Our Simple Spray Paint Porch Makeover (Part 1)

This month, Krylon is sponsoring a series of thrifty, creative DIY projects:

Our porch, (long) before the makeover
I often say our porch is my favorite room in the house. It was horrendous when we moved in; floors covered in green artificial turf, holey screens heavily framed in rotting wood, paint chipping, and floor slanting. (It's still slanted, "for drainage.") The above photo was taken in the winter, making the porch even more drab, but it certainly gives you an idea of our canvas. 

Happily, over the last several summers, we've touched every surface of the porch, transitioning it from gah-ross to gah-reat! This summer we've been working on the porch furniture with the help of several cans of Krylon spray paint. The first project we tackled was the coffee table(s). Our 'true' before pictures were lost forever (due to an untimely iPhone crash ... Ah!). However, below you will see the brown tabletops with red legs (Bruno did some Photoshopery to give you the idea). Using your imagination, picture the tables in total brown ... and you have our true 'before'.

A 'before' picture of the table and rocking chair

(Again, since my true 'before' pics were lost forever, this is photoshopped to give you an idea)

The current tables on our porch are actually two side tables that lived in Bruno's apartment back in his bachelor days. We kept them around because they were sturdy wooden tables that work well outdoors-ish. Most of the time, we scooch them together to form one coffee table, but we like the fact that they can be split apart when we have guests over, transforming into side tables or foot rests (or both, simultaneously!). 

We came up with the idea to paint our tabletops with chalkboard paint so our two-year-old daughter, Ayla, would have the opportunity to grace yet another surface with her artwork. We began by hauling the tables out to our outdoor work area and spray painting the bases and legs with Krylon's "Cherry Red" spray paint (we opted for a glossy finish).

Spray painting our porch tables

The process was really pretty easy. Since we hadn't spray painted wood furniture in a while, we took a quick look at some of the FAQ on Krylon's Web site. The most helpful tips were the reminder to begin and finish your strokes off of the object your painting. We also heeded their advice and tried to use several light coats (2-3) instead of laying on one thick coat. We ran into this issue right off the bat and had some drips that we later sanded and re-sprayed. 

Krylon Spray paint, yay!

The project took more paint than we were expecting (almost 2 full cans) because our initial coat was a bit too thick, requiring some sanding and re-painting. And the table legs had quite a few angles to tackle. The issues we ran into were strictly user error, and we're happy to report that we gained a little bit of finesse each time we worked with the paint (some of the later projects we sprayed were drip-free and easy-peasy).

After the legs dried, we used a can of Krylon Chalkboard Brush-On paint to cover the table tops. After three coats (I added an extra coat, ahem ... because I'm obsessive compulsive ... err, for good measure), the tables dried and were ready to go back to the porch, where they were met by one very happy artist.

Our little artist loves her chalkboard-paint-topped coffee tables

We did this project over the course of two days; the table bases were spray painted several times on day one, and the table tops were painted by hand on day two. We allowed about 1-2 hours of drying time between each coat of paint, and were thrilled with the results (stay with us, folks, the real reveal is coming, keep scrolling...)

Once the tables were set, the old, hand-me-down rocker that served as Ayla's porch chair looked a little drab, so we decided to tackle it with our leftover red ("Cherry Red") spray paint and the leftover pink ("Watermelon") spray paint we had from Ayla's trike project.
Ayla's itty-bitty rocking chair, before.

We began by removing the rocker's noise mechanism (it played a music-box-ish tune Every. Single. Time she rocked) and filling the hole with a little spackle we had on hand. Then we gave the entire rocker a light sand and made a painting plan. We decided to paint all of the chair's spindles "Watermelon" and cover the rest of the chair in "Cherry Red". The pink coats went on without a hitch and dried in a few hours.

After the first pink coat

Once the paint was nice and dry, we taped the pink surfaces with painter's tape and started in with the red. The chair had lots of tricky little angles and surfaces, so the "Cherry Red" portion of the painting process took a little more time that we initially anticipated. We learned from the tables that several light coats looked better and dried faster, but required a little extra patience. So, I applied superhuman self-control and waited at least 30 minutes between each coat.    

We actually managed to tackle the chair in one day, due to cooperative weather and an early start. We were thrilled.

Krylon Cherry Red

Ayla loved her newly-painted chair!

Our completed porch with chalkboard tables and Ayla's pink rocking chair

Check back next week to read about our quick-and-easy porch lighting treatment makeover.

Thanks to Krylon for sponsoring this project! 
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Got your own awesome DIY project using spray paint? 
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Anonymous on May 25, 2012:

Hey there, I was wondering if you still had the noise mechanism for the rocking chair. I'm restoring a chair for a lady I know and hers is broken. I would be willing to buy this if you still have it. Please let me know Thanks! flyfishingric@gmail.com


alicia on Jul 25, 2011:

Hi Jessica! The table sounds perfect. If it's solid wood, I imagine spray paint will take just fine. If there's a veneer, you may have to do some sanding or check out a different type of paint (maybe the Krylon Fusion would work?). Sounds like a good find; good luck with the project! 

Jessica on Jul 25, 2011:

I bought a beat up drop leaff table at a garage sale this weeked. It's purpose is for the small TV & Wii that our boys use, which live in the family room. Would you think this would work for the table?

alicia on Jul 21, 2011:

Jackie, the tables were old solid wood ones we found at Goodwill years ago. However, I imagine the spray paint and chalkboard paint would work well on IKEA tables as well.  

Jackie on Jul 21, 2011:

are the tables from Ikea? I would like to try this on mine!

emily on Jul 18, 2011:

Beautiful transformation! Cool use of colors.

bruno on Jul 14, 2011:

@maven - really? I rarely get that. Usually, it's, "She looks just like Alicia!" Thanks for the nice pick-me-up!

DIY Maven on Jul 14, 2011:

Beautiful. Ayla looks like her daddy, no?

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