How can I update my brick porch and diagonal column?

Courtney Powell
by Courtney Powell

I don't like the porch/column on my 70's built ranch that we just moved into last summer. Any suggestions to update it?

This is how it looked when we moved in.

Closer look at porch and diagonal brick column

Mismatched brick "ramp" and rest of the porch.

Here's the view from the street. (We already removed the railing).

  22 answers
  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Mar 07, 2022

    You could whitewash them or cover with wood.

  • 17335038 17335038 on Mar 07, 2022

    IMO the porch looks faded and lifeless. I would suggest painting the brick column and the brick trim around the windows a darker contrasting color. You might also consider painting the garage door to match the trim. This would not be expensive, and would add depth and needed energy to the front of the house.

    • Courtney Powell Courtney Powell on Mar 07, 2022

      Thanks, I hadn't thought of painting the brick. I hate the garage door...well it's the window inserts I really can't stand the look of. Will certainly consider painting.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 07, 2022

    Hmmm, for the column, I would try to match it to the brick floor with paint or stain, you could pull it off.

    The mismatch from the porch floor, ramp, to the entrance-way needs something, it reminds me of, well never-mind, a beautiful reddish stained wood would be beautiful, something in tune with the brick.Love the ramp. Had them in our rancher and too them out, only to put them back in.

  • Since the house is very monochromatic, you may want to consider painting the brick in a different color to add interest. I would leave the stones alone and maybe find an outdoor rug or runner to put down on the brick floor.

  • William William on Mar 07, 2022

    Porch is too neutral. I would wrap the column with wood and square it off. I wouldn't wrap it at the diagonal, looks weird. I would also add a shelf/ledge about waist high to set drinks on for anyone standing. Then I would randomly white wash the stones in the walls different shades of browns/tans. Paint the ceiling a light sky blue. It's know to repel mosquitoes.

  • 17335038 17335038 on Mar 07, 2022

    Yes, the 70's (Flintstone-like) large round stones are very dated. To modernize the curb appeal of your home, you might want to plan in the future to have the siding replaced with a more contemporary material, such as stone veneer. The column could be wrapped at the same time with either the same material or with wood. Here are some examples for inspiration.

  • Dee Dee on Mar 07, 2022

    You can paint your brick, your window frames and your house door. The column you can add wood around or you can paint that to match the trim. You need some color on your porch, I would also paint the railings

  • Debi53 Debi53 on Mar 08, 2022

    More than likely, the brick is simply a "surround" that is built around a support column. If it were me, I would knock the brick off and then replace the column if you don't like it, or box it in with wood. We tend to think that brick can't be removed, but we used a jackhammer to remove an ugly huge brick fireplace hearth. All it took was some labor (my husband's!) and the ugly thing was gone. Trying to cover over the brick with another material is just going to make it massive on a small porch. The same thing is true for the brick going into the front door. Jackhammer it up and put something you like in its place. Maybe something that matches the column you replace. Do it right the first time you redo it and you're done. Best of luck.

    • Courtney Powell Courtney Powell on Mar 08, 2022

      Thanks for the encouragement! You're so right about brick being thought of as unremovable and I am intimidated at the thought but I hate it enough to give it some serious consideration!

  • Deb K Deb K on Mar 08, 2022

    Hi Courtney, you could paint it a bright color to add some life! If you don't like the brick , you could go over the brick with another faux finish veneer, here is a link for you tom check out, hope it helps you out,

  • Seth Seth on Mar 09, 2022


    All of the brick work is decorative and not structural. The red bricks seem to go under the brick column. I'm guessing there is an older wood or metal column underneath the brick. You could chip out the vertical mortar joint of one of the lowest bricks and see what is inside. It will not effect the integrity of the column and you can easily re-mortar it. Poke around with a thin piece of metal (hanger) or wood. See if you hit something in the middle or if you go all the way across to the brick of the opposite side. You may find you are able to remove all of the brick column and re-clad whatever is underneath with some other material or even reuse the same brick, but more square.

    • Courtney Powell Courtney Powell on Mar 09, 2022

      Thanks Seth! I was thinking I'd have to remove a brick but your suggestion is way easier!

  • I personally love the column but if you don’t, that’s perfectly ok. Try easy things first like painting the eave overhang and window frames, add decorative items, lighting, and a comfortable seating area then assess the harder to reverse items.

    • Courtney Powell Courtney Powell on Mar 10, 2022

      Thanks so much for suggesting doing the easy things first. That will keep me from being overwhelmed since I have a tendency to want to do everything at once!

  • Try considering to paint the brick in a different color. Or whitewash them or cover with wood. You can leave the stones alone and maybe find an outdoor rug or runner to put down on the brick floor.

    • Courtney Powell Courtney Powell on Mar 10, 2022

      Thanks! I did see a blog post where somebody covered their brick porch with wood and I really like the way it turned out so we're definitely considering that.

  • Rho49092349 Rho49092349 on Mar 10, 2022

    I agree with Crafty Little Gnome. I would paint or whitewash the beige brick. I love the stones as they are. They add character. An outdoor rug would add warmth. W

    ith some pretty furniture and decor, no one will ever notice the diagonal pillars.

  • Courtney Powell Courtney Powell on Mar 10, 2022

    Thanks! I bet if we got the stones power washed they would probably look much better to me.

  • Annie Annie on Mar 10, 2022

    There's a lot going on (to me) on your porch :) All the brick then the rocks as's all just a bit much. I would be ripping the brick off that column and seeing what's under the brick.

    Then, case it in some nice wood. That alone would make the front look better. And lots of colorful flowers in big pots!

    Consider a pop of color with the garage door and the front door painted in the same color. Have fun! Turn it into a Hometalk project so we can all see the "after" pics of your new home

  • Courtney Powell Courtney Powell on Mar 10, 2022

    Thanks Annie! I'm so grateful for you and all the others that gave such great ideas. I found a free program that'll let me play around with exterior paint colors and I'll share how things progress.

  • Barbara Barbara on Jul 05, 2022

    Paint is always the easiest and cheapest way to change things. If you paint the columns and still unhappy, pain over it again.

  • Mogie Mogie on Nov 07, 2022

    White wash the brick/stone and clad the columns in wood.

  • Stephanie F Stephanie F on Nov 07, 2023

    Did you ever do anything to update your columns? I have the same problem and looking for ideas. Curious if you did anything, if you’re happy with it and what it looks like if you can share pictures. 😊

  • Janice Janice on Nov 07, 2023

    There are a lot of different textures and designs going on on your home which makes it look super busy. I'd work to simplify by deciding what features you like and then downplaying the ones you don't care for. A lot can be done with paint. Personally, I really like the river rock as it is so might consider painting the brick, garage door, etc.

  • Dee Dee on Nov 10, 2023

    The easy way to update would be paint. Wood columns would be nice if you have the skills to do that. They would also be expensive because wood has gone up tremendously since covid.