This time, last year, I was daydreaming about how we could improve our curb appeal situation. This Summer, we finally had some time, and a plan. It has been a ton of work so far — but it’s going really great! And, as far as exterior facelifts are concerned… not too shabby on the budget too.


So — I’m not sure where to start. There is just so much room for improvement. It all kind of started for me with that frosted, window, door. If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you know I scored an awesome replacement door from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $80!


Ok. So I knew I wanted a new door… (you’ll see it in a minute), but it snowballed into quite the checklist. The goals were:

So… let’s see how much we can get through…

First up, an easy fix. A new light. The original looked like something you’d see lighting the doorway of an underground parking garage. It was small, stained, and not cute. About $30 later, problem solved. Ok! On a roll…


Next up, the porch deck boards. There was no budget for a new deck (we had thought a little about extending the porch to the side, almost creating a wrap-around), once we decided it was staying put, and staying the same size, really, the big problem was the ugly chipping stain… I can tackle that! Guess it’s time to refinish a wood deck!


Enter the belt sander… And, after about 3 days of an-hour-here, 3-hours-there…


And, a little digging between the boards with the hand sander…


We had a pretty clean looking deck! I am really feeling the whole natural wood thing lately, and I decided once everything was sanded down, to just use Thompson’s clear water sealer.




The outer porch wall (which was a rougher plywood), got a coat of black paint to finish it off… you can see a bit of the painted door in the background… turned out to be a great way to coordinate, and finish off the porch without any extra investment.

Next was the “new” door…


Look at that window! I mean, you can see why this door had me at “hello” at the Restore, ya? So pretty.


Here is the new door installed (thanks entirely to Steve!), and it was HEAVY! And, did I mention the hinges didn’t match up and the door needed to get trimmed down? Yeah… more on that later, but let’s just say, I love my husband.

But back to the porch for now… new light, check! Refinished deck boards, check! And, now new door installed, check! It’s hard not to show you the new deck without revealing a little more (did you catch the black door and the new wood clad columns?)… but I promise, I’ll touch on all that in the next few posts!


For now, lets concentrate on the fact that the porch has been brought back to life with elbow grease, sand paper, and a $25 jug of clear sealer.

It looked like this last week…




And, now look at her… get outta town! How much better is this — right?! Onward! There is a lotta list left…





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