Quick, Easy Ways To Spruce Up Your Front Porch

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall
Credit: Shutterstock / David Papazian

The first thing people see when they come to your house is the front porch. Whether a small humble stoop or a large wrap-around showpiece, your porch should feel welcoming and make people want to see more. Therefore, if the front of your house needs a facelift, it’s time to spruce up your front porch.

A fresh paint job on the front door, a new welcome mat, and clean and bright light fixtures instantly upgrade your porch. Pick up clutter, weed the garden, add potted plants, and pressure-wash or paint the porch, railings, and steps. If you have a large porch, consider adding a seating area to create a welcoming space.

This isn’t about tearing down your existing porch and starting from scratch. Instead, these are practical, easy steps you can do to spruce up your front porch without breaking the bank.

Give Your Front Porch A Facelift With These Easy Tips

There are all kinds of front porches, but no matter what kind you have, you want it to look good. Your porch is often your home’s first impression for visitors, so it’s essential to make it look its best.

But a pretty porch doesn’t mean you need to spend tons of money or hire a contractor. There are plenty of things you can do for little to no cost and a healthy helping of elbow grease. The first one is to check out this list of how to create an inviting front porch.

1. Don’t Use Your Porch For Storage

Remove anything that doesn’t belong on your porch. It’s not the place to store toys, sports equipment, garden tools, bikes, or overflowing clutter. Either find an alternative home for these things or get rid of them.

If you have a large porch that you use for entertaining, stow items in an appealing way. For example, put spare chair cushions and blankets inside a pretty outdoor storage bench. If you have smaller items, use a decorative basket or oversized planter. Make sure whatever you use for storage, is appropriate for outdoor use.

2. Clean And Pressure-Wash The Porch

Sweep the porch regularly and keep it free of leaves, twigs, dirt, and debris. Shake out the welcome mat, wipe up spills to prevent stains, and clean any decorative items or furniture.

Pressure-wash the porch, railings, steps, and any other elements that are dingy and dirty from buildup. If you don’t have a pressure washer, rent one from your local home improvement store. They typically have very reasonable prices and allow you to rent the unit for a few hours, a day, or more.

3. Paint Your Front Door

A fresh coat of paint gives your front door a whole new look, especially if you choose a color that draws the eye. Clean your front door thoroughly, removing all traces of dirt and grime. Allow it to dry thoroughly before applying paint.

You’ll likely need to apply at least two coats, even when using a paint and primer in one. Make sure the paint is for exterior use (there are even paints specifically for front doors). Before you commit to a color, get a sample jar to try first. See how it looks with the rest of your home’s exterior and look at it during daytime and nighttime hours.

4. Apply Fresh Paint To Porch Railings, Decking, And Steps

After freshening up the front door, don’t stop there. Paint the porch railing, the decking, steps, or anything else that’s painted and in need of a facelift. If the existing paint is peeling or cracking, you’ll want to properly prep surfaces first.

You may need to strip or remove the paint if it’s in very bad shape. But if it’s not flaking or chipping, a light sanding will do. Clean the surfaces well, allow them to dry, then apply an exterior paint and primer in one. Use the same tips for choosing a color as you did with the front door.

5. Clean Exterior Light Fixtures

Replace burnt-out bulbs and make sure all your exterior light fixtures work. Remove glass holders and globes, and clean them well, so they don’t dim the light. Clean the fixtures so they’re free from dirt, cobwebs, and other unsightly things.

If fixtures seem to be a little worse for wear, instead of replacing them, consider painting. Choose an exterior paint that matches the material of the fixture. For example, if the casing is metal, get a metal paint. Prep the surface according to the paint manufacturer’s directions.

6. Replace Your Welcome Mat

A new welcome mat costs between $15 and $50, depending on the brand, where you get it, the size, and material. A mat sets a welcoming tone for your porch, and it also reduces the dirt and dust that enters your home.

A front door rug also allows you to show off your personality a bit. Choose one that coordinates well with the other colors on the porch.

7. Create A Seating Area On Your Front Porch

This idea depends heavily on the size of your porch. You don’t want to force a sitting area if there isn’t room for one. Otherwise, your porch will look and feel cramped.

However, if you have space, setting up a place to sit or lounge adds a cozy, welcoming vibe to your curb appeal. It could be one chair with a small side table, a pair of rockers, or an entire lounge area with a loveseat, chairs, and tables.

8. Tend To Your Garden

Weed your garden regularly, trim hedges, and replenish mulch when it gets worn down or low. If you don’t have time to maintain a garden, choose options that are easy to care for, like evergreens or boxwoods.

If you have limited knowledge of plants and flowers, spend some time at a local plant nursery or garden center. Speak with someone on the staff to help you choose the best options for you and where you live. Also, mow the lawn regularly so it doesn’t become overgrown. Get rid of stray weeds and grass growing through or around porch steps, rails, and decking.

9. Add Some Potted Plants

If you have a large porch and it feels a little empty, add a few potted plants. Choose decorative pots that add to the aesthetics.

If you only have a small front porch, you might not have room for pots on it. But you could potentially place them on either side of your porch, flanking the steps, or positioned at the inner edges of your garden.

10. Replace Your House Numbers

If your house numbers are hard to read, damaged, flaking paint, or missing, get new ones. Choose a design that works well with the overall style of your house.

The color should stand out against your home, so the numbers don’t blend into the background. Also, choose a size that works with the scale of your front porch, so the numbers don’t overwhelm the space or get lost in it.

Give Your Front Porch A Budget-Friendly Boost

Most of these ideas for improving the look of your front porch don’t cost much. Things like cleaning, getting rid of clutter, and weeding your garden don’t cost a thing. Other tips, like pressure-washing, painting, and adding a few plants are extremely budget-friendly and easy to do.

Step back and look at your porch with an objective set of eyes. It might help to take a photo of the front of your house and look at the picture. Try to see what others see when they come to visit and use that to decide where you should focus your attention and effort.

Start with one thing at a time, until you achieve the beautiful, fresh look you want. Enlist the help of friends or family and you can easily finish the job in a weekend. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying some well-deserved rest on your reimagined front porch.

Related Guides:

Stacy Randall
Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

More by Stacy Randall