Paint your porch floor, and you set the scene for lively or laid-back summer action. Use soft, unobtrusive natural shades all over for a low-drama porch retreat. Make the porch important with a custom design of alternating squares that look like large tiles. Get a little wild and crazy with some stripes, or paint the classic white porch to the max with multiple coats of paint and lots of glossy protective finish.
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Tile your porch with paint. A long stretch of porch goes from plain to palazzo with alternating blocks of colour set on the diagonal. For a front porch with glossy white columns and trim, paint squares of black and white, and finish with a high-gloss protective coat of polyurethane. A bungalow porch is welcoming with a diamond design of pale salmon pink and dark green framed by dark green trim against creamy yellow walls.
Use dark natural wicker porch furniture with these colours, andnd paint a side porch in the same design in a crisp sky blue and white with white trim or faux terracotta tiles of clay and yellow with red or green trim. Seal your work to make it last, and hunt for a couple of giant chess pieces at flea markets and tag sales to set on the "tiles."
A shiny white porch says "summer" and reflects light off everything on it. Sand, sweep and wash the porch before painting, and repair any rough spots or spaces. Defects in the floor will show clearly with an all-white finish. Once it's dry, give the floor at least two coats of high-gloss white exterior floor paint, letting the paint dry to a hard finish between each coat. When the paint is completely opaque, protect it from shoes and weather with a diamond finish clear coat. Set white wicker furniture on your sparkling expanse of white, and use painted porcelain jars and urns as planters and decor
Treat your shady porch to a soft colour scheme with a flat sage exterior paint partly covered by an outdoor rug in harvest orange shades or artichoke green. The paint colour will shift from pale to shadowed as light moves across the floor, but it will never prove harsh or blinding. Sage complements natural wood and grass colours, so use maple or cherry wood tables, tortoiseshell bamboo and rattan chairs and large planters of ornamental grasses. For a spot of colour in the corner, hang a woven hammock from the Southwest or Central America and hook a few macrame planters filled with ferns in the openings between porch columns.
Three-ring Paint Job
A circus-striped porch is gaudy or bandbox crisp but it is never dull. Stick to two colours of wide long stripes to keep things coherent, but choose the colours according to your level of whimsy. A cotton-candy confection happens with yellow-cream and rose pink stripes; keep it from looking too frilly with navy painted wicker furniture, or pile on the white wicker and chintz for a really feminine porch. Paint your stripes purple and orange for the high wire treatment and highlight the big top colours with red, yellow and blue accessories, like flowerpots and occasional tables or canvas cushions. Create a nautical air with turquoise and white stripes or pale blue and deep sea blue.
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