DIY Patio Makeover on a Budget

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Rachel Stone

Hello friends!

Isn’t it wonderful to have warmer weather, budding leaves, and blooming flowers once again?! I simply love this time of year and often get the urge to clean and beautify something! Well, that “something” this year is our patio. This space has lots of potential and just needs a little sprucing up. Of course, we will employ the power of paint to transform the space, then add some architectural interest with cottage-y screen doors, and hand built shutters. Then to carry on the cottage feel with vintage inspired gingerbread, hardware and lighting. In short, we have eight simple budget friendly DIY projects for this makeover. I hope one of these will spark inspiration for your outdoor space whether that is a patio, porch, deck, or sun room!

Make sure to also check out part two of our cottage patio makeover.

To start with a fresh, clean slate we painted the house, and small shed next to the house. The house was overdue to be painted when we began renting eight years ago. Now that we bought the house it’s lovely that we can choose the colors and paint it ourselves!

Here you see everything masked, taped off and ready to paint! My husband, Matt, and I own a painting company so it was a challenge to get these pictures before he got started! As you can see the shed is already partially painted.

Beside the shed Matt designed and built a lightweight, moveable frame with lattice to disguise the rather unsightly A/C unit. This frame can be move to clean around, or service the unit, while the lattice gives a cottage garden feeling. Painted to match the house trim this pretty A/C unit screen looks as if it has always been there!

Next we added hand-built, custom shutters to the dining room window. Matt & I poured over a few inspiring Pinterest pins before creating these. We went with five boards in width as odd numbers look better. Then for more cottage charm we added the black strap hinges. I got so excited as these went up! sometimes I feel like pinching myself to see  if it’s really true that I get to live somewhere like this!

As this window is quite large these shutters will be strictly ornamental.

This weather beaten buffet came with the house and provides good storage for gardening tools and is great for serving guests for outdoor gatherings ~ it just needs a facelift!

The transformative power of paint never ceases to amaze me! The paint color for this buffet is Universal Khaki by Sherwin Williams. This is the same color we used for our cottage guest bedroom makeover. This sophisticated neutral is reading a golden wheat color out in the sunshine, but under the patio it reads a soft taupe-y color that compliments the house trim beautifully and blends into the background. For the price of primer, paint (that we had on hand), new hardware, and a little elbow grease, this looks like a completely different piece of furniture!

Along with the shutters we also wanted to add farmhouse/cottage-y screen doors with more character. Online every wooden screen door with some pretty detailing was at least $120 or more. Then one day as we were at the hardware store we spotted a row of wooden doors at the back of the store at a great price! I don’t remember if they were $30, or $40 each but either way that was definitely in our budget!

After a coat of primer, I painted the doors the same gorgeous spring green as the shutters. This shade of green has become a signature color for me and it’s been color matched for us so many times I don’t have the original color to give you. The closest color would probably be Miss Mustard Seed’s Boxwood.

Project underway! Here is one of the screen doors ready for… the purely cottage charm of gingerbread! These lovely “shelf brackets” caught my eye at Hobby Lobby one day. I was there for something else, but these captured my imagination. I stood in the aisle pondering where we could use these when the screen doors popped in mind. Wouldn’t that be delightful?!

Funny enough our home has two back doors. One leads into the mud room, the other is the main backdoor. I’m imagining the simple scroll gingerbread on the mudroom doors and the whimsical bird gingerbread on the main back door. I can hardly wait to see how these turn out in real life versus my imagination!

The gingerbread was primed, then painted in our version of “Lit Candles” a creamy ivory/butter cream color match of Joanna Gaines paint color.

Well, the real life results did not disappoint! All the welcoming cottage-y vibes are present!

Last summer I thrifted this cast iron door mat for $2.50. I really wasn’t sure what I’d use it for, or if I really liked it, but it was one of those things that was well made and worth experimenting on. I’m so glad I did! Since then I looked for something similar to use as wall art. I found a cast iron piece one third the size of this floor mat priced at $45!

Anyway, we replace the corroded feet on the underside of the mat with new rubber feet from the hardware store, then gave the mat a fresh coat of black paint (that I already had on hand).

Useful, well made, and elegant!

Last summer while thrifting for lamp shades I came across these English carriage style outdoor wall lanterns for $5 each! I could easily picture them on either side of our back doors. after a good cleaning they were spray painted black for the classic English carriage look ~ plus it matches the strap hinges on the shutters!

This is truly an amazing upgrade for $10 and some spray paint!

And, of course, no makeover in an outdoor space is complete without flowers! Our porch is supported by four columns and at the base of each column I’m placing a pot of cheerful, sun-loving perennials including geraniums and petunias with two different looks.

To ward off the pesky mosquitoes in the summer I thrifted an old candle for $1.59, and this pretty copper bound jar for $5. Then I melted the candle, reused the wick, and added Citronella oil before the wax re-hardened. This was such an easy, fun DIY project that I’ll be keeping an eye out for more old candles, different oil scents, and interesting candle containers at the thrift store! Wouldn’t it be fun to give a picnic themed gift basket with a citronella candle?!

Friend, I hope you have enjoyed your visit today, and discovered an inspiring idea (or two)for sprucing up your outdoor spaces. Here are few of the full reveal pictures. Enjoy!

And a glimpse of the magical twinkle lights…

Happy patio season, friends! Until our next visit, take care.



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Author: Rachel Stone
Rachel is passionate about creating a comfortable and beautiful home for her family. She also loves to share the lessons she is learning with her wonderful audience both on this blog and her YouTube channel.

18 thoughts on “DIY Patio Makeover on a Budget”

  1. Very well done! I’m thrilled with the back door, and using the shelf brackets was an amazing idea period I love the look! I love shutters, and I’m hoping that we will put them on our house one of these days.

    • Hello Miss Audrice!
      Thank you! The doors a one of my favorites, and who doesn’t love the charm of shutters?!Thank you for “visiting”!

  2. Oh my goodness! It turned out so beautifully! Totally makes me want to sit on your porch with you and annoy a cup of tea. Well done!

  3. Oh my! Such inspiration! LOVE what you did – especially the corner brackets on the screen doors. Just lovely!

    • Good afternoon, Miss Patti!
      I’m thrilled you found your visit to our patio to be enjoyable & inspiring! Thank you for the encouraging comment & for stopping by to visit!

  4. I love it 🥰 those screen doors look amazing! I love the green paint color you choose! Great job!
    ~Joanne ~

    • Hi there, Miss Joanne!
      Thank you! Isn’t this the most beautiful boxwood green?! The doors are my favorites (along with the shutters) too! Thank you for stopping by & leaving a comment!

  5. Lovely!!I am heading into the hot summer months where I live, but I will gather all these good ideas for fall! I love the “gingerbread” detail!!

    • Good thinking, Miss Josette!
      Adapting ideas is what make them yours! Thank you for stopping by. Happy Spring!

  6. Wow, what a transformation. I absolutely love it. AND, what an ingenious idea to use those metal corner pieces to your screen door.

    I hope you enjoy many years on your beautiful patio.

    • Hello, Miss Lisa!
      Like you, I’m always amazed be the transformative power of paint! I’m glad you enjoyed your “visit” and found some inspiration. Have a lovely day!

  7. Your patio looks so amazing. You and Matt did such a great job on it! The doors are lovely, adding the gingerbread is such an eyecatcher. And Matt’s solution to hiding the air conditioner…I am going to have to borrow the idea to use for the eyesore air conditioner in my little garden area. Lovely patio makeover!

    • Hello Joanna!
      We appreciate you stopping by, and are glad you found some good ideas! We are planning to take Matt’s idea a little further and cover the meters on the wall above the A/C unit. Have a lovely day!

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