Today, I’m sharing the 5 simple ingredients to sprucing up a fall front porch, from paint to greenery. Plus, I’ve included a round-up of my top porch picks for you, too!
It’s been 5 years since we painted the front door of our Chicago home navy blue, and w’ve loved it for all those years! But – and maybe this is because we continue to paint All the Things black at Tree House – I’ve had an itch to go black here. After thinking about it for weeks, I knew the itch was here to stay, so I gave it a go! Here’s how our front door has looked for the last half decade:
Front Door | Before
Front Door | Today!
It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do! We loved it before, but the glossy black feels so classic. I could say the same for the navy (and there was certainly nothing wrong with it!), but the black door, updated lighting, door mat and seasonal foliage as whole have added so much to our curb appeal – and on a budget!
Repairs + Paint
We have a steel front door that has its fair share of dings. I won’t say that it’s because our dogs run full force into the door, but, well. In any case, we’re big fans of using Bondo when longevity is the goal! You have to work quickly, but it’s tough and durable. Scott smoothed Bondo over the areas that needed some help, and I followed up with a sanding pad to get it nice and smooth before painting!
I use a short handled brush (this one is my all-time favorite) to go around the grille and insets, and I use a 4″ foam roller for the flat areas. I didn’t prime beforehand, but I did clean the door really well and sand off any chipped navy paint. I applied 3 thin coats of this Everlast paint in Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black, which is a true, deep black. The semi-gloss finish leans glossier than I was expecting, but we love it so much. Like, so much.
Upgrades on a Budget
Okay, let’s talk about that lighting! Each light was $50, but at 16″ tall, they feel much more substantial (hunky, some may say) and look more handsome than the price tag would suggest. Many of you have already let me know that you have the same lighting on your porch, and you’ve been so pleased with them for years. We love hearing that! Tip: We used these skinny, dimmable LED bulbs.
We upgraded our tired coir mat for an extra wide doormat that fills the space nicely, and it had me wondering, why are doormats usually so small? This one is nice and thick, and I love that the simple black detail ties into our freshly painted door. We have the 4′ width, but it’s available up to 6′! I also couldn’t resist piling on the pumpkins (so many!), and Lucy can’t resist picking them up, one by one, and moving them to a new location. Ha!
The last big change we made was adding this storm door. I have been against storm doors for-ev-er, and I’ll fully admit that my opinion has been based on looks alone. But after installing the same one at Tree House, I’m a fan! I never, ever thought I’d say that, but it’s been a game changer. Even with our door open wide, it still feels warm inside, despite the current fall temperature! Of course, I can’t argue about all that additional light that floods inside.
Although it’s more expensive than other options, we can attest to how well made it is – and yes, I’ll admit that I think it looks great, too. The cost upfront will only help our heating and cooling bills over the years, so I consider it a pretty big win!
The 5 Ingredients for a Fall Front Porch Refresh
- Lighting that shines!
- A substantial planter (or two)
- An extra-wide doormat
- A fresh mix of faux and real seasonal greenery
- Paint to dress up your front door
I’m sharing my favorite picks from the ingredients above and rounding them up below. A little pick-me-up before it gets too cold is just what our home needed after all these years!
1. bowery matte black, $50 | 2. butterscotch sconce, $199 | 3. manor glass sconce, $118 (on sale) | 4. pittock brass, $374 (on sale) | 5. zeyu brass + black/2 pack, $90 | 6. classic barn light, $149
7. saabira fiberstone, $80 | 8. shiny white cylinder, $84 | 9. cityscape planter, $299 | 10. seminyak grey, $70 | 11. midnight pedestal, $129 | 12. azina planter, $599
3| Extra Wide Doormat (48″+)
13. natural with black border 48″, $60 | 14. welcome 48″, $146 | 15. picture frame 57″, $89 | 16. sailors knot 66″, $228 | 17. black double border 48″, $35
18. cedar wreath, $118 | 19. magnolia leaf, $159 | 20. mini cedar pine, $67 | 21. cedar topiary, $85 | 22. globe juniper, $35 | 23. cypress wreath, $99
We used Everlast paint in Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black, exterior grade, in a semi-gloss finish.
PS: See how we first painted our steel door in this post, and how we painted our wooden door at Tree House. Plus, here’s how to paint aaanything!
I came home yesterday and noticed my husband put out on the porch our 5′ tall skeleton. The skeleton is just sitting on the ground, leaning to the side against the front door with his (her?) legs sticking straight out (so no posing here). Guess that’s the extent of our Halloween decorating this year! ;)
Hahaha love it.
Where did you get your door hardware?
It’s this Schlage Smart Lock! We love it so much.
Is the actual handle part also Schlage? What’s the model?
The handle is also Schlage! It’s the Century style in matte black. I see they have it in ORB and a few other options here!
Thanks, the closest to black I can find is the aged bronze but can’t find the matte black but pretty much want to copy what you have it looks great
You have REALLY sold me on those lights – I’ve been looking for something more substantial and these are gorgeous! And THAT PRICE?! Come on!
You…may have also sold me on a storm door? Basically I want to be more like you.
You can thank Scott for the storm door, ha! He’s been on my case for yeeeeeaaaaars.
I have the same storm door as in you “Brown” and I love it so much, the “brown” feels like a bronze and I am over the moon about it! Did you use magnets to hang the wreath on them?
Ooh, that sounds pretty. For the wreath, I’m using this removable Command hook!
I love the black and the new light fixtures. Question-did you plant the evergreen in the planter or is it temporary?
I planted it!
Hahaha, I JUST painted my front door Tricorn Black two weeks ago! I love it so much, every time I pull up to my house, I do a slow drive-by first, like a creeper, so I can admire my own door. No regrets!!
I love seeing your home evolve over the years. I remember when you painted the door blue and now we’re seeing you paint it black. It’s like watching you graduate from High School and now college. I’m just so proud *sniffle* and I love seeing you do all the things!
It looks great!
Hi! We have beige siding, white trim and want to paint the door black. Would you paint the side lights black as well or white like the trim? Also, do you always paint the inside of the door the same color?
Ohhh I think that’s totally personal preference but I actually looooove the look when a door, sidelights and trim are all painted! BUT I think that looks amazing on brick houses. In your case though, I’d probably only do the door and then paint the sidelights white.
Can you share any information about your storm door purchase? Did you install it yourself? It looks great with your newly painted door.
It’s this door, and Scott installed, just followed the instructions!
the door and light fixture are perfect~~
Hello! Love this look! Would you mind sharing where you purchased your storm door? We are wanting to replace ours and I love the look of yours!
Here’s the door we used!
We’ve been looking at changing our door hardware to the Schlage Connect deadbolt and Century handle, but I was concerned that it would stick out too far and our storm door wouldn’t close. Did you run into any issues after installing your storm door?
Nope, no issues whatsoever.
Did you guys cut the siding or add mounting blocks to add the new lights? Or does it just sit over the siding I can’t tell by the photos
Like the old fixtures, the new lights simply sit on top of the siding. No modifications were necessary.
I love the new black paint!!! I’m scared it’s already too cold to paint our metal front door but we need to do desperately as the current paint is almost all peeled off!! How cold would you say we can paint until? Also…Please share, how do we hang a wreath on a front door that is mostly glass? Please don’t say 3M hooks! We can never get them off our drywall!
Probably no colder than 50 or 60, I’d say! And yes, 3M hooks!