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BEFORE

porch makeoverKathy Price-Robinson

One day, when I wasn't looking, my once-charming front porch crossed over from shabby chic to utterly disgusting. I waited for the team from HGTV's Curb Appeal to ring my doorbell. When I realized they weren't coming, I decided to paint my own porch. I had a lot to contend with: Aside from the old paint being faded, weathered, and rusty, the concrete stairs themselves were full of deep cracks.

AFTER

painted porchKathy Price-Robinson

I picked a mild day with low humidity for this project. You'll get the best results if you paint on a cool, dry day with little wind -- even if you're painting indoors. Heat and humidity can cause paint to blister and dry unevenly.

Above is the result: a cleaner, brighter version of the old porch -- I even had the door repainted by a pro, who also replaced the screen. Doesn't it make a world of difference? Here's how I did it:

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DIY Warrior: Refurbish a Concrete Porch

I collected my supplies:

Cleaning bucket

Rags (recycle some old T-shirts and towels)
Scrub brush
Gloves
Concrete patch
Metal brushes
Putty knives
Masking tape
Kilz non-toxic primer
Behr Porch & Floor Paint
Rollers and brush
TSP Cleaner (not shown)

DIY Warrior: Refurbish a Concrete Porch

From afar, it looks like just a faded old porch...

DIY Warrior: Refurbish a Concrete Porch

...But take a closer look and you'll see that my challenges were many. They included fading and damaged paint, cracked concrete...

DIY Warrior: Refurbish a Concrete Porch

...and rust stains. Plenty of 'em.

DIY Warrior: Refurbish a Concrete Porch

To get my paint tinted the right color, I peeled some blue paint off the inside of the screen door (it was coming right off anyway) and took it to the paint store. They wound up mixing up a gallon of Behr Porch & Floor Paint in a shade of periwinkle that was almost identical to the old color.

During the project, as you'll see, the screen door also got refurbished, adding to the overall beauty of my newly painted porch.

DIY Warrior: Refurbish a Concrete Porch

I was lucky enough to have my gentleman dog Zeus to keep me company. Too bad he couldn't grab a brush and start scrubbing the porch. It really is a dog's life.

DIY Warrior: Refurbish a Concrete Porch

So it was up to me to clean and scrape the filthy concrete with scrub brushes and a putty knife. This was by far the most unpleasant part of the project. The buildup of dirt and debris was just too thick for me to completely remove by hand. I suggest sweeping and scrubbing as much as you can by hand, then grabbing a pressure washer to finish the job.

DIY Warrior: Refurbish a Concrete Porch

Once I'd removed as much of the debris as I could by hand, i took up my neighbor on her offer to lend me her pressure washer. I pressure washed the steps with a touch of bleach, and the results were miraculous. In fact, the porch looked so good compared to how it looked before that I considered leaving it like this. But I already had all those supplies gathered together, so I kept on going.

DIY Warrior: Refurbish a Concrete Porch

I knew I had to patch the cracks in the concrete. Some cracks on the corner were so big that I wondered if the corner might fall off. But the whole thing seemed solid as a rock. After letting it all dry thoroughly after the power wash, I began. I'd never used concrete patch before so let me tell you what it is: concrete. Yep, it's simply premixed wet concrete waiting to be used.

DIY Warrior: Refurbish a Concrete Porch

I did the best I could. I'm sure a professional mason would have done a much more artful job, but for my purposes and my personality, it was good enough. I also patched in around the metal porch posts to help prevent water from getting in there and causing even more rust.

DIY Warrior: Refurbish a Concrete Porch





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