This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.
“Oh, hi! I wasn’t sure anyone actually lived here.” Those were the first words the delivery man said to my wife as he left a package on our newly purchased fixer upper front porch. Just in case we didn’t already know our porch needed a massive cleaning and a whole lot of love, the delivery guy had just made it official. We weren’t sure if it was the chipped and peeling railing paint, the never-been-washed vinyl siding, or the rusted and drooping fans that tipped him off, but let’s just say we had a lot to tackle for our southern front porch restoration!
Follow along to see how we transformed it into a gorgeous southern charmer with the help of The Home Depot!
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Here are the tools and items I used for this project:
Materials & Products
- Wet and Forget
- TSP phosphate free
- Low pressure sprayer
- Quick Strip Discs
- Behr Wood Stain & Finish Stripper
- Behr All-In-One Wood Cleaner
- Fan box
- Hunter Mill Valley Fan
- PPG Timeless Stain
- Gripper Primer
- PPG Timeless paint
- Behr Premium Plus – River Rock (front door paint) and Carbon (shutter paint)
- Front Door (we purchased a Therma-Tru door at our local store)
- Outdoor Lights
- Siding Mounting Block
- Door Handle
- Great Stuff
- Doorbell button
Tools I Used
Affiliate links above are provided as a convenience to help you purchase items I used (or similar) for this project. Purchasing through these links does not cost you a thing and supports woodshopmike.com by helping to fund future projects!
Southern Front Porch Restoration
- Clean Vinyl Siding
- Prep Painted Surfaces
- Strip & Condition Decking
- Install Fans
- Install Outdoor Lights
- Replace Doorbell Button
- Paint Railing and Shutters
- Stain Deck
- Install New Front Door
1. Clean Vinyl Siding
I started off by spraying the vinyl siding down with Wet and Forget with my low pressure sprayer and letting it soak the surface for 15 minutes. I used a soft wash brush and scrubbed the surfaces, then sprayed everything down with water. This amazingly removed a ton of gunk and dirt that had been caked on the siding for years!
2. Prep Painted Surfaces
Before I could paint, I needed to remove the chipped layers of 22 year old paint and scrub it down thoroughly. I used Quick Strip Discs on my angle grinder and then applied TSP phosphate free with a low pressure sprayer. Using a deck brush, I scrubbed the painted surfaces and rinsed it off with my pressure washer on a low setting.
3. Strip & Condition Decking
I used Behr Wood Stain & Finish Stripper stain on our back porch project and loved how well it worked so much that I bought it again for this front porch restoration. I applied it liberally with a polyblend roller and allowed it to set for about 45 minutes. Using a deck brush, I scrubbed the surface as the old stain came up easily. I repeated this process across the entire deck and then used the pressure washer to rinse everything off.
To neutralize any residual chemicals from the stripper and condition the boards for new stain, I applied Behr All-In-One Wood Cleaner using a roller. After 15 minutes, I scrubbed the deck and sprayed everything down with the pressure washer once more.
4. Install Ceiling Fans
The fans on our house were well past their prime and weren’t functional at all. We chose to tear them out and start fresh with new Hunter fans.
First, let’s remind everyone at home that electricity can kill you! If you aren’t comfortable taking on this step of the project on your own, please hire a professional.
I first cut power to the fans, removed the old ones, and trimmed the vinyl siding to fit the new fan’s mounting plate. I then installed the new Hunter Mill Valley Fans according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Doesn’t that look better?
5. Install Outdoor Lights
After deciding where we wanted the lights to hang, I used a multi-tool to cut out the footprint of a vinyl siding mounting block. I secured the vinyl mounting block with screws. To run the electrical, I had to remove a few sections of our vinyl ceiling using my Malco SideSwiper tool. I wired the lighting according to the instructions and installed the lights.
6. Replace Doorbell Button
Since the house’s original doorbell button was no longer functioning, we bought a replacement button, shut off the power to that breaker, and installed it following the manufacturer’s instructions. Again, only tackle this if you’re comfortable working with electricity!
7. Paint Railings and Shutters
We first applied a coat of Gripper primer, which is great for covering over oil based paint before applying new acrylic paint. We then applied one coat of PPG Timeless paint, which really transformed the railings to look like new.
Our black shutters were faded and dull, so I removed them and applied a fresh coat of Behr Premium Plus in the color “Carbon.”
8. Stain Deck
We loved using PPG Timeless Transparent Stain in Oxford Brown on our back porch renovation last fall, so we chose to use it again on this project. I brushed it on using a stain brush and was able to walk on it only 24 hours later!
9. Install New Front Door
After removing the old door and test fitting the new one, I made some slight adjustments to the opening to ensure a perfect fit. We then put the new door back in place and secured it using the supplied screws into the door frame. We reused the handle hardware from the old door (which we’d installed a few years prior) and then filled the gap between the door casing and rough door opening with Great Stuff.
After all that hard work, we’re pretty sure the delivery guy might recognize that someone lives here now! We love how our southern front porch restoration turned out, and already find ourselves drawn to spending time there. It’s especially great with an ice-cold lemonade in hand while the Hunter fans cut through the summer temps!
Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to show us how this project inspired your own porch changes using #woodshopmikeibuiltit!
Let us know if you have any questions, and until next time, have fun making something!
I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in a promotional program. As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.