Smart Solutions: DIY decorating adds to curb appeal

By Jeanine Matlow
Special to The Detroit News
Painted house numbers are a fun way to guide your guests and accentuate the exterior of your home.

While outdoor projects are in full swing, many are based on maintenance, such as cutting the grass and pruning flowers and plants. It might be time to add some attractive do-it-yourself decorating tricks to the list with artistic paint applications that add major curb appeal.

nullAccording to Ashley Banbury, senior color designer for Dutch Boy Paints, the company offers simple solutions that are DIY-friendly, “These are easy projects that consumers can handle themselves, roll up their sleeves and feel proud of their home and the work they’re putting into it.”

One creative endeavor is a faux porch rug made with paint that will elevate your entrance. “It’s great for people who want to have a fun pop of color on the porch,” she says. “When the weather starts to warm up, everybody wants to freshen up their outdoor space. This time of year, elements from the indoors can come out to the front porch as part of an extension of the home.”

As Banbury explains, this decorative element creates the illusion of an outdoor rug without the maintenance and more of a living area where you can entertain or relax and read a book or drink coffee. “You really can enjoy the graphic impact of a colorful rug,” she says.

You can also create a cohesive palette with your siding and trim. “Blues continue to be strong for the home, especially dark navy,” says Banbury. “When you add a pop of color with a traditional shade that’s eye-catching, you can really elevate the exterior of your home.” A variety of flowers can further enhance the look.

For an easy DIY project, try this faux porch rug that adds some pizazz to your front entrance.

Another easy project from Dutch Boy Paints features painted house numbers on a painted board that coordinate with the colors on your porch and make your address stand out. “It’s about helping people who are trying to find the house and having fun with that,” she says. “It’s something everybody has at their home that can be done in an eye-catching way.”  

Painting your front door provides another quick update that can distinguish your house from others in your neighborhood. “I’m always a huge fan of a red front door,” says Banbury. “It works well with any type of potted seasonal plant and it’s traditional, but can be contemporary depending on the style of your home.”

Projects like these can be completed on the weekend and you can save time and effort with some of the latest products that are designed to help you get the job done like Dutch Boy Forever Exterior Paint and Primer (sold exclusively at Menards) which is made to be durable in a harsh climate and resist everyday wear and tear. Dutch Boy Paints also offers a twist and pour container that is refillable and easier to manage than your average paint can.

When embarking on paint projects, it’s important to take some extra steps with your prep work, says Banbury, like making sure you have a clean surface and taping off or removing hardware when painting your front door. After you finish, you can enjoy your outdoor space and admire your colorful work.

For information including DIY instructions and paint colors shown, go to

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at