Your home’s curb appeal is important and there are many budget-friendly projects you can do to make a big impact.  Not only does this add value and curb appeal to hour home, but your home will certainly appreciate it.

It was a busy weekend.  I chose the most budget-friendly projects that made the biggest impact.

I’ll begin by showing you the before and after photos of my home and then we will go into each project.

My Home Before

I never understood the two stripes on the left, and the front porch area.  For some reason, there was tongue and groove plywood put up in those areas and not siding, like the rest of the house has.  I’m guessing they painted it brown to match the trim color?  Anyway, not a fan of that at all.  It will soon be changed!

my home before

My Home After

Here’s how I did it…

Power Wash

I started by power washing and luckily, I have a power washer. If you don’t have one, borrow one or rent one.  I LOVE to power wash! Maybe because it’s instant gratification, I don’t know, but it’s very satisfying.  If you have a power washer going, go ahead and power wash everything that needs it!

The North side of my home gets no sun so it always gets a green sort of gunk on it. Honestly, I didn’t realize it was that bad until my sister and I started power washing it.  I’m sure my neighbors appreciate our efforts!  We also power washed the front of the house, the deck and porch, the mailbox, the brick walkway, the inside of the garage floor and our cars!  You couldn’t stop us!  Once everything dried, I began some projects. (That’s my sister in the photo, she loves power washing even more than I do!)

power wash

Paint your front door

Your front door has a big impact on curb appeal. You can refinish it or paint it and give it new life. I painted the metal storm door with black spray paint because I didn’t want brush marks. I also installed a new black porch light that really updated the porch.

paint front door

Paint your porch floor and steps

Painting the porch floor made such a difference. I chose a slightly lighter color than the original porch. You will want to make sure you buy exterior paint for anything you paint outside. It’s important to buy the proper paint that is durable enough to be walked on. It is more expensive, but worth it.  This is the paint I used.

front porch paint

paint the porch

Paint the steps (before)

steps before After

steps after

Paint your porch railings

Since I was already going to be painting the trim white, I decided to go ahead and paint the porch railings. There had previously only been one coat of paint on the railings, and it had begun to bubble over the years, so I ended up having to scrape all of the loose paint off. If you don’t do this step you are wasting your time and paint. It will eventually wear off because you are only painting over paint that is not sticking to the wood. Always scrape loose paint before painting.  Below is the “hotdog” roller I used on everything except for the porch floor.

paint the railing

scraped paintpainted railing

The brown window stripes had to go!

I removed the bottom piece of the house siding between the two windows and took it to the paint store and they were able to color match it so that I could paint these two areas around the windows.  I also painted the brown front porch area of the house as well.  I started painting and then realized I needed to take a before photo!

brown trim

Porch before painting

porch before

Porch after painting

porch after paint

Paint your exterior trim

Instant facelift! Originally my home was tan with darker brown trim. Since I knew the house color was going to have to stay the same, the brown trim was something I could easily change that would make a big difference.  I went with Behr exterior white for the trim, porch and garage doors. No tinting needed.  If you have shutters, you could also consider painting them as well.

Paint your garage doors

Once I painted the trim around my garage doors, the garage doors looked very dingy and there was no way I could leave them that way so I went ahead and painted the garage doors the same white paint I painted the brown trim with. I used a “hotdog” roller (a five inch hand roller).  I always use Behr paint. This is what kind I used for the trim and garage doors. The garage doors got two coats. This is the white exterior paint I used.

exterior paint

Garage Doors Before

garage doors

Garage Doors During…

With the trim all nice and white, although it wasn’t in my plan, I had to paint the garage doors.  I didn’t realize they were so not white!  I also removed the outdated window insert designs.

doors before paint

Garage doors after

painted garage doors

Spray paint lights

I like the existing lights but they really needed painted black.  Carefully, I un-wired them and sprayed them black. After about an hour or so, I wired them back up and re-installed them.  While I was spray painting, I took my gold worn out house numbers off the house and spray painted them black also. Now the pizza guy can find us much easier!

light beforespray paint lightpainted light

Consider painting porch furniture

These two rockers sat out in the weather and as you can see, they were extremely weathered and needed some help. I decided to spray them black.  Placing them on the front porch, they would tie in to the black front door and black lights I’d already spray painted on the house.

weathered chairrocking chairs afterAdd a Welcoming Seating Area

Your home will seem warmer and more inviting with a seating area.  Most of our time is spent on the back deck but every now and then, we’ll hang out on the front porch and it’s nice to also have a table for a drink or my laptop.

Buy a new doormat

A doormat gives a welcoming feeling to guests. I picked one up for $8.88 at Home Depot.

And Voila!

All together, I purchased two gallons of exterior paint, one quart of exterior paint and four cans of spray paint. Mostly, all of these projects just took time and labor. I finished all of it in a weekend.  I worked on some landscaping and painted the light post black (mulch still needed).

house before

house after

That’s it, that’s my home.  If I can do it, so can you!

I hope you are inspired.

Jeanne Marie – The Practical Fanatic

About Jeanne