Carport renovation on a tight budget

Hello friends! I hope you are having a spectacular 2016 and that you believe, as I do, that this year will be your best.year.EVER! 🙂

At the moment, I’m still neck deep in the house flip. This is the “messy middle” part, which means I’ve got more work ahead than what’s behind, and I’m feeling tired and overwhelmed. But … I am forging ahead one day at a time, focusing on the vision in my head and that glorious day when I’ll have an open house for all my family, friends, neighbors and curious passersby. That day, I know all the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into this project will be worth it! I am looking forward to that moment more than you can imagine. 🙂

In the meantime, I wanted to take a minute and show you the work I’ve completed in the carport of the flip house. This was one area where I really had to put the squeeze on the budget. In other words, I had to get really creative about what I could do to freshen up the space without changing it structurally or spending a bunch of money.

Let’s take a look at the “before,” shall we?


Carport-beforeCarport-ceiling-beforeI started by emptying out the junk, scrubbing the siding, cleaning up the entrance, and scraping off any loose paint from the ceiling.

Then primer and paint became my BFFs for about 4 days.

To get good stain coverage on the ceiling and walls, I applied a thick coat of Zinsser® Cover Stain® Oil-Base Primer. When I suspect I may have issues with water stains or wood knots bleeding through the paint, I don’t mess around with anything else to try and hide them. I use this primer to knock out the problem with one coat. Period. In the past, I’ve used water-based primers because, well, I prefer the ease of soap and water cleanup. But there is just no substitute for a good oil or shellac-based primer for hiding stains. Cover Stain is my absolute, hands-down, all-time favorite for this purpose, especially for exterior applications. It’s quite affordable, too, at about $20 a gallon, and it saves work in the end.

After priming, I finished off with a thick coat of Rust-Oleum® 2x One Coat Solid Stain (in white).*

For the floor, I used Rust-Oleum® EPOXYSHIELD® Concrete Floor Paint in Armor Gray Satin. This product goes on smoothly and quickly and I think the color is just gorgeous. I got the entire first coat rolled on in less than an hour.


via Rust-Oleum

I would definitely recommend when using this product that you have dry weather in the forecast and an ambient temperature above 50 F. I’ve got a few spots to touch up because we got an unexpected rain shower and it kept the paint from adhering properly.

Between the white walls and ceiling and the newly painted floor, this space now looks fresh and bright.


I also removed the broken ceiling light and replaced it with this inexpensive fixture. I think it ties in well with the front porch light.

Carport light after

What do you think of this budget-friendly transformation?


If you’re curious about what the inside of the house looks like right now, check out this video I made and be sure to enter to win a $50 Duluth Trading Company gift card, too.

Later this week, I will be sharing the finished downstairs bathroom. I am so excited because I think it looks amazing! Stay tuned.

Special thanks to Rust-Oleum for providing, at my request, the white solid stain and gray floor paint I needed to complete this project. As always, all opinions are 100 percent mine. 

*Affiliate link provided for your convenience

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18 Responses

  1. Andrea says:

    Looking great!! It is amazing how paint can make such a difference. Could you please let us know where you got the new light fixture? I love it and it may be the right fixture for my front porch. Thanks! Best of luck through the rest of your adventure!

  2. Paulette says:

    Susan, such a difference! Looks beautiful. We’re all out here waiting for each post on your flip. Your work is so inspiring!

  3. Cornelia says:

    Your hard work has paid off by priming and painting the area. The transformation is fantastic. I bet you feel vibrant and energized every time you are in this area. Well done!

  4. June says:

    Awesome ~

  5. Ruth says:

    Looks so great! Paint is miraculous!!

  6. WOW!!!! What a transformation – you could have a party out there now!!!! A few twinkle lights and a nice table and chairs and it’s all set!!

  7. Patricia Hastings says:

    Wow! Love these updates!! You are doing an Awesome job!!

  8. Patty says:

    Wow, that car port looks amazing. It also proves a point I have been trying to make for years. Not everyone can afford to renovate, but a little bit of paint can sure make a room look like it has had some renovation and it will look fresh and clean. Paint is always my first line of defense.

  9. Mariko says:

    Amazing what a lil’ paint can do! Looks great and looooving the light fixture!

  10. That looks amazing! Wow! Loving following along with your house flip.

  11. Jessica says:

    Your carport looks great! I am always amazed at what a coat of paint can do! I am in the process of painting the interior of our garage and hope it turns out half as good as this! Thanks for sharing.

  12. La says:

    Looks good, but I wish you had details the additional wood you added, so we could get a real sense of everything you did and not just the painting.

  13. Josh says:

    That’s really nice and cheap way to make your garage look nice! Great job! 🙂

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