Any ideas for making my front porch more attractive?

Ann Stanley
by Ann Stanley
I really don't like painted steps and my husband caulked the porch where there were cracks and I don't like the looks of it at all. Any suggestions?
  84 answers
  • There are a ton of ways to do it - most will probably involve an overlay Want a bluestone, brick, stucco, pebbles, or other look - well there you go. As I recall there are a few threads on here about that - try concrete overlay &/or concrete epoxy
  • Kim C Kim C on Jun 30, 2013
    Other than an overlay as suggested above you could probably stain the concrete but I don't know how the 'cracks' would come out.
  • Kimberly Barney Kimberly Barney on Jun 30, 2013
    If you don't want to paint them, the only way to dress them up is an overlay.
  • 161389 161389 on Jun 30, 2013
    I've seen tile that looks really nice when used on the steps. I love the rock look on the front of the porch, but a cheaper way is just do a little landscaping around the patio with some taller bushes closer to the porch & smaller ones out front. Maybe even a couple large pots on each side with some plants, a nice size pretty mat. Maybe a few small pretty items on the porch since it's not very big. A small little water feature? Some window boxes hanging from the railing. ?? It's amazing when you draw the eye towards beautiful things the ugly seems to disappear. This is what I did with my ugly front porch until I can redo it how I want.
    comment photo
  • Melissa Gutilla Melissa Gutilla on Jun 30, 2013
    Paint it and put a sealer on it.
  • Kelly Kampf Sullivan Kelly Kampf Sullivan on Jun 30, 2013
    You could do a stencil pattern on it to incorporate the discolor of the cracks. Or stain, paint, cover with decking. Post picture's after you get it done. We have the same at our front door and we are thinking about decking it.
  • Debbie S Debbie S on Jun 30, 2013
    paint and seal...
  • Nicole L Nicole L on Jun 30, 2013
    I would do a mosaic tile on the rises of the steps and stain the walking part. Flower towers and such would add even more color!
  • Carol G Carol G on Jun 30, 2013
    Stucco the sides and front of the porch then stain or paint all the concrete surfaces. Change out the black wrought iron with white vinyl banisters and rails.
  • Kathleen Jagusch Watson Kathleen Jagusch Watson on Jun 30, 2013
    Home Depot has a new product that you can use on decks or concrete and it comes in a ton of colors! You just power wash and then roll it on. Has a life time warranty. Made by Behr.
  • Cynthia Castro Cynthia Castro on Jun 30, 2013
    The "Restore" product by Rustoleum would be my choice ( Strategic plantings in front and maybe an upgraded railing would really bump up the curb appeal. We researched many solutions for covering our cracked concrete patio. Aside from breaking it all up and pouring it anew, the Restore product was the most cost effective and time saving solution.
  • Chris H Chris H on Jun 30, 2013
    Depending on where you are...a mortar wash then load it up with pots of various sizes and add seasonal plants and herbs, to over load the stoop but still make it inviting... in leu of that think about seriously laying down large format tile that has a tooth to it. that will make the stoop more inviting
  • Caroline Hargrove Caroline Hargrove on Jun 30, 2013
    First off, I would get either some treated 2x4's min in size, or some lengths of steel thick enough to hold the weight, and fill in around the edges and level it up using the steel strips. Then would be sure all cracks were properly sealed. Paint the base 2 or 3 shades darker than the house, then get a good grade of indoor/outdoor carpeting be it green, blue, rust etc. a color you feel will complement and be seen easily when dusk and dark come around. Bring it down over the edges on the top porch part at least 3" to give the top a good solid grip, glue and roll it down the steps taking it to the edge of the bottom step area, if possible curve over that area and tuck and glue it. Repaint the railings and banisters a matte black or even white.
  • Melissa Weers Melissa Weers on Jun 30, 2013
    i would get a Faux Marble paint kite to take avadge of the crack in the brick with it follow up with a seal of some kind also i would think of adding some kind of rought finish to the step themself to add tracktoin then look for a climbing rose like lady banks plant the you can shape to the stapps you may also want to add some encore azaleas to eather side of the step
  • Cissy Jones Cissy Jones on Jun 30, 2013
    face brick everything but top and outdoor tile top
  • Sharon H Sharon H on Jun 30, 2013
    We faced ours, including the steps with wood.It was a lot of cutting but it looks great.
  • Tricia Faust-Karst Tricia Faust-Karst on Jun 30, 2013
    Yes! I was just going to say That @Kathleen Jagusch Watson We bought ours at Lowe's and it looks fantastic on our old concrete patio! It was fairly easy to use too! The stuff we got was by Rust-Oleum it was called Deck and concrete Restore.
  • Hamtil Construction LLC Hamtil Construction LLC on Jun 30, 2013
    Personally, I would steer clear of paint. It never seems to last. You might check out H&C Concrete stain. Try looking at Sherwin-Williams. You might also have some shark grit added to the mix for texture.
  • Brendalee Perryman Brendalee Perryman on Jun 30, 2013
    suck it up ..put base paint on then stencil risers ..match up front door too... planters..maybe diff rail..depend on color and stencil...contrasting color for door and stecil ..but maybe burnt umber or same color as house..4 will look great!!! cheap!
  • Jessica Mullen Jessica Mullen on Jun 30, 2013
    paint the concrete & repaint the banisters & add some planters
  • Angela G Angela G on Jun 30, 2013
    Tile it...they ha e beautiful outdoor type tile... Like the various tones and size tile. It looks gorgeous and wouldn't cost much.
  • Carolyn Burch Carolyn Burch on Jun 30, 2013
    power wash level out the concrete stain it stamp it. add plants
  • Mary Coram Mary Coram on Jun 30, 2013
    Mosaic tiles to cover ALL of the concrete with hints of cobalt blue for a POP !
  • Lynda DoughertyKelly Lynda DoughertyKelly on Jun 30, 2013
    add potted plants and a small chair and maybe a table in the corner puts some plants in the ground in front of the wall and you want see the concrete. Also some window boxes hanging from the porch rails would be really pretty
  • Suzanne Hubbard Suzanne Hubbard on Jun 30, 2013
    Paint it to look like small tiles with acrylic paint.
  • Tammy S Tammy S on Jun 30, 2013
    paint/stain porch, mulch under trees, flowers n pots going up stairs, new colorful welcome mat, wreath on door, lights on both sides of door, new cool house numbers
  • Tammy S Tammy S on Jun 30, 2013
    paint front door a bold color for POP
  • Ronald W Ronald W on Jun 30, 2013
    Alternate colored slate pieces and concrete , then cobblestone and slate capped railings.Also cobblestone face the blocks , and try some landscaping plants.
  • Lollipopp58 Lollipopp58 on Jun 30, 2013
    I could not do much by editing your picture, but there are tons of possibliities.........Add COLOR !!! a colorful doormat.....step mats for the steps.....colorful and green plants, both potted around the porch. Hanging rail flower pots. I can't from your pic if it's large enought to add a small table and chair or just a chair or two. They too can be colorful. There are lots of options available to bring this porch to life !!!
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  • Shari Shari on Jun 30, 2013
    Tile is nice but it can get expensive, especially if you have to add the cost of someone doing the labor for you. At my former home, I had my small concrete front porch tiled and it was beautiful. It really really added a lot to the looks of the porch. I'd love to have the concrete front porch of my current home tiled too but it is way too big--it runs half the length of the front of my house so it would cost me an arm and a leg. Instead, I'm considering the Rustoleum Restore deck and concrete product but will probably wait until fall to do it since it is so hot here in Florida now. Check out the video on the Rustoleum site: Looks like a neat product and they have lots of nice colors to chose from too!
  • Elaina Dariah Elaina Dariah on Jun 30, 2013
    Mosaic tile the porch inside the lip and the rise of the steps.
  • Hibiscus House Hibiscus House on Jun 30, 2013
    My nephew a few years ago worked with a company that went around and coated cement with a substance that looked like anything you wanted it to be. He did my sisters porch which looked like yours and now it has a design in the middle and looks like some type of expensive stone..I will have to find out what it is but it is placed on top of pretty much any surface...
  • Rod Johnson Rod Johnson on Jun 30, 2013
    I'd float all surfaces flat. Use Restore from Home Depot, two coats and you can tape off either random stone look or tile. Will be anti slip unlike tile, stands up to weather well. Repaint handrails tan/ beige.
  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Jun 30, 2013
    It needs life,,,, I'd make sure crack are sealed good.remove railing, then start by painting the whole thing a faux brick pattern Or of inclined redo brick over the top. Paint the door brighter and contrast color.... add some colorful plants in the flowerbeds and a pot on one corner or flower boxes on the new railings.. and a new railing, I'd go with something bolder,, wood, want something with IMPACT,,saying "Here this where you come in.. its here.."
  • Luna H Luna H on Jun 30, 2013
    jasmin climbers all around and plants in pots in the entrance.
  • Catherine F Catherine F on Jun 30, 2013
    I'd paint it or put down out door carpet if you dn't want to put a lot of money into it.
  • Susan Hall Susan Hall on Jun 30, 2013
    I would dig the apoxy out and resurface with a concrete repair - resurfacer and look into adding the sand finish or a pea Gravel finish.
  • Kim Siebert Kim Siebert on Jun 30, 2013
    I would contact a Perma - Crete Dealer - he can make it look beautiful again without all the hassle of cleaning anything out!
  • Kathy Kathy on Jun 30, 2013
    Stain the concrete a medium taupe, then paint the door a Red with blue undertones. After that, remove the bushes next to the porch and put two very large urns with red flowering bushes in them!
  • Michele Schneider Michele Schneider on Jun 30, 2013
    plant creeping fig around the foundation and lots of pots with plants and flowers up the steps and on the porch!
  • Kathy M Kathy M on Jun 30, 2013
    I tiled my front porch with stone tiles.
  • Laura Erxleben Laura Erxleben on Jun 30, 2013
    Kathy M's suggestion is great. In my old house, we did that to our front steps and porch, our back covered patio and the other back entrance; turned out fabulous. Clean your old concrete either with an already mixed concrete cleaner or muratic acid (if you have not worked with ma don't use it). You might need a leveling compound if it is not completely level. Otherwise, you will be very pleased with the results. Then depending on the tiles you choose, paint the iron railing to blend in with tiles.
  • Lori J Lori J on Jun 30, 2013
    I like the idea of resurfacing and facing with tile or pavers.
  • Toni Toni on Jun 30, 2013
    I would remove The steps and railing cement floor . Add wood floor ,columns .
  • Lauren of Mom Home Guide Lauren of Mom Home Guide on Jun 30, 2013
    I would stain the concrete, add a planter -- perhaps a DIY flower tower -- to your front porch, and maybe put some flower boxes on your porch railings. You could also plant annuals like petunias or impatiens along your walkway for color.
  • Debra Midas Debra Midas on Jun 30, 2013
    paint a faux tile pattern
  • Gabriel D Gabriel D on Jun 30, 2013
    I would consider flagstone and mortar. Classic, timeless and easy maintenance.
  • MIMI WHITE MIMI WHITE on Jun 30, 2013
    How about staining the concrete floor or maybe laying some tiles that will compliment the color of your house. I would probably change the railing too and replace the mat. Have a bench w/ nice pillows or two nice outdoor chairs and a table with a nice centerpiece. Have two topiary by the door. Plant some greenery and flowers around the porch. I will also do something with the walkway, either stain it or lay some flagstones. If you live in a neighborhood that has no HOA, have some kind of fence that will go with the style of your house, lay some sod, have either a fountain or a birdbath for curve appeal.
  • Rosalie M Rosalie M on Jul 01, 2013
    I agree with Tammy and Liz: Paint the porch and stairs and place potted plants for accent and color, perhaps a small outdoor carpet or welcome mat.
  • Diana Smith Diana Smith on Jul 01, 2013
    I would scrub the moss growing on the one side off with bleach water, and the black mold growing on the other side as well. Assuming I could get both sides to look 'medium gray' I would then buy some white paint and carefully taping off with masking tape or painter's, and use a bone folder to get it down securely. But I would use the white edges that are there from caulk, and accentuate them with a medium paintbrush just to even out the lines, and make them look more expertly crafted. Every 10 minutes I'd want you to be standing up and stepping back ten feet to view your work. For the light gray side with the smear of calk around the cracks and possibly in the stone, I'd get a small can of slate gray and lightly accentuate the edges of the light gray stone above the white caulk lines. You really don't want too many bold or harsh lines here, but subtle changes in washes of coloration, like natural stone is. Do these subtle two things, and take care to do them well. It'll make a big difference, and you'll be able to keep your 'natural stone' look. Oh and let your paint dry completely and be the color of white you want before you pull up the tape. Multiple coats may be necessary. For the squiggly line on the top left, I would actually try to paint over it with thin coats of medium gray as much as possible. Then looking below and to the left of it, you have a thin white line of calk there. I would continue it by masking off the area and painting in a thin but opaque line of white to just bring it all the way across and meet the other line on the for right of the brickwork at about the same level. Also any other squiggies, I'd try to straighten them out as much as possible, same way. You might try this idea on a not so visible patch first. For near the doorway I would say blooming bright yellow flowers in multitudes of bushes planted in large pots. Your goal will be to distract the eye away from the gray mess, and direct it towards the beautiful contrast provided by yellows and blues of your home. But for winter, you might invest in some bright yellow ornaments and decorations to put out to keep people distracted and from realizing your porch may have some ugly spots.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jul 01, 2013
    Were money no object, I would add a large covered porch. With money usually being an object in my case, I think I would look into a project called "RESTORE" at the big box store; or cover the entire thing in a flagstone type stone...depending on how handy you are at laying stone. One thing about stone, you can easily fit around the posts on the railing.
  • We had the same situation. Covered it up with decking and wooden railings.
  • Kristy Champion Kristy Champion on Jul 01, 2013
    Update the railings with vinyl, no-maintenance material and cover porch/steps with spray-on faux aggregate or stone finish like examples on this website.
  • Darlene Dyer Darlene Dyer on Jul 01, 2013
    I am going through the same thing with an old bungalow I bought. I removed the wrought iron, and now we are covering with slate. Will look larger, less boxed in a dated. Good luck!!!
  • Stain it. Maybe use some tape to create a pattern like tiles.
  • Elizabeth P Elizabeth P on Jul 01, 2013
    I would try the new paint for concrete by Behr. We are going to use it on our wooden deck. It is supposed to cover crack and imperfections. To me this would be the easiest way to go, and it would cover all the different colors in the porch surface.
  • Debi E Debi E on Jul 01, 2013
    What about a concrete stain? Might be able to make the sealed area look marbilized
  • Phyllis W Phyllis W on Jul 01, 2013
  • Dana Corby Dana Corby on Jul 01, 2013
    I suggest one of two solutions: The more conventional one is tiles, either stone or weatherproof ceramic. You would have to remove and replace the railings, the upside of which is that it would give you a great opportunity to refinish them. The second is by far the easier but may be more expensive: pebblecoating. This product consists of two parts, a clear epoxy binder and a whole lot of pea-sized pebbles that come in a variety of colors. You mix the binder and pebbles together in a large tub, pour the whole thing onto the surface you're covering, and trowel it out to the edges. No need to remove the railings. In addition to looking great, it has the added advantage of improving traction.
  • JUDY JUDY on Jul 01, 2013
    I would take out the 2 small shrubs and put in 2 large containers with trailing ivy and add some hosta, some impatiens and some dwarf hydrangea. Then I would carry your boxwoods next to the containers and fill in with some more to take care of the front area and side area of the porch. If you like roses you could plant a climber on each side behind the boxwoods and allow them to trail across your wrought iron railing. To cover the caulking I would check with your local garden center and see if there isn't a colored coating to paint into the caulking. If you have the space put a nice light next to your door, hanging on the siding - this will draw your eye up instead of right at the porch. If you have space on either side of your walkway, plant more boxwood down the sides to delineate your walkway and make the appeal going up to your door.Keep the boxwood cut low along the walk - but at sides of porch let it go to about 1/2 way up the height of the porch. If you like a decoration on your door, think of a nice spray of grasses with silk flowers or a wreath with a 'Country Garden' style to it - utilize the color of your house in the door decoration and pop it with white - this all takes your eye up to your door and you forget that the porch is there. All of these things can be done with a small budget and will look very pulled together and homey. Good Luck!
  • Reinventing Space Reinventing Space on Jul 01, 2013
    There are all sorts of cool concrete paint options now. I'd paint the concrete a medium gray and then mask off and make a faux runner up to the stoop with a darker gray. Paint your front door a fun, bright color, like burnt orange which is a nice contrast to the blue. Get black house numbers to match your rails. Add a fabulous, coir 'welcome' mat. Add a few more box woods and some some tall growing grasses (w/lime and burnt orange) to soften your boxy stoop and mulch generously w/dark brown mulch.
  • Marilyn Tolliver Marilyn Tolliver on Jul 01, 2013
    I would paint the concrete, and then stencil it with a pattern you love. And while you're at it why not paint the railing a complementary color. It would change the whole look of your house.
  • Colleen Colleen on Jul 01, 2013
    Up North, our deep freeze climate, some products (painting/epoxy) have a hard time holding up (snow shoveling, salt sand, etc). If possible, expand the stairs to the length of the landing, making the staireway wider, more inviting. If you paint I would suggest painting the sides to match the color of the house, erasing the line between house and foundation.
  • 117135 117135 on Jul 01, 2013
    Rustoleum as a great new product called Restore. Comes in a bunch of colors. I am getting ready to color match my stoop and steps to my new stamped walkway. Check it out
  • Lori J Lori J on Jul 01, 2013
    Oh, I have been hearing good things about Restore.
  • Theresa OBrien Theresa OBrien on Jul 01, 2013
    go to http:// This looks amazing and ever so easy to do. I would like to do this also to my front side walk. Just thought I'd share this as I have put it on my to-do list.
  • Amelia Amelia on Jul 03, 2013
    My husband and I are having the same dilema and thank you @DeDe @ Designed Decor for suggesting the Rustoleum Restore!
  • Shelly Giorgis Shelly Giorgis on Jul 05, 2013
    In Texas we use alot of limestone facing. It is beautiful but expensive. Also you could grout on colorful broken tile. dishes or pottery and then seal it. I would build up at the base of the concrete with dirt or attractive rocks.
  • Melissa Weers Melissa Weers on Jul 05, 2013
    i think they are right if you use a type of paint and grout that pick up and highlight on the stone will make it all look nicer for also grout comes in different color so you can use a color that match the color you need. then get the color stone paint to make you feel good, your going to live there so it should be what you like. i still would look for something you can add to the step to makes sure you and other have traction when you walk on them. as for the plants i would check the mom and pop garden center and look around for plant that are native. they are easier to care for and dont get away from to like some plant can and do ( i know im from atl GA and the kudzu is eating our landscape at about a foot a week) if you add plant which i think would be a nice touch dont forget to think about how they need to be watered. nothing look worst then a flower plant sitting on you porch with a dad plant because it was jut the wrong plant
  • Ginny Sargent Ginny Sargent on Jul 17, 2013
    I am looking at the color of the house and those steps are just calling "paint them grey!" I think it would also tie in the black railings. Be sure to strip off the moss and clean steps very well first. I would use a primer too.
  • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on Jul 17, 2013
    Hi Ann! I lived in Kearny NJ for 3 years! Wow talk about Extreme weather! I find that Jersey is far under-rated. There are some very very cool places there!. Anyway...I apologize for not reading all of the wonderful suggestions before writing this, so someone has probably suggested ACID STAIN, for those great steps. There are Acid Stain Magicians in New Jersey! And they are very reasonable, just shop around. Or you could always 'stencil' and seal. xo
  • Donna Maria Singh Donna Maria Singh on Jul 20, 2016
    Concrete stain works great.
  • Sharon Sharon on Jul 20, 2016
    Slate tile would look great!
  • Luc5919702 Luc5919702 on Jul 21, 2016
    What if you put MORE calking, like if you had imaginary stone slabs in different sizes and shapes. Then you could paint or stain each area inside slightly different to make it look like the steps were covered in stone
  • Jacki Seaborn Turner Jacki Seaborn Turner on Jul 22, 2016
    Granite grip from Home Depot. It's a solid coating (like paint) but it looks like concrete. Like with anything, you need some outdoor bleach, lots of elbow grease and a bonding primer before the granite grip.
  • Marlene Haigh Marlene Haigh on Aug 12, 2016
    Beware if you tile it will be like walking on ice when wet!
  • Jacki Jacki on Sep 22, 2016
    Paint concrete and/Or spray paint rails white
  • Melissa Weers Melissa Weers on Sep 23, 2016
    fill in the cracks, paint it, then get some mulch it could all be done in an after noon
  • Debora Debora on Mar 08, 2017

    Definitely paint the rails white! Paint the concrete blocks over with stucco...

  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Mar 08, 2017

    I know you don't like paint, but I'd paint them a medium gray and add "Shark Grip" to the paint to create a non skid surface. NJ gets lots of snow and ice, so think safety. OR if nothing appeals to you, the steps could be resurfaced with a concrete mix. I also agree with spray painting the railings white, and add mulch to the landscaping. Nice entrance, just needs a little TLC.

  • Kaye Kaye on Mar 09, 2017

    Take off rails and put wooden rails up. Would be more substantial and take focus off cement. I would go with white or if you have shutters match that color. After the wooden rails are up I would seriously consider the idea above about the paint that looks like solid cement would tidy it up.

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Mar 10, 2017

    Tile it with something you do like just make sure you get correct tile and mortar and grout and sealant. That could really be fun if you add pebbles in between tiles in a color or colors you like and would enhance your homesite exterior. Or do a pattern with tiles so that they look perfossonally done. I see your house is blue and white I would not use those colors because it is too limiting for resale, but I would choose neutral color for tiles and even pea pebbles for inbetween. That would definitely not limit you in anyway then use sealant to keep mold away. Plus it makes it look professional. Look at the sites here or on pintrest look for walkways and porches. I wouldn't want to paint because it doesn't last. Unless you never go out that way and do receive much company, it would probably be the least expensive yet would not make you happy. Have you thought about making a statement with the color you picked out if you were having to paint because you could paint it grey just like your porch and then maybe with some plants it would make you like it once again.