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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

How to Get Your Porch and Deck Ready for Summer

Monday, May 11, 2020

Six tips will help you get your porch or deck ready to enjoy all summer long. 

How to get your porch and deck ready for summer
Cecilia of My Thrift Store Addiction invited me to share what has been going on at my house this spring as part of a Spring Nesting Mini Blog Hop. Spring nesting is still taking place at my home this year, maybe even more so since we are sheltering-in-place. 

Spring Nesting Mini Blog Hop

A special welcome to readers coming from Kathleen at Our Hopeful HomeIf you have not read her Copycat Lemon and Eucalyptus Candle, be sure you hop over for a great idea to give your home fresh scents for spring. Our Hopeful Home is a relatively new blog to me, but Kathleen grabbed my attention with her recent living room refresh done in French Farmhouse Style! 

You will find the entire list of nine creative spring posts with links at the end. 

Like most of us, my spring days are filled with cleaning, decluttering, and sprucing up my home, inside and out. And, I am always looking for tips about how to best do all of these three things. If you are like I am, you may also enjoy getting tips from others. 


Keep reading for my tips about  

How To Get  

Y O U R   P O R C H  &  D E C K  

Ready For Summer

C L E A N 

The first step to get your porch or deck ready for summer is to remove everything to thoroughly clean
Start the cleaning process by removing everything from the porch or deck. A blank slate makes it easier to thoroughly clean with no hard-to-reach spots under furniture. A bare area also makes it easy to reach lights, windows, and walls when there is nothing in front of them. 

Use a power washer to clean the floor to get your porch and deck ready for summer
Power wash the floor first before cleaning other parts of the porch or deck. Power washers spray water, dirt, and grime EVERYWHERE! By cleaning with a power washer first, you will not  have to re-clean areas from power washer backsplashes. 

Another post is coming with step-by-step directions on how to power wash a deck or porch.  

Clean top to bottom to get your porch and deck ready for summer
Clean top to bottom. Wash ceiling fans and ceiling lights after the floor is clean, but before cleaning other areas. By starting at the top of the area, the dirt will fall down. 

If you clean the ceiling fans and lights after cleaning items below them, you will drop dirt and dirty water onto lower clean items. Yes, you will have to sweep or blow off the freshly cleaned deck, but nothing else. 

Remember to clean both sides of the fan blades and the fan motor outside housing. Dirt and dust build-up can clog the motor otherwise. 

Wash light fixtures. Dust, spider webs, and rain spatters make glass light covers dark and impede the light from the light bulbs. 

Clean all porch and deck furniture. 

Clean windows inside and out. 

R E P A I R  &  P A I N T 

After cleaning outdoor furniture, repair and paint
After cleaning outdoor furniture, check it for damages that need repairs. Freezing and thawing winter precipitation causes rust, loose connections, and rotted wood. Repair any damages to make outdoor furniture look better and to prevent injuries. 

After completing repairs, paint outdoor furniture to prevent new damage. Warm spring days with low humidity and gentle to no breezes are perfect days to spray paint outside. 

Later this summer the temperatures will be too hot for outdoor painting. Paint should be applied during a specified temperature range. Check the label for the optimum paint temperatures. 

Not only will summer temperatures be too hot for the paint, the temperatures will also be too hot for the PAINTER! 

L I G H T S 

Include a variety of lighting on your outdoor porch and deck to get them ready for summer
There are three sources of lighting visible in this photo. 

Wall fixture. String perimeter lights. Table candelabra. 

Include a variety of lighting on your outdoor porch or deck. Open  porches and deck areas have few surfaces to reflect ceiling and/or wall lights. Even with powerful light fixtures, the light just fades away to blackness all around at night. 

Supplement existing light fixtures with exterior string lights and candles. Add string lights to a porch ceiling perimeter to give light at the edge of darkness. Check to make sure any fairy lights or string lights you use are rated for exterior use. 

Add candles to table top surfaces to light lower areas such as seating areas or dining tables. Flickering light on warm summer nights invites hushed whispers at the end of the day. 

C U S H I O N S 

Use existing bed pillows and pillow shams as cushions on outdoor furniture
To make your deck and porch comfortable, add cushions to deck chairs and chaise lounges. 

Look around your home, and use existing cushions. New pillows made as large outdoor pillows can be expensive, but by repurposing existing large pillows, you can create comfort outdoors on a shoe-string budget. 

The bottom cushion shown in the Adirondack chair is a throw pillow that came with the original living room sofa. When the sofa was recovered, I saved the throw pillows to use other places. The pillow is large enough to cover the entire chair seat, but is not too thick to enjoy the comfort of the curved wooden seat.  

The back cushion is a standard bed pillow covered with a pillow sham. Bed pillows turned vertically fit the back of an Adirondack chair. The pillow cover is easy to remove and to launder. New pillow covers are easy to find since the pillow is a standard size. 

D I N I N G   A R E A 

Create an area for outdoor dining to get your porch and deck ready for summer

Create an area for outdoor dining. 

A dining table and chairs are perfect for impromptu summer picnics in your backyard. Chairs and tables do not have to match. 

A quick sandwich at lunch or a planned barbecue with all the fixings in the evening taste better outside. And, create family memories. 

P L A N T S 

Prune, shape, and fertilize plants to get your deck and porch ready for summer
Prune and shape existing greenery on the porch and decks. Add fresh potting soil and fertilizer. 

Place pots on bricks or risers to allow water to drain without pooling on wood decks beneath the pot.

Check the cleaned wood decks for water damage. Add large clay saucers under large pots to prevent future damage. 

Set potted plants on risers or metal tables to prevent water damage to wood decks
Potted plants can be displayed on outdoor tables to prevent water damage to wood decks. 

Potted plants can be moved around the porch and decks to find the best location for sun and shade plant requirements. These hosta plants love the partly shady areas and continue to grow larger each year. 

Divide existing plants to increase the number of plants you have to get your deck and porch ready for summer
Dividing existing plants is a perfect way to increase the number of plants you have and to keep the original parent plant healthy by not overcrowding the plant. 

Add aluminum sulfate to hydrangeas to get blue flowers as part of how to get your deck and porch ready for summer
Add aluminum sulfate to potted hydrangea plants so the flowers will be blue. See Tips to Get Hydrangeas to Bloom for detailed information about what affects the color of hydrangeas. 

Potted ivy plants are hardy, easy to grow, and tolerate hot summers and shady porches
Ivy plants in pots are good plants for shaded porches. They are hardy, easy to grow, and tolerate our hot Texas summers. 

Six tips for how to get your porch and deck ready for summer
The checklist is complete, and our porch and decks are ready for summer! 

Checklist for how to get your porch and deck ready for summer ... 

✔ Clean, top to bottom 
✔ Repair & paint 
✔ Lights 
✔ Cushions 
✔ Dining Area 
✔ Plants 


Thank you, Cecilia, for organizing a collection of inspiring posts for spring. 

I am last on the list of bloggers who are part of the Spring Nesting Mini Blog Hop. You don't want to miss our hostess Cecilia's post, Feathered Friends Tablescape Spring, first in the list below.  

For more inspiration, visit all my blogging friends who are part of the Spring Nesting Mini Blog Hop


  1. Judith, what a relaxing haven you have created! I could sit on your lovely porch for hours! Pinned! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

  2. Your porch space is always ones of my favorite spots in Blogland, Judith. It's so welcoming and inviting no matter what the season. Thank you for sharing your plant tips and tricks with us and this cleaning check list too. It's super helpful! Hugs, CoCo

  3. Your porch and deck are so welcoming! I love all your plantings along with the beautiful foliage surrounding your porch. It really looks so private and cozy...I could imagine spending hours out there relaxing. Great tips too - always great to start out with a good spring cleaning! Nice hopping with you again. Stay well!

  4. Judith, this is so is like being in a wonderful treehouse. I love the comfort and coziness, and all of the wonderful plants!

  5. Judith, your porch and deck are such a beautiful place. Love how you've got all the different areas and decorated each one beautifully!

  6. Good Morning Judith!
    So fun to share in a blog hop with you! I have always enjoyed your French inspired Oasis. It brings me joy and peace just to scroll through the photos.
    You have always had such a talented eye for detail.
    Stay well,

  7. Well now I know who to talk to about planting hostas in pots! Wow, yours are gorgeous! I just added some to our porch and LOVE them. If you have any tips please pass them along. Your outdoor areas are just lovely!

  8. Hello Judith and thanks for the shout out -- I truly appreciate it! Your outdoor space is an enviable one. And your cleaning tips are great, too! I am definitely using your tips on Adirondack chair cushions -- I also try and repurpose whenever possible:) Great to meet and hop with you! xo Kathleen

  9. Hi Judith,

    Your outdoor space reminds me of being in a tree house. Don't mean a bad way, it's cozy and comfortable surrounded by green.

    I try and repurpose as much as possible. Creating something new out of old is so much fun.

    Enjoy your beautiful outdoors!!


  10. Lovely. Great tips. Your porch is gorgeous.

  11. Your patio looks terrific, Judith!! It's always a lot of work to get everything outdoors sparkling clean but it's such a joy when it is all clean. I know the view is all the inspiration you needed to get it done. <3

    Enjoy sitting out there on these lovely spring/summer evenings,
    Barb :)


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