October 21, 2011

Porch Before & Afte...(In Progress)

Posted by Laura

Summer House Project List: (not to be confused with summer-house. I wish.)
-Give the living room a face lift - check
-Build a headboard for our bedroom - check
-Sew enough to start an etsy shop! - fail
-Make a light from the thing I found at Goodwill - fail (scroll down)
-Paint the front porch - chhhhheck

When we moved into our apartment last year, we neglected to set up the front porch and instead used it as a storage space. It wasn't until this year that we actually set it up because, well, we sort of forgot about it (ya know the whole "outta sight outta mind" thing). It's a bubble off the front of the house and we spend most of our time in the back of the house, honestly. Our other excuse is that it needed a serious paint job. Here are the scary before shots:

Do you see the brown shingles on the left? The thought of painting each of those individually pained me so I decided to "sprime" (spray-paint prime, I just made that up) the edges of them. This is a good time to quickly interject with 3 porch painting tips: 
  1. I love this technique of spriming, but take it with a grain of salt. I actually have no clue if it will hold up over time but for now it works!
  2. Whenever you're getting ready to scrape paint, test it for lead! I had a mild freakout when this occurred to me mid-scraping. I ran to the hardware store, bought a lead testing kit, tested it and breathed easy because the results came back lead-free (phew). 
  3. If painting is a miserable task for you (my husband refers to it as indoor raking), crank some music and pretend that you're Picasso. Ha!

Anyways, moving right along...


Double-fist spriming while flexing. Impressive.

ripped off sleeves =  sweatbands for my wrists
I am clearly influenced by my husband.

And here are the afters. We still need to decorate it. For now we put some left over furniture out there. This will be one of those decorating projects that evolves over time.

We used Behr exterior paint for the walls and siding

We've already put the porch to use by spending our evenings out there. It feels like we have another room in the house. Why didn't we do this sooner?

Making a light for the porch? Fail
Experience the Goodwill Outlet? Win

Imagine this for a moment. Bins and bins (and bins) full of Goodwill goodies, all priced by weight. Nobody is allowed to touch anything until the whistle blows, then it's a free-for-all. Elbows get thrown and small people get pushed out of the way. The strategy is to grab anything that "looks good" and get it in your cart, then GUARD YOUR CART because people will help themselves the minute your back is turned. No joke, this is the experience at the Goodwill Outlet in Hamden, CT. It's amazing. It's the place where all the leftovers go when they don't sell in the stores. It's like the secondhand stores' secondhand store.

My sister-in-law Carolyn took me there for the full experience. In the end, I got a string of lights, a package of brand new tennis balls for Tillie and a hole puncher. I can't remember the total price but it was like $2.00 ($0.25/lbs, I think). She scored big time with a bunch of kids books and a learning tower for $10 (which usually goes for $200!).

scary puzzles with horses and mean looking cats
"Cats Galore"  Ah!

string of lights

I was ambitious and thought I'd be able to transform this string of lights into something like this (by wrapping fabric around it) for the porch:

I wish I could say that I successfully made the light, but I didn't. Here's what really happened. I got home and hung it up to get a good look at it. I even built a little bit of a structure from cardboard around the bottom. A couple days later, we were having friends over for dinner so I threw it in office closet. There is sat, for weeks, until one day I was rummaging through the closet and spontaneously decided to ditch this light project all together and quickly threw it in the trash before I changed my mind. You win some you lose some, right?

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