Friday, July 10, 2015

Front Porch Planters

This project came about from a desire to make the front porch look a little more finished and add some curb appeal, just like so many of my other recent projects. We've had our cooler box on the porch for over a year, but we stopped using it months ago when we discontinued our CSA delivery due to tightening our budget after Mr M got laid off.

I moved the cooler box to the shed and looked for something else to make the porch look a little nicer. I found these plans for planters, and decided to make some for our porch. I modified the plans to make them a bit smaller since if I'd built them as the plans dictated, the right hand planter would have jutted out into the doorway. Instead of 3 fence pickets for each panel, I cut some in half and used 2 1/2 fence pickets for each panel.

 These planters were fairly simple and not super expensive to build and came together quite quickly. The original plans called for the side posts to continue above the edge of the sides, but like several others who shared their versions I opted to cut the side posts level and add a ledge around the top. I think it looks a lot nicer and more finished this way.

I took this picture a couple weeks ago while Mr M was working on the shed ramp- you can see all the  nasty red mud that gets tracked everywhere.

I haven't put in the bottom and the landscape cloth lining yet since I need to find plants first. I want evergreen plants that will look good year-round, but they also have to do well in indirect sunshine since our front porch receives little-to-no direct sunlight. I've checked Lowes, but haven't found anything, so we need to check some local nurseries for other options. I'm seriously contemplating just finding some fake evergreen plants- then I wouldn't have to worry about keeping them alive. Since I have a habit of killing plants, that's not a bad thing :) My main stipulation is that they look good, so we'll see what I can find.

River oversaw the project and inspected the finished planters:

I debated between painting the planters white or staining them, but in the interest of using what we have, I opted to stain them with the stain we use on the decks. I was worried about it being a bit matchy-matchy (and it highlights the need to power wash and re-stain the deck and re-paint the trim) but I think it looks better than painting them white. They wouldn't have stayed white for long in our humid environment: they'd be turning gray and green before long.

hmmm, and I still need to fix the paint around the door handle that Mr M replaced forever ago

 Our deck stain is Olympic Canyon Brown tinted waterproofing sealant. The treated fence pickets stained darker than the untreated pine frame. I rather like the two-tone look and am curious to see how it ages. For now they're sitting empty on the porch, but hopefully they won't be empty for long.

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