bug in his bonnet.” That is so my husband, too! He can be sitting around totally relaxed and then he’s on go and it’s on! He is FINALLY allowing me to say “pose” in the middle of the process so I can at least get a couple of shots for his tutorials. I won’t tell you how long it took that to happen!

    Your porch looks amazing and kudos to your hubby. What a blessing DIY hubbies are! We had 2 trees taken down in our front bed and are going to have a deck built on the front, probably by said hubby. We’re in discussion mode at the moment! Hope ours turns out as well as yours.

  7. Wow..what a difference..You should go away more often:) Your hubby does great work..I never had a “handy” husband..
    Your porch is beautiful…

  8. love what you did. i did our back deck with Rust-Oleum Restore and i love it. it was alot of work but we will be able to use it next year.

  9. Looks great. I also have a DIY hubby, It can be a wonderful thing and then again….the projects never stop. Love the fact that he worked all around the beautiful fall decorations!

  10. Your porch is lovely. We moved into a house a couple of years ago with a big Southern porch—but no rails. At first it bugged me, but the more we used it, the more I liked it. You are right, it is so much more inviting. It is open and fresh. And best of all, it is so much fun to decorate, because I know that everyone can see the entire porch! Your Hubs did a terrific job. Lori Lucas

  11. I like the modern clean lines the porch redo with railing etc. Nice job, gives a new and modern curb appeal. could I borrow your hubby and have him build me a porch:) My home does not have a porch and when rain comes so does the wet, muddy feet. Hard to get everything off before entering and getting shoes off.:) You and your husband did a great job 🙂

  12. Laura, the new porch design is beautiful. Dana did an incredible job! Guess this means it comes in handy to have a
    good DIY hubby around. But, since some of us don’t have one of those, would you consider hiring him out?!?

  13. This is SO SO pretty. Our porch is similar in that its too narrow to put chairs on the front & still get around. I’ve thought about removing the railings but hubby couldn’t visualize it. Your pictures will help SO much.

  14. We used the same product on our back deck and followed the instructions to a T. After one winter it all peeled off. We sent photos to them and after going back and forth many times their rep simply dropped our claim and does not answer emails. We provided all the proof and photos to no avail. DO NOT USE this RESTORE product. It fails!

  15. My wife and I also really love the color scheme. Do you know what brand and color were used for the paint on the siding of the house? Thank you! Love it!

  16. I love your porch! I would love to have a “trunk” like that.
    Any ideas where to find one?
    It looks like the perfect size.
    Thank you

  17. Did you build the railings and newel posts for the front steps if not can you tell me what product they are? It is exactly what I am looking for.

  18. Your house is beautiful! I was wondering if you know the paint colors you have, they are the ones I’ve been searching for but I haven’t been able to find any information on them! Thank you

  19. Might you possibly help me choose ways to make our porch more lovely and help me choose a front door color? What is your black color? I also need interior color help. We are in a new construction. I could send pictures. Thanks!

  20. My husband and I are getting ready to start the building process for a new house. I love the outside of your house. Could you tell me what kind and color siding you have? Thanks!

  21. Laura,
    I am confused which product you removed.. the columns or the rustoleum. If it was the paint can you tell me how the porch columns and railing are holding up and what company you used.
    Thank you!

    1. Caroline,

      We actually removed both. We removed the railings and we have loved that decision. We also ended up removing the Rustoleum product. We replaced it with opaque outdoor stain from Benjamin Moore. Hopefully that answers all of your questions and thanks for stopping by!

  22. We used the same product for out deck and had a similar problem after doing it the first weekend in October. In the spring, we took photos of the peeling deck to home depot. The specialist told us that the company had about a years worth of batches with that issue so the developed a new “primer.” The rollout suggested we contact Rust-o-lium. My hubby took more 0hotos and contacted the company. There replaced our paint, rollers AND sent us the necessary primer product. We will be redoing it in a few weeks.

  23. I feel like I’m leaving this comment late in the game. 2019 here… lol but I saw how your porch now has no railings and it looks open and amazing. We moved into our build last summer and have been doing updates around the house. I have noticed that some older family members are having issues getting into our house. I love this idea of making your front porch have lovely railings that match the house but don’t have a metal feel or have additional side railings. Love this. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Hello. How did you secure your bottom rail post (4×4) to your stairs? I have an already Bolt deck stairs and do not have a slab of cement to brace the base to, so was trying to find alternatives… it looks like yours is similar. Any suggestions would be great! Thank you. -Robin