From Hideous to So Much Better - My $50 Deck Makeover

With a little bit of elbow grease, I was able to complete this $50 Deck Makeover in just a few days after work.

Back when I first bought my house the one thing I absolutely hated was the front stoop.  There was the door, a HUGE slab of concrete and cement steps.  It was hideous.My $50.00 DIY porch deck makeover ~ the right way to do it ~ a lesson learned! at cupcakesandcrinoline.comMy house was built in the 1970's and almost everything in it is the original.  I've been able to handle the paneling and the brown linoleum kitchen floor over the years but that front stoop had to go.  My father was still alive at the time and so he built a front porch for me.  I didn't have a very big budget ~ I think around $200 or maybe $300 so my options were limited but I knew I wanted a wooden porch with railings and window boxes.  My father built me the perfect porch and I loved it!That was a long time ago and a few years ago the porch really started to show its age so I had to revamp it a bit.  Right now there are no plans for a NEW front porch (yet) so I needed to make the most of what I had.$50 Deck Makeover with Behr DeckoverI had to replace the steps and I had no idea what I was doing.

Front porch deck before at cupcakesandcrinoline.comMy oldest son demolished the old steps and took off railings, etc., that I needed to get rid of and I started the task of building the new steps.  I bought pre-made risers and I am not sure what I did?????? but they are extremely steep so I'm not thrilled with them (my Dad had made nice wide steps with the perfect depth and I could not duplicate them). *** note the photo - I had the steps in upside down!?! I didn't figure it out but a local handyman did and fixed them for me and they are much better now.

When I redid the steps I only had about 3 days of time to get them along with the paint job and a million over things done ~ I was meeting my father-in-law for the first time and didn't want the house to look a wreck so J (my oldest son) and I did our best to get it done while working our day jobs...that meant we were outside with a sledgehammer, drills and hammers at midnight...I'm sure my neighbors were thrilled! 😉

First try using Behr DeckOver ~ improper prep led to a disappointing result

In any case, that first makeover didn't turn out as planned.  I used Behr DeckOver and went from a cedar stain to a Cape Cod gray paint.....I really thought I would like it ~ I wanted to brighten up the entrance but I ended up regretting it.

Poor color choice for an area that receives this much traffic #switchersremore AD

That color choice showed EVERY speck of dirt, shoe prints and more.

$50 Deck Makeover with Behr Deckover - close up of before with paint partially off and a huge mess on my hands

This spring I was scrubbing the porch and decided to use the pressure washer on paint had already started peeling in some areas and the pressure washer shredded much of what was left.  It was like watching a train wreck....I kept the power on and watched the paint job get totally ruined.  You can find some pressure washing tips and before's and after's here as well as the pressure washer I use.

$50 Deck Makeover with Behr Deckover - the nasty before

Once I started I couldn't stop (am I the only one who does things like this?).  I'm sure the problem with the paint NOT adhering properly was an error on my part ~ as I said I was in a rush to get things done and had a very limited amount of time so I don't think I prepped the surface properly at all but this time, this time I was going to be sure I did.

E IMG_0156

I pressure washed the decking, used Citristrip {this stuff is awesome for stripping multiple layers of paint} on it to get off the paint that was still left.  I did need to scrape it quite a bit but I like to see how big of a strip of paint I can lift off at's the little things in life 😉

E IMG_0207

I pressure washed it once more, sanded it and then pressure washed it again.

Deck makeover ~ deck after stripped and priming and before painting with Behr DeckOver at cupcakesandcrinoline.comThis may seem like overkill but I wanted to be sure the paint STUCK this time.Front porch deck makeover ~ or how to fix your mistake for only $50.00 at cupcakesandcrinoline.comI followed the instructions exactly and wow, what a wonderful difference! This time I also chose a darker color {Chestnut} ~ it seemed to fit the flow of the yard, garden, etc., better than the stark lighter color.  You can see how the Behr DeckOver almost totally filled in even the biggest of splits in the wood and how much smoother and fresher the porch looks.  This should hopefully give me a few more good years of porch use and for the extra time and the less than $50.00 it took it was well worth it.

Front porch deck makeover complete $50 Deck Makeover with Behr Deckover at

This was definitely a lesson in patience.  I should have taken my time the first time to do things right or just waited until I had more time rather than switching out an old set of steps for Mt. Everest and not properly prepping my deck....I guess that's where the phrase live and learn comes in to play.  $50 Deck Makeover with Behr Deckover

Here is a list with links of what I used for this project:

Behr DeckOver in Chestnut


Stripping and Refinishing Gloves - I have had these for years and they last and last and protect my hands

Ryobi Pressure Washer

Putty Knife - Used a metal one but should have used plastic.  If you do use a metal putty knife be careful that you don't damage the wood

You May Also Like:

How to clean a paintbrush with vinegar.How-To Clean a Paintbrush with Vinegar

Farmhouse style DIY pallet wood memo board. Get the tutorial at

DIY Pallet Wood Memo Board

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Wow your deck looks amazing! I love it

  2. All that's Jas says:

    Great transformation! Thank you so much for sharing it with Thursday Favorite Things!

  3. Jamie | anderson + grant says:

    I'm so jealous right now of your completed deck. I'm in the middle of the scraping process right now and not enjoying it much. Now that I see how the citrus stripper worked, though, I'm thinking I need to go get some of that. The deck is about 30 years old and some of the boards are in pretty poor shape and probably can't withstand the shock of the pressure washer. That's what I'll be doing this weekend, so if you are feeling bad that you don't have to work on YOUR deck anymore, you're welcome to take the trip up and help me 🙂

    1. Mary Beth says:

      I love the Citristrip, Jamie! I've used it on just about everything in my house that needed stripping and it's always worked great. I was up in your neck of the woods last weekend and then today ~ I should have stopped by to help with my 4 assistants! 😉

  4. Your deck is beautiful! Like us, you may have done the first application incorrectly. Our second application was followed to the cans instructions, one year later our deck needs to be redone. Are you available?

    1. Mary Beth says:

      I'm so sorry your deck needs redone again ~ it's so frustrating when you think you've got something taken care of for a while and then it needs redone. I'll post an update if mine starts to fail again ~ I sure hope it doesn't. This time it took me forever to do it right so I'm hoping that will make a difference.

  5. You did a terrific job! My side porch keeps peeling. I might have to try your method!! Hugs, Susan

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thanks so much, Susan! So far we've had tons of rain (and the gutter above the porch leaks GRRRR!!!) and it has been holding up great. Hugs, mb

  6. TwoPlusCute says:

    It's super nice now!
    I have the exact peeling effect, even the same colors, on our deck. I call it "decadent cottage chic" which stands for "just wait till you're in the budget and I will gut all of you!" 😀

    I took notes of what worked for you. The difference is stunning!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thanks so much! That's so funny about the decadent cottage chic ~ when mine was peeling I referred to it as shabby chic...somehow it made me feel a bit better if only in my mind. 😉

  7. Ahhh! It turned out awesome! I see what you mean about the white. I didn't even think about all of the dirt that would show up. I love how you rescued this though!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thanks so much, Lauren! I need to remember now about that seems like I always want to paint things WHITE and then I regret it. Have a wonderful week! hugs, mb