Well hello again! It has been quite a long time since we last got together. It wasn’t a planned hiatus; it just sort of happened with all kinds of changes going on. We welcomed little Alayna Marie Hart near the end of May (biggest blessing ever), I resigned my teaching position at school, and HartLand clients, landscaping, gardening, and finishing our interiors took center stage. Not to mention the screened-in porch!
Our Back Porch Was Nice Before…
but now it feels like an outdoor room, and we couldn’t be happier with the result. We kept the furniture, which was already fairly new, and added some brand-new pieces, spruced some things up with paint, and went to town with new accessories.
Inspiration for the Screened-In Porch
I already knew I wanted a cottage-farmhouse feel with lots white and soft colors. I spent a lot of time on Pinterest getting a feel for different looks, and to make sure my own porch was original and unique. What did we do, exactly? Read on to find out.
Painted Metal Furniture
We kept our two metal retro-style gliders, but we ended up saying good-bye to the pink paint, which was surprisingly difficult and a little disappointing at first. In the end, we’re glad we did, because our bright white gliders look fresh, and the throw pillows really pop. We finally got a fantastic paint sprayer that did the job in short order, with a clean uniform finish, and no drips! You can find the paint sprayer on Amazon. We also painted our bistro-style metal dining chairs the same bright white and finished them off with padded seats, also from Amazon, that screw right into the bottom of the chair with an included wingnut. Finally, we ordered a cute pair of iron side tables from Antique Farmhouse, but we didn’t like the color with our decor, so I gave them a faux verdigris finish (see below for the how-to) to coordinate beautifully with the green throw pillows on our white outdoor sectional from Ballard Designs.
How To Create a Faux Verdigris Finish with Chalk Paint
- Wipe down your piece; no sanding needed. If your piece has some texture, that’s even better.
- Mix your chalk paint to create a medium teal base. We used Annie Sloan Bright White, English Yellow, and Aubusson Blue. You’ll have to play with the ratios to get the shade you like. In our case, if I had to guess, we used approximately 2/3 white, 1/6 Aubusson Blue, and 1/6 English Yellow.
- Thin your paint with a few tablespoons of water and stir.
- Paint your furniture with the new base you just mixed and let dry for about 15 minutes.
- Gently wipe down your furniture with a damp rag, applying more pressure to areas you would like to see a peek of the original color. Allow to dry for another 20-30 minutes.
- With a clean, dry brush, brush Bright White over your base, blending as you go. You do not need to worry about being particular, since your piece is intended to look aged and distressed.
- If you like, wipe a few areas with your damp rag to allow more original finish to be exposed.
- Allow to dry for an hour or two (this paint dries extremely fast) before applying Annie Sloan clear wax. Buff with a clean white rag when finished and allow to dry overnight before use. The wax could take up to a week to fully cure.
Faux Floral Arrangements for the Back Porch
As stated in one of our previous posts, Whether or not to use faux flowers and greenery is sometimes hotly debated on the internet. In our humble opinion, there is no debate. Many faux flowers on the market today are so life-like that it’s difficult to tell if they’re real without touching them, and sometimes not even then. Just like throw pillows, faux flowers can be changed each season or holiday for a totally different look. Purchasing good quality florals is not inexpensive, but if well-cared for, your faux flowers will last for many years.”
Admittedly, most people use real flowers, greenery, and trees on their porches, but we do not. We have a great variety of plantings around HartLand, and I simply do not feel like dealing with the maintenance and upkeep on our porches, so all of our florals, plants, and trees are faux. Most are so life-like, that people touch them before believing they are not real. We added several topiaries and ferns from Grandin Road, and placed them in distressed terracotta and decorative planters. We also purchased some galvanized buckets and tubs from Tractor Supply and gave them a good distressed finish using toilet bowl cleaner of all things (see below for the how-to). Next, we took several trips to Hobby Lobby and Michael’s, in search of the best faux greenery and flowers we could find, and filled our galvanized tubs and buckets, pitchers, mason jars, pitchers, and vases. We placed them strategically around the porch and on all the tables. We filled our containers and vases with glass beads to help anchor the floral stems and add some weight so they don’t blow away on windy days.
How To Create a Vintage Distressed Finish on Galvanized Metal
- Spread out a plastic tarp on your work surface.
- Scrub your galvanized metal container with steel wool to rough up the finish.
- Coat the entire surface, interior, and bottom of your container with toilet bowl cleaner (we used Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Hydrogen Peroxide) with a sponge or small bristle brush.
- Let dry several hours or overnight.
- Scrub the entire surface, interior, and bottom of the container with steel wool before rinsing off the toilet bowl cleaner.
- Rinse off all the toilet bowl cleaner and dry.
- Admire your new “old” galvanized container!
New Area Rug
We tried a few different area rugs before settling on an icy blue and white outdoor rug from Rugs.com. The 8’ x 10’ size is just perfect under our two wicker gliding rockers. The geometric print complements our gorgeous herringbone bricks nicely, and our sweet pups appreciate the softness underfoot. I was initially also going to put a 9’x12’ rug under our long dining table, but decided not to, because the bricks are just too pretty to cover.
Wall Art on the Back Porch
No room is complete without a little art, and our outdoor “room” is no exception. Once again, I called upon one of our favorite Etsy Shops, ToeFishArt for a vintage-inspired canvas that really does look like aged metal. Since I did not want to put nails in my Hardie siding, I needed something lightweight, and a canvas was the solution. I hung one above my outdoor sectional on one side of the porch and another (my favorite) in a quiet, more private area that is not quite finished, off the master bedroom. I am currently waiting for a small distressed white wooden table and chairs set from Milan Vintage, another Etsy shop that is definitely worth checking out.
We have small overhead LED lights in our porch ceiling that we use for tasks, and of course our favorite Laramie wall sconce from Barnlight just outside the door, but for ambience, I much prefer candlelight. I picked up three tallish galvanized lanterns at Hobby Lobby, along with flameless pillar candles and placed them along the columns. I need to grab two more so I have one for each column. I also have candles on the dining table, and to accommodate for the height, I created a tiered centerpiece filled with pretty little accessories.
Extra Seating on the Back Porch is a Must
Who doesn’t need extra seating that doubles as a cute vignette when not in use? I had two leftover metal bistro chairs, so I placed them next to a bank of windows and nestled a pretty white garden table between them. A realistic faux floral and cabbage plant fill the table, along with a trio of small bird figurines. On the chair sits a washed gray basket filled with lavender bundles. So cute! And finally, since there is not much walking space in front of the sectional, two lovely ceramic garden stools make perfect little tables to hold drinks, baby bottles, plates of food, or feet for relaxing.
It’s going to be really hard saying goodbye to this porch when winter sets in, so in the meantime, you know where we’ll be all summer long…snuggling baby Alayna on the porch and sipping some iced tea. We hope you enjoyed our porch makeover, and if you ever need any help making your porch more comfortable, give us a holler.