Tag : front-porch

Foundation Painting and Front Yard Planting: An Update

May 2010:

March 2011:

June 22, 2011:

Most notable, of course, is the primer that spilled onto the driveway. I’ll enjoy putting an asphalt patch on top of that.

Here’s an up-close of the side yard in case anyone cares:

How many differences can you find?

More to come — later.



  1. Painted the masonry block foundation gray (= pressure washing, applying waterproofing primer (heavy stuff), and concrete paint).
  2. Painted the “trim” on the porch and stairs gray.
  3. Painted the porch railing.
  4. Planted a bunch of stuff.
  5. Mulched.
  6. And the dwarf Alberta spruce is bigger now (if you look close enough, you can sort of see it in the first photo).

Mostly for my own sake, here’s what I’ve planted…

East side front yard:

  • Azalea (some red variety)
  • Shasta daisies
  • Midnight Blue Salvia (x2)
  • Rhododendron (x2; one doesn’t seem prone to living)
  • Hydrangea (“endless summer” variety)
  • Lillies (3x)
  • Arbor vitae
  • Green mountain boxwood (along the driveway)
  • Weigala (a maroon variety)
  • Spirea (x3 — can’t see them, they’re off to the right)
  • Blue rug juniper (x5 or 6)
  • Blue pacific juniper (x2)
  • Bunch of weeds (x?)

West side front yard:

  • Common boxwood (2x, one on either side of the stairs leading into the back yard)
  • Hydrangea (a sort of purple variant)
  • Japonica (pieris?) — this is a cool plant
  • Boulevard pyramidal cypress (“broad, pyramidal, evergreen shrub with soft, silvery blue-green foliage that turns bluish-gray in the winter” — if you were wondering)
  • Day lillies (stella d’oro variet, 2x)
  • Korean spice vibernum (next to the steps going up from the driveway)

Painting and Carpeting the Front Porch

One of the other positive outcomes of my trip to Utah was having TB tell me, without prompting, that Brian P. had tried for weeks to get the many layers of old paint off of his front porch and eventually failed, gave up, and put a whole ‘nother coat of paint on top of it. So I didn’t bother trying to get all the old paint off in the first place. Saved much aggravation.

Before pic:

The railing really looked worse than it appears to in this photo. And the porch itself had trace amounts of glue (at one time there was astroturf pasted onto it) on top of green on top of red on top of gray. I think. The photo makes it look like the red might have been beneath the gray. Stupid photo. This is better of the railing:


  1. Scraped the railing with wire brush, drill attachment, and putty knife (you can’t see it in the photo, but half of those vertical posts are spirals, which makes fun surfaces to try and get paint off of).
  2. Primed (2x), then painted (2x) the railing.
  3. Swept, vacuumed, hosed off, then re-vacuumed the concrete.
  4. Painted the porch (with concrete paint “for porch and garage floor”).
  5. Applied carpet tiles.

I don’t know how you’re supposed to make a concrete porch look good — or if it’s even possible. It occurred to me at one point that, if it were a nicer house, maybe tile would be the answer. More to the point, though, if it were a nicer house, I wouldn’t be leaving design decisions like that entirely to someone like me. But it’s a 1958 ranch-style house in a blue-collar, suburban Pittsburgh neighborhood, so I guess I’m good with paint and carpet tiles.

Still to go (in this vicinity):

  • Repair the concrete around the stairs.
  • Paint the stairs (probably).


PS, FWIW the carpet tiles are purportedly “indoor/outdoor”. The reviews (I got them from the HomeDepot Web site) implied that people had successfully used them in fully outdoor applications, so maybe they’ll work out. OTOH, it rains *a lot* in Pgh.