Removing The Scalloped Trim On Our Porch For A Cleaner Look

Since you see the front of our house all the time in the blog header, you may be surprised to learn that it’s due for a major overhaul. Sure it looks sweet from afar (especially when all those azaleas are in bloom) but the sad truth is that up close it’s definitely less than picture perfect. The old slate path is jagged and chipped. The country looking scalloped header above the porch is totally not our style. And the screen door is old and rotten. We tried to save it for a little while by painting it a cheerful yellow, but sadly it had still seen better days.

So yesterday I said “smell ya later” to the ‘ol screen door and exposed the much better looking wooden door behind it (which I painted a crisp black along with the shutters). Such an improvement. Although we’re considering repainting it a sophisticated lipstick red in the near future. But in the meantime, I couldn’t wait one more minute to attack that terrible scalloped header.

And attack it I did. It was far from easy (in fact it was an 11 step, 6 hour process that had me crying, bleeding, and crying more) but I waved the victory flag after a looooong day of pulling, peeling, hammering and muttering obscenities. Here’s what the ground looked like when I finished (told you we need a new walkway):

And here’s what the porch looks like sans scallops.

Of course all the work paid off- we think it’s so much cleaner and it definitely looks more like a 50’s ranch and less like an 80’s country lodge. And it looks about a million times better from the inside of the house, too. We’ll take ya waaaay back to a pic of the living room right after we bought the house almost two years ago. See the ugly scalloped porch out the window? At least the busted curtains, weird lamp, and baaaad cube divider near the door detracted attention from the icky scallop view.

But now that we’ve completely renovated the living room (removed the cube divider, put in a new window, added crown molding, and painted like crazy) the perpetual view of the sun streaming in through the scallops annoyed us even more.

It’s so much sleeker without those arches conflicting with the rectangular window, right? Burger certainly enjoys the new view.

Oh and we hung some airy white curtains high above the window which really make the room feel taller. Now all we need are some natural matchstick blinds to hang right below the rod in order to cheat the window and make seem like it goes all the way up to the rod.

So hopefully you’ve enjoyed the screen and scallop removal. Stay tuned for some pics of the soon-to-be red front door, and a complete path overhaul along with some new landscaping ideas. Curb appeal’s the name of the game, and we’ll keep you posted every step of the way.


  1. underwood-dc says

    Ooooh it looks fantastic! I can’t wait to see the red door!! I’ve been dying to paint my door red — I just can’t figure out which color to go with!

  2. Kimberly says

    Nice job! What were the scallops made of? Wood? The curtains look great, too! I heartily recommend a red front door. I’ll have to send you a picture of ours. It just makes the whole front of the house look so polished and pulled together. We have a tan house with black shutters; wonder if the red will fight with the color of the brick at all? Seeing Burger in his perch made me laugh; our dachshund Oscar loves to do the same thing. It must be a dog thing.

  3. YoungHouseLove says

    Hey guys,

    Yeah I’m actually in the process of painting the door red as we speak. It’s definitely going to be a looong project and my first coat is barely visible. Red paint is tricky, that’s for sure. As for the red competing with the brick, I’ve seen a number of brick houses with great polished red doors around town, but I noticed that the red doors that look best are all bright lipstick red – anything too maroon-ish or brown blends with the brick. I’d better get back to my second coat. In case anyone’s wondering, we’re using Valspar’s Fabulous Red in semi-gloss for a nice sheen. And of course it’s exterior paint. Pics to come!

    Oh and as for what the scallops were made of, they were wood with an aluminum covering that was nailed and glued in place. Hence all the peeling and scraping. It definitely didn’t come down in one piece as we’d hoped. But now that the nightmare scallop surgery is behind us we’re pleased as punch.


    p.s. Burger sends Oscar his love and a few licks and sniffs- although I don’t know if he’s ready to share his perch with him…

  4. says

    Wow the view from the inside is so much better!! Well done. I kind of miss the cute yellow screen door though, but maybe I’m just weird that way. :)

  5. underwood-dc says

    Thanks so much for the tip on what kind of red to go with. That was my design dilemma question! So you can skip that one… :-)

  6. says

    Looks great. Have you thought of moving the entrance to the porch (porch steps) to in front of the door and swaping out the railing in those places? You have a wonderful mid century style door that is hidden behind the bushes and railing.

  7. says

    It looks so much cleaner! I need to get rid of our screen door too. I still want one (leaving the door open is the only way we can kind of get a breeze in the living room), but I want it to be much less visually intrusive. My sister-in-law has a screen door that’s just a thin frame all the way around, and it almost disappears.

    What are the plants around your house? Rhododendrons/Azaleas?

  8. says

    It looks fabulous. I agree… much better!

    And I love your puppy hanging out on the back of the sofa. Our dog seems to post there for the afternoon sun as well. :)

  9. KK says

    I just read you’re already painting red, but I already miss the yellow! If I could describe you and John in a crayon color, I’d say YELLOW. Maybe yellow flowers would be a good accent to the red. . .

  10. YoungHouseLove says

    Jenni – Lining up the stairs and the door is a dream of ours, however we’d love it if the door moved to the center of the house for more symmetry from the exterior. But it would mess up the whole interior so for now we’re just glad the stairs are centered. We’re worried that if the railings went all the way across the front of the house without that break in the middle it might feel cage-ish.

    Nicole from Making It Lovely – There are also screens you can get that are woven so tight they’re virtually invisible, so be sure to keep an eye for those when you tackle your door. And yes, those are azaleas you see surrounding the house. We love ’em – if only they’d all bloom at the same time. Stay tuned for some front landscaping before and afters in the near future…

    And I should point out that although Sherry generously used “we” to describe the work done yesterday, the truth is that all the work was hers and hers alone. I was stuck at work and came home to the surprise makeover. Just wanted to give my lovely and unnaturally strong lady-wife a shout out.


  11. YoungHouseLove says

    KK- Love the yellow flower idea. We have big plans for refreshing the front landscaping and creating a new path to the shiny red door. So stick around and we’ll try to serve up some yummy complimentary yellow flowers for ya.

    John- You’re cute. Glad I married you. I’m covered in red paint right now so I’m less “lovely” and more “murder victim” in the looks department right now. Bet you can’t wait to come home to that…


  12. Kelli says

    It looks great! The curtains make the room look so cozy, and that’s a smart idea to use the matchstick blinds. They’ll also be a nice contrast to all the white. I can’t wait to see the front door!

  13. says

    looks great! i love the black door and shutters. i’m contemplating my own door-painting, and other curb-appeal-related adventures, right now.

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