June 14, 2018

Our sunroom used to have that typical lattice work and it VERY MUCH WORE ON ME. Some places it can look nice, but here and with our house it felt all kinds of bad fussy victorian. The first chance I got last fall I ripped it off. Since we weren’t out there over the winter it was okay the bottom of the screens weren’t protected.

Now it is warm again and we are initiating sunroom sprucing. What I wanted instead of the lattice is some nice modern panels.

They are a clean look and add the functionality of little ones not being able to push through screens.

Adding Paneling to a Screened in Porch

BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS! I love them so much. (Though this is a before and “progress” photo).

First I did some experimentation to decide how wide of planks I want, and how wide of gaps between each plank. I compared pretty much all sizes between three and six inches and was very into the skinny three inch ones. The caution with wider planks was that they could kind of seem a little boarded-up-window feeling in an outdoor area. The thin planks felt not that, and really polished. Also they can let in the maximum light and visibility.

For gaps I was going back and forth between one inch and 3/4 inch, but it was a very subtle difference so I chose one inch IN FAVOR OF ROUND NUMBERS.

Adding Paneling to a Screened in Porch

The material used is 4 x 8 sheets of 1/4 inch plywood. At home depot I had them cut it down into the three inch pieces for me. Sometimes they don’t charge for cuts; sometimes they do, but either way I find it’s worth having them do it for you.

We painted two coats on both sides of behr “polished marble” using their porch and floor paint. (Which I really like! Glossy and cleanable.)

Then we cut the pieces down to the length of each opening and installed with these nails and our 18-gauge cordless nail gun. When a skinnier piece was needed at the end we ripped it down to fit with our table saw.

Adding Paneling to a Screened in Porch

Painting took about four hours and then installation took maybe two hours. Touching up chippy paint and bringing the look up to date makes it feel so good out here. Our family loves having our dinners here and obviously hosting summer parties. Thank you, slats over the screens in our sunroom.

PS: And yes, I have a fence post coming soon. We love it so much and it was completely diy-ed!

My New Cookbook


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  • Jamie Steinhart

    Dumb question but how did you do the floor? We also have blue glue-down carpeting in our screened porch and I can’t get it up. So I’m trying to figure out a flooring option that could go directly over the carpeting. I love your look and would like to duplicate that flooring. Thanks so much!!

  • Chris

    We live about 50-60 miles west of Chicago and a little north – we’re about 30 minutes from Rockford. And our winters get very cold some years. Of course, we’re not using the room in shorts and t-shirts but the windows do a really good job of keeping the wind from being an issue. It faces the northwest so we also have honeycomb blinds we can pull down in the summer to keep the sun from blinding us. The space is also air conditioned. The cost on the windows was in total about $1200 and we installed them ourselves – there are 5 of them and were made to size for the openings. Hope this info helps.

    • Rachel Schultz

      That’s SUPER helpful. Good to know

  • Chris

    Very nice! We’re fortunate to have a sunroom also. The previous owners had screens with vinyl sliders but we decided we would get better use of the space by installing thermopane windows. We were able to get them at Menards very reasonably priced. We use the room everyday and even in the winter, it’s very comfortable out there. Instead of a furnace, we have a boiler so have 5 heating zones – we made this one of the zones and we’re very glad we updated this area. Enjoy your lovely new space!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Ok I’ve defffinitely been thinking about this lately too. What region do you live in? How cold are your winters?

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