This screened porch makeover for less than $500 transformed a boring space into a fabulous, favorite spot for relaxing and entertaining guests.
Several years ago, I decided we needed a screened porch makeover, but my budget was under $500 (and my hubs and I aren’t DIY savvy). Since necessity is the mother of invention, I researched Pinterest, visited home improvement stores, and finally devised a simple, budget friendly plan for transforming our small outdoor space. The results? Incredible!!!
For those of you who have a similar outdated, ugly space, here is an outline of what we did to improve ours.
The project basically consisted of 3 tasks: First, we overhauled the deck floor with a good cleaning and paint. Second, we put screening under the deck to keep bugs from coming in through the bottom. Finally, we put bulb lights around the top to add ambiance.
Noteworthy: When I say “we” did this and that, I use the term loosely, as Zane and I did none of the work:-) Our trusted go-to helper Roberto did all the work. That being said, those of you who are DIYers could likely do this entire project for almost half the price.
It has been a bit more than 3 years since we completed this project, and we are still thrilled with the results. The floor looks great~the paint has held up beautifully. The lights still work, and we haven’t even had to replace a bulb. The screening looked great for about 2 years, then it began to collect bugs and dirt. We took it down several months ago but do plan to get Roberto to put in a new one.
Here is a breakdown of what we did, along with most of the items and where to buy:
Flooring: We began the project by having Roberto pull up the existing indoor/outdoor carpet and prep the wood for painting. He pressure washed the wood with part water/part clorox. After it dried (over the weekend), Roberto spent several hours scraping away glue and debris that wasn’t removed during the pressure wash.
Next came priming the deck for painting. To start, Roberto applied one coat of Behr latex indoor-outdoor primer. A gallon was only about $22, and we bought two. The paint rep at Home Depot tinted the primer the same color as the deck paint I had chosen.
Roberto applied the primer (at left) with a paint brush so that he could get between the cracks of the wood. This was a time consuming task, but was well worth it for a finished look.
After the primer coat dried, Roberto applied two coats of Behr porch and patio paint in “washed khaki.” It is a lovely neutral that dried a tad lighter than the chip color. I chose this color because it blended well with my window trim. Roberto applied both coats of the deck paint with a roller.
Screening under the deck floor: To keep insects from coming in through the cracks of the floor, I had Roberto put screening underneath the deck. For years, we had used indoor outdoor carpet to keep bugs out, but I was done with carpet and wanted real wood. This screening was the best solution to keep bugs at bay.
Roberto stapled the screening directly underneath the deck (at left) covering all of the beams. I actually like the way the screen makes the area look; it has a more finished effect than the bare, exposed wood.
The screen that I bought (at right) specifically says it is good for insect screening. It cost $15.00 per roll, and we bought four rolls for our 250 square foot deck.
So far, the screen has worked; I have yet to see a bug inside my porch. This step is one that I would not skip if redoing a screened porch that has deck flooring. Especially in the South, bugs can ruin a party in no time, and any place where there is food, they will get in if no barrier is in place.
Lighting: To dress up the porch at night, I decided to put string lights along the ceiling, and I am thrilled with the look! After searching in home & garden, craft, and online stores, I came across exactly what I wanted at Target. It was not only my favorite look, it was the least expensive option that I found.
I chose the Room Essentials globe string lights at left. At less than $15.00 per box, each strand has 25 lights and is approximately 20 feet long. I ordered six boxes and ended up needing only four (but love having an extra box for replacement needs).
A friend of mine used these G-40 clear globe string lights on her outdoor space, and they look amazing. They have a bit more of an industrial look than my lights and are shaped a bit differently. Either look is great; it is just personal preference.
The photo at right shows the cord before we screwed in the bulbs. Roberto used u-shaped nails (I think they are especially for cable wires). He ran one extension cord to an electrical outlet, and we turn the lights on and off at this one plug. Since we only use these at night, this is not a problem at all.
Tip: So that Roberto could attach the light cord, I removed all bulbs from the string lights and put them on an unused air filter. This kept them all in one place and safe from breakage until time to attach them to the light string.
The screened porch makeover was a huge success. It was quick (3-4 days), inexpensive (approximately $200 for materials), and easy. Even though we spent a bit more for labor, it was worth every penny. Below are a few photos of the finished project.
I’ve gotten lots of feedback from this post over the years, and many readers have written after doing a similar makeover. I love hearing from readers, so please let me know if you have any questions or if you have anything to share. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!