The Porch Extravaganza

Hello again! Wow it’s been a summer! Between a job change, starting a business, doing some freelance work for a local non-profit, and just trying to enjoy every bit of sunshine we got in Minnesota I feel like it should still be June! Where did the time go?

Okay now that you are amazed by my busy life (right? Who’s not busy!? I am not the only one!). I want to share a project we threw in in the midst of all that! It’s what I like to call our porch extravaganza! 

So this porch was a hidden little gem when we purchased our home almost 4 years ago now. By hidden I mean when we had our showing for this house (and fell in love with it of course) the porch was FULL of outdoor furniture and other storage items. To be fair, it was March in Minnesota and where else do you put your outdoor furniture when snow is literally covering everything? 

Okay back to the porch.  When we moved in I literally had a moment similar to when Will Farrel and John C. Riley build the bunk beds in Step Brothers… before they fall down. SO MUCH ROOM FOR ACTIVITIES!  So over the past 3.5 years it has gotten used and abused. Dog nails + rain/snow + soft wood floor + solid stain = sadness. 

In August we were in a slow time of our business and we were wrapping up some other projects and decided to make it a happy porch once again and help it fit our style.

 

If you know me, I am a perfectionist. If I am going to do something, it’s going to be done right and the way we want. So, obviously I wanted that solid red stain gone and replace it with a beautiful semi transparent rich brown. If you know anything about wood stains at this point you are probably laughing at me right now. But if you know me well, you know I am also STUBBORN. Just ask my husband. So, we purchased the semi transparent stain… 

In addition to the floor we were also planning to paint the walls and posts inside and out. But before we could start putting the porch back together we had to tear it apart. While I like a smash-through-the-wall-Chip-Gaines demo day as much as anyone else, I can’t say this was my favorite part. 

So remember that bunk bed scene in Step Brothers? This is where the beds fell down. 

We began the floor stripping. We knew we were in for trouble and a lot of work before we started, but when every paint and stain stripper we could find didn’t take the stain off, we resorted to pressure washing. We knew it was going to damage the wood, but honestly when your porch floor is covered in different types of chemicals and nothing is working there is no other choice.

Once the stain was removed and the floor dried out for a couple of days,  I went to town with my palm sander. Yes, palm sander. I sanded every square inch of that porch with 60, then 120, then 220 grit sanding discs.

While I sanded the floor, Tyler took the screen system off the outside of the porch and removed the screens. We planned to replace the screens with EZE-Breeze windows, so he didn’t have to be careful to salvage the screening. But what we found underneath was an unpleasant surprise. Staples galore – on top of the screw holes we knew were there. By the looks of it the porch had been re-screened a time or two but they left the staples behind. 

We removed staples and patched the holes. These little tools were the best for staple removing and I used my trusty MD Ready Patch to fill the holes. Then we sanded everything smooth once again. 

When the floor was dried out and sanded we stained it with Sherwin Williams SuperDeck Exterior Waterborne Semi-Transparent Stain in Hill Country. It’s a beautiful brown with some grey tones in it.

This process was fairly simple. We started with rollers, but that was leaving a weird pattern in the stain so we went back over it immediately with a good ol’ paint brush. We did this in sections working together. One of us rolling it on and the other going over it with the brush. Once the floor was dry, we primed and painted the walls and posts. For this, we used some old Sherwin Williams primer we had leftover from other projects. The paint was Duration Exterior Acrylic Latex in Iron Ore.

We had to wait a couple weeks for the EZE-Breeze windows to come because the lead time was longer than we anticipated when we ordered and the company had to evacuate due to Hurricane Dorian. While we were waiting for the windows, we also had a gas line installed for a gas fire pit, replaced the ceiling fan and hung bistro lighting. When the windows finally came, we stayed up late every night after work to get them installed. I won’t go into detail about installing them since there are plenty of videos showing how to do that. 

This has become my new favorite place to relax at the end of the day. And the best part? With the windows and fire pit we’ll be able to stay cozy all year round, even when there is feet of snow in the backyard. 

Here are a couple more pictures of the final product. Enjoy! 

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