Making the best of a bad front porch

Or no front porch. As I’ve said before, we’d love to totally redo the front of our house to create a nice, covered front porch, but that’s not really in the budget right now, and might not ever be…First things first, we had to get the handrail painted.


We finished up our exterior house painting project a while ago and this was the last remnant of the old tan trim color. The previous top piece was cracked in a lot of places, allowing moisture to penetrate the wood and flake off the paint, so we had to replace it before repainting. We bought a treated 2×4 and cut it using the old piece as a guide.


The previous handrail wasn’t cut at an angle on the end…


But after looking at it cut straight, we thought it might help our ugly and not very substantial handrail look just a smidge more purposeful. And maybe less like a plain 2×4?


We’d love to do something different for the handrail, too. It’s plain and boring and not even functional! We have to open the storm door before going up the steps (or there’s no room to open it), so we can’t even use it. If we put an additional rail on the other side, it would make it tricky to get up the narrow steps at all. Blah. We need a new storm door, too, so we considered getting rid of the storm door altogether, but we do actually use it! Ugh, these steps are the bane of my existence!


After replacing the top piece, I applied 2 coats of Kilz exterior latex primer. I don’t think the handrail was primed before, which likely contributed to the peeling paint. It is located right at the edge of the roofline  so water drips on it when it rains. Hopefully, the primer will be enough to keep the paint from peeling so easily! We decided to paint the handrail the lighter gray house color instead of the shutter color for now. It also coordinates with the mailbox post.


In addition to fixing and painting the handrail, we felt like we needed something on the other side of the steps. We bought a planter a while back at a garage sale (seen empty in the pictures above) and just needed something to fill it. We wanted something that wouldn’t get too big, didn’t need a lot of care, had evergreen foliage, etc. And the other day we saw these little tree shaped rosemary plants at Lowe’s for about $15.


Isn’t it so cute? And Winston, too? (How could we get rid of the storm door when the cats love it so much? They’d be so sad.)


I wish the pot was just a little bigger, but beggars can’t be choosers! This one was a couple bucks at a garage sale, as opposed to new ones that cost $50 or more. And according to the care guide that came with the rosemary, it likes “poor soil” so we just dug up some dirt from our yard and mixed in a tiny bit of leftover potting soil from another pot.


Now don’t get your panties in a bunch, I’m not decorating for Christmas early, but it does look a little bit like a Christmas tree, huh? Maybe we need to get it some mini lights!


The next step for sprucing up our entry is to paint the front door a more vibrant color! With all the orange and black in our brick, we don’t want to do black, red or yellow, so I’m thinking turquoise!


If only it weren’t so cold outside already! I’m hoping my new little rosemary plant can handle the cold weather! It didn’t really have a chance to adapt to its to new home before we had a cold snap, so we’ll see how resilient it is!


I hope that some day down the road we can do something about our awkward front steps, but for now, this will have to do!

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