Here are 8 small front porch ideas on a budget that we used for our small front porch makeover!
When we moved into our new home last year, the front porch definitely needed a little makeover.
But, after having a second baby last summer, the holidays, and creating our DIY Woodworking Made Simple digital course which took many months, we just never got around to doing much with it.
It was looking dreary to me and I couldn’t stand it every time I walked to our front door, so this summer we gave it a makeover!
Here is the BEFORE PHOTO, it’s a bit embarrassing to show now that I am looking at it in a photo.
And AFTER our small front porch makeover:
I didn’t want to spend a lot on it, so here are 8 small front porch ideas on a budget that I used to refresh it and make it welcoming, enjoyable to use, and nice to look at every day!
Although our front porch is small, these ideas can actually be used for any size front porch makeover on a budget.
I will share the total amount we spent on this small front porch makeover at the end!
Also, here is a video with all of the DIY projects in action on how we transformed our front porch:
Small Front Porch Makeover on a Budget Video
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel here!
8 Small Front Porch Ideas on a Budget for our Small Front Porch Makeover:
1. Clean up landscaping and debris on and around the front porch
Cleaning up overgrown landscaping, bushes, and weeds is free and one of the easiest ways to instantly make your front porch look put together and improved. It would look odd to have a beautiful front porch with over grown landscape all around it in your front yard!
It takes some time and labor but it is worth the effort!
The very first thing we did in front of our front porch was rake up all of the overgrown weeds.
Brandon also used a blower to blow off all of the leaves and pine needles all over our porch. If you don’t own a blower you can just use a broom for this step. Starting with a clean slate is key!
2. Power wash
To really clean your porch up, give it a good power washing, including the porch floor, ceiling, and siding!
Our porch and siding was really dirty and stained. We actually don’t own a power washer so we borrowed Brandon’s dad’s power washer. But, you can rent them too from the home improvement store as another option!
I feel like power washing is one of the most satisfying things, does anybody else feel that way?
You can see all of this in action in our small front porch makeover video!
The power washer we used wasn’t the most high powered power washer but it did a good enough job to get a lot of dirt off. But unfortunately it didn’t get all of the stains off.
But, it made a huge difference and our front porch looks much cleaner and fresher now!
Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more info see my disclosures here.
3. Add new hardscape or mulch around the front porch
To take the landscaping around your front porch one step further, add fresh hardscape like river rock or pea gravel. Or for a more budget friendly option, you could do fresh mulch and make a lovely flower bed.
In front of our porch, we first installed weed barrier with these garden staples to help reduce any future weeding, one of my least favorite outdoor activities! It’s definitely worth the extra time to save time in the future.
Originally, I wanted to put a light, white, grey river rock down in front of the porch on top of the weed barrier, but it was sold out at my local hardscape center. It’s actually very affordable for a small area coverage.
Instead we bought this pea gravel from Home Depot. Pea gravel is affordable too, especially for a smaller area.
I was nervous how red the pea gravel was at first, but after rinsing it off with the power washer it cleaned up very nicely and looks much lighter and less red!
Here is a before and after of the pea gravel before it was rinsed and after it was rinsed off with water:
4. Update outdoor lighting fixtures
Updating your outdoor light fixtures might seem like a small change but it can make a huge difference and it’s a great way to add style to your front porch! You can even add string lights to add some fun if you can’t replace your actual porch light fixture.
To keep things really cheap, I was originally going to just spray paint the metal part of our ceiling porch light to make it look new again and update the awful yellow colored light bulb with a more natural color light bulb.
But, when I went to take the light down it was really rusted out since it was likely over 20 years old and original to the house. So, I decided to spend the money and get a beautiful, pendant lantern to replace it.
I am so glad I did because it’s my favorite part of the makeover and it makes a great focal point!
5. Paint the front door and trim
A fresh coat of paint on your front door is an inexpensive way and easy way to makeover your front porch, paint always makes such a big difference. You can buy just a quart of exterior paint to paint a door and keep costs low.
Our current black paint is really faded, but I still love a black front door. So, I painted our door with two coats of Tricorn Black by Sherwin Williams in satin. I already had the exterior paint on hand from another project which saved money.
You can see how I painted our front door in the small front porch makeover video here!
We also painted the surrounding white trim with Alabaster by Sherwin Williams, again using exterior paint we already had on hand.
The fresh paint has made such a big impact!
6. Update the front door hardware
A great idea to really make a statement on your front porch, is to update your front door hardware, the door handle and deadbolt! It doesn’t have to be the most expensive hardware.
Our door knob and deadbolt was really outdated and worn. It was really aging the look of our front porch. Plus, the shiny, brass color just wasn’t working for me, so I knew I wanted to replace it!
I found this beautiful, matte black doorknob handle and matching deadbolt set. It comes in multiple different colors. I love the modern yet classic look of it and it looks beautiful on our front door.
It was the most expensive part of this makeover, but still affordable and the look and function it provides was totally worth it! I think it looks very sharp on the freshly, black painted door too!
Plus, updating the locks was on our to do list anyways since moving in last year!
7. Add planters, greenery, and flowers
To spruce up a front porch, adding flowers or greenery in pots and planters always looks beautiful and provides a welcoming feeling. Flowers are a great way to add a pop of color as well and mix up the look throughout the seasons.
If you have a green thumb you can really have fun with this idea! Or if you don’t have a green thumb, using fake flowers is an alternative idea.
I ordered this beautiful, 3 piece set of concrete planters that are actually lightweight! AND they are super budget friendly for the set of 3!
There were many gorgeous colors to choose from, but I ended up picking the Pure White color, since it was ready with 2 day shipping and I thought the white would look best against our beige/brown/gray siding.
Up close, the texture looks and feels just like concrete! This has to be one of my favorite budget friendly, but still very high end looking purchases from Amazon. I shared more about the planters and other budget friendly outdoor planter options from Amazon here.
I replanted my hydrangeas that I originally had on the porch and bought a new gardenia plant and some begonias.
8. Decorate with outdoor decor or furniture
Finally, finish off your front porch makeover with some decorative elements like outdoor rugs, a welcome mat, a front door wreath, a DIY welcome sign, or other outdoor decor that fits your style!
I didn’t have time for this makeover, but I love making DIY wreaths with some supplies from my local craft store and outdoor greenery from my yard, like I did for this DIY magnolia wreath.
If you have the room on your porch, you can even add some outdoor furniture like a porch swing, rocking chair, or a small table. Sometimes you can find outdoor furniture and decor for a great deal at a local thrift store, flea market, or Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
I chose to update our doormat with this rope knot style doormat. Originally I wanted to reuse our old front doormat but after power-washing it, it still looked really worn. So, I bought the same one to replace it since I love the look and it has held up well for the past 5 years.
To enhance the final look, I added this pretty, brown stripe outdoor rug under the doormat to give it a layered look. I think it ties the whole small front porch makeover on a budget together!
Small Front Porch Makeover Budget Breakdown
Here is the budget breakdown for the small front porch ideas on a budget that we used for our small front porch makeover:
- Landscaping (pea gravel and weed barrier supplies) – $72
- Planters and flowers – $140
- Hardware (pendant lantern, deadbolt set and handle) – $240
- Doormats (outdoor striped rug and coir doormat) – $55
- Total Spent: $507
For about $500 and a weekend worth of hard work we transformed our small porch on a budget!
My favorite parts of our updated outdoor living space are the new lantern and outdoor planters from Amazon! I think they just add a lot of style! I really enjoy walking up to my front porch every day now!
Our front porch is so much more enjoyable now to use on a daily basis and it has really enhanced our home’s exterior and curb appeal. I can’t wait to decorate it for fall and the holidays now.
I hope these 8 small front porch ideas on a budget have been helpful! Just because your front porch is a small space doesn’t mean you can’t create a beautiful look and great curb appeal!
You don’t have to spend a lot of money either depending on your budget as I’ve shown here and in my small front porch makeover on a budget VIDEO!