Painting a porch is an exercise in imagination and a chance to emphasize the good features of your house. Create a world to inhabit in nice weather with the correct choice of paint colors and accents. Enhance the formal look of the house or focus on the fabulous view with a careful selection of outdoor hues. The right paint color invites company, promotes relaxation and gives your house curb appeal.
Coordinate the porch colors with the trim on your house for a unified and attractive appearance. If the house is gray with a barn red or burgundy trim, paint porch railings and columns barn red or burgundy. Keep the floor, ceiling and any exterior walls gray and paint wicker or wooden furniture to match the trim. Or, for a house with lots of gingerbread, paint the porch floor and ceiling glossy white to match the house trim, and pick up the color of the siding in a deeper shade for the trim on the porch. A pale blue house might have Confederate-blue porch railings and columns with midnight-blue porch furniture. If your house is a Caribbean fruit bowl of color, go for a daffodil-yellow porch with red, hot-pink and orange accents, white or natural rattan furniture and lots of green plants.
An all-white porch is a delightful chameleon—it can reflect any sensibility from shabby chic to ultra- modern. Paint the entire porch a glossy white, chalky white or vanilla cream. Hang plant containers for wildflowers from the railing and paint the containers sky blue or topaz. Fill them with red geraniums and paint a porch side table to match the containers. Use striped canvas that picks up red, white and blue for cushions on white porch furniture. Or paint everything on the porch white and heap chintz, flowered and ruffled cushions everywhere. Hang a string of pale, flower-painted paper lanterns for soft evening light. And suspend wire baskets planted with wildflowers and flowering vines in each opening between support poles. For a contemporary white porch, set a few pieces of white molded modern furniture out for seating, use a stark white ceiling fan and let a small kilim rug on the floor provide a splash of color.
A Porch with a View
If the view from your porch is spectacular, don’t let the porch compete with it. Paint the porch in neutral shades that mimic nature: shell white, pale stone gray or sand. Choose paint that picks up the hues of the surrounding landscape and let the colors of natural materials show through wherever possible—a teak porch swing can weather to gray, and an unpainted bamboo bird cage can hold a bright green fern. A porch that overlooks a rocky coast might have a floor painted slate or pale cappuccino and the color can be carried up on the inside surfaces of the porch so it seems to disappear. The porch exterior railings and trim can be accented with a darker color—shiny black, dark slate or forest green—whatever complements the main colors of the house. A porch on the edge of a woods or hillside might be cream or pale green with dark green accents and furniture.
- Photo Credit summer porch image by Inger Anne HulbÃ¦kdal from Fotolia.com
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