Steps So White

It seems so long ago that I decided a lick of paint would be an easy, frugal way to do some home improvements chez nous. Above: one of the optimism-fueled "before" pictures I posted in those heady days... way back on July 1. I also posted 3 other "befores" of the inside of our add-on porch, sort of implying that I was going to accomplish a lot of porch-related titivation this month.

The truth is, after giving the project my best these past 3+ weeks, I have new, hard-won respect for those bloggers who make these things seem so easy (yeah I'm looking at you, Young House Love). With a full-time job and two fabulous little people to hang out with until dark, there's not much time left for fixing things up. Here's how far I actually got this month:

I scraped the steps. I'm not posting photos of the back steps here, but they do exist, so I'm talking 2 sets of steps while photographing one. Next, I power-washed the steps with the hose. When dry, I gave everything a buzz with my cute little refurb sander. Notice how all the gunk clinging to the risers in the "before" picture is now gone. The steps felt smoother underfoot, too, after being scraped and washed and sanded.

Next, I taped everything off and put down newspaper, since I figured paint-splattered concrete would be kind of a trashy look. Speaking of trashy, see that purple-handled paintbrush? It was one of a set of 3 from the dollar store. That means it cost 33 cents! (Trust me, I am simultaneously gleeful at the savings and outraged at the obvious misuse of some global resource(s).) The paint was glaring white porch paint (not its official name) from the local hardware store Brown & Roberts.

After the first coat of paint, I set up a clever shield (with some help) using tape, scrap plastic and lawn chairs. To keep the wet paint safe from any critters in the area.

Here it is finished after 2 coats of paint and just a bit of rain (that's why there's... a puddle marring the perfect white glow on each tread).

It's, like, so white! I was thinking of going with this color for the entire porch floor, but I'm glad now that I did the steps first. This white is fine there and it'll get dirty and I don't mind. But it seems too glaring for my cool play-porch visions. Wait, let's see that before and after side-by-side, shall we?

I must admit that other porch improvements are not going to happen by the end of July at this rate. But I still have big plans! Will grey and yellow be involved? Or apple blossom white and lime green? Only time and indecisiveness can tell!

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