Black and White

Before the girls and I headed out on our epic tour, we made some serious headway on our back porch makeover

First, the pergola got a nice coat of white primer, followed by a fresh coat of paint.

Then, the deck and railing went ebony. 
We debated over staining or painting the railing, but in the end opted to stain the railing in the hopes that it would fade into the neighbors fence a little. 
We think it does, so extra points for us on that one!
Once the railing was stained ebony, I liked it … kinda, but when the deck and stairs went ebony, I had a minor freak out. 
I asked for the stain to be hand applied to ensure the semitransparent look I was hoping for, but the finish was too uneven so we had to apply a second coat.

Now that it's done, we're liking it. Not loving it, but liking it.
It's not exactly the semitransparent, wood grain look I was going for, but the stain will fade over time and we'll eventually get the look we want. I hope. 

Truth is: we didn't sample the stain in advance. You should always sample colors in advance. Rookie mistake. And I've got no one to blame but myself. 
Just because it looked awesome on a friend's project didn't mean it would work for mine -- I should have known that. 
No extra points for that one. 

The stain and paint aren't the only updates, fortunately, on this long-lasting project. We also added the lantern (review all the options here) and had screened doors added! 
I am definitely really very excited about the doors. About a month after we moved into the house, I had the doors open and a bird flew right in. Took me hours to get it out of the house. Ever since then, I've been petitioning to get those doors sorted out. So happy to have them in and functioning!

Also, top on the list for the porch makeover was the installation of two fans. We choose these from HomeDepot. They don't look like much, but they function perfectly and the one night we hung out on the porch before we left, they made a huge difference in keeping us cool and keeping the bugs at bay. 

So, now you can see why it was hard to leave all this progress behind. At least I got to enjoy it for one night before we left! Next up, the polycarbonate roof. And just like you, I'll have to wait to receive pictures of the progress. 
Ugh, how do you do it?

until next time,