How To Add Curb Appeal On a Budget
Learn how to give your house character and charm in just a few easy steps!
Plus, learn the tips and tricks to paint a metal front door!
This place needed some charm added to it, and my friend Shannon knew just what to do to brighten it up!
1. First things first, you need to clean out your flower beds. If plants or flowers are overgrown, thin them and/or cut them back as needed. If things are sparse, plant more plants and flowers. For me, I needed to do some thinning! Add mulch for a beautiful finishing touch! Not only does mulch help with beautification, it is also extremely helpful is cutting back on weed growth! The less light there is reaching the soil, the fewer weeds grow. Sprinkling Preen on the soil after weeding also helps cut back on weed growth.
2. Add planter boxes with colorful flowers. This can be a place where you can easily spend a lot of money, but you can totally spring for the deals! Find cheap planters wherever you can get them. You can even spray paint them for a quick and cheap face-lift. I was thrilled to find these mixed flower arrangements at my local nursery for only $7.50 each. after planting them in planter boxes I already had on hand, I was pleased with the outcome!
3. Take a little bit of time, and a few dollars and hit any iron rails, mailboxes, hose holders, house numbers, and light fixtures with spray paint if dull. It’s amazing what a difference a nice coat of black spray paint can make! I just used the Ace Hardware brand of black semi-gloss, but any brand will do just fine.
You will want to clean off the item you’re painting first so the paint will adhere properly. Also, be sure to tape off anything you don’t want painted, and lay drop clothes down on cement and surrounding flowers to avoid the over-spray painting things that weren’t intended to be painted. I painted these rails 4-5 years ago, and as you can see it was time for another coat!
If you are doing light fixtures or house numbers, remove them from the house before painting.
4. Shine door knobs or replace if needed. Mine had a lot of really grungy stuff on it that made it look dirty and gross. I honestly don’t know what it was, maybe even a previous finish flaking off.
I carefully scraped it off with the edge of a razor blade. The blade needs to be tiled all the way on it’s side, and then gently scrape. I would NOT recommend this for any dark finishes such as oil rubbed bronze, as it will scratch off the finish. Test on an inconspicuous place and see if it scratches the finish before you do it over the whole surface.
After scraping off all the gunk, I was able to use a Scotch non-scratch scrubby and water to remove any remaining residue. It looks tons better now!
5. Paint your front door a fun color! Paint (I used Behr Semi Gloss Marquee Schooner) is such a cheap way to upgrade a space! For little money and an hour or two of your time, you can give your house a whole new personality!
That’s it! With a low monetary investment, and a little bit of work, your house can have a significant face-lift and become a home that has character and great curb appeal!
How to paint an exterior metal door:
Cabinet foam roller
Good paintbrush (I love Purdy)
1 quart exterior semi-gloss paint
Masking tape (I love Frog Tape)
Box cutter (optional)
1. Lightly sand the surface by hand with fine sandpaper, such as 220 grit. This just gives the paint a little roughness to cling to.
2. Clean off the door with water or a wet, clean rag, and let dry.
3. Tape off any areas that should not be painted, such as hinges or glass. I love Frog Tape! For my curved glass, I put pieces of tape straight over the curves, then used my fingernail to push the tape into the edges. I was then able to use a sharp box cutter to carefully cut around the curved edges of the glass, and remove the unneeded tape.
You will also want to loosen or remove any hardware on the door front with a screwdriver, such as door knobs, door stops, and door knockers. This takes 5 minutes, and is so much easier than trying to paint around your hardware without getting paint on it. Worth the time, just be sure to keep all your parts somewhere safe!
4. You want to purchase an exterior semi-gloss paint. I used Bear and it worked great! Use a nice paintbrush (I love my Purdy) to paint the intricate parts of the door. I only had to use a paintbrush on the high parts around the glass.
The low parts on the 4 panels I was able to easily do with my 4” foam cabinet roller, which is what I used to paint all the flat areas of the door. This roller is designed for painting cabinets and leaves minimal roller marks.
Paint as many coats as needed , allowing time to dry in between, to get thorough coverage. For me I needed two coats. It depends on what color your door was to begin, what color you are painting it, and what paint you are using. Did you know you can place wet rollers and brushes in a grocery bag or ziplock bag in the fridge and they will stay fresh for days?? So when the first coat is done, throw your brush and roller in a bag, remove the air from the bag, and place in the fridge until you’re ready for the next coat! There’s no need to clean your roller and brush out until the project is complete.
Remove any tape as soon as you’re done applying the final coat of paint. Let dry and re-install hardware.
5. If you happened to have any paint leak under the edges of the tape, don’t worry. Simply grab that razor blade, tip it on it’s edge and gently scrape the glass to remove any remaining paint.
6. Paint the door frame if needed. I wanted my door frame to be white. I needed to do a good job sanding the cracking paint down with my electric sander, and then clean the surface. I then used a brush and roller to paint it white in some exterior semi-gloss paint I had laying around the house.
A little money saving tip is to always clean out your rollers, brushes and even paint trays thoroughly. Each roller, brush and paint tray can be used for many projects. If saving money is key to you, be sure to make the most of your supplies so you don’t have to buy new supplies for every project! That’s it! You now have a beautiful, vibrant door!
If you are looking to move or buy a new home in the Boise area we recommend Knight Real Estate! Tell them Fabulessly Frugal sent you and you can even get a deal!