by Suzanne M. Harvey
When we purchased our home the front walkway and porch had a great finish. It had a pebbled look and seemed to be very well done. It really improved the curb appeal. I know many of you get all four season but here in the Northeast it is mostly winter with a splash of summer thrown in. No seriously it seems like it takes forever for the warm weather to arrive and I am so glad it has. But as the winter left us I discovered a problem stepping out my front door.The harsh winter had uncovered a problem lurking below the surface…and stepping out the front door it was easy to see. The front edges of the steps had started to crumble. The concrete would fall off in chunks with the slightest touch. When the warm days arrive I like to get outside. While most of my projects are interior I do enjoy sprucing up the outside a bit. Hubby does the heavy lifting and gets the yard pretty but I wanted to get my hands dirty this year so it looked like the front steps were going to be my project. Concrete work can get really expensive but there was no other way to fix this problem. It can be challenging to find a concrete contractor (especially for such a small project). I recommend finding a landscaper that does patios. They will have the right equipment and their charges will be greatly reduced compared to the concrete guys. Luckily I came across a guy working in the neighborhood so he cut me an even better deal since he would already be in the area (another great tip!). He came over and in a few hours had repaired my steps. Other than being a little off in color the steps looked great! But wait I am a designer – so the front edges need to match the rest of the steps and walkway. So here it is – my easy and inexpensive plan for sprucing up your steps (even if you don’t need them repaired). PAINT. Yes you can paint concrete, you don’t have to stain it. Like any other pain project you need the right paint and the surface must be primed. Check with your local paint store and they can recommend the correct bonding primer for your application. I used Behr paint for this project. There many great products out there for concrete but I like the floor and porch paint. It works for both interior and exterior projects and can be tinted in almost any color. After two weeks of waiting for the concrete to cure (it may take longer if the days are rainy and wet), we prepped the area and got to painting. So I know I said I would get my hands dirty on this project but hubby did this one. He primed the walkway and steps and let them dry for 24 hours then the next day – two coats of the floor & porch paint. I love the finished look. It brightens up the front of the house and was so easy. And the best part the total cost for this project was $400 (this includes concrete, paint & primer). Well worth it for the finished look. Now I can enjoy stepping out the front door. Until next time…make the most of wherever you are!