Our New Sprawling Front Porch Swing + Reader Poll on what color to paint it!

June 15, 2017

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One of our summer bucket list projects this year was to add a big porch swing to our front porch area. Initially, we thought we’d build one so it would be nice and long and deep and fill up the space nicely. But, as I was poking around online, I found (and fell for) a really large one, with a deep seat for a great price and clean lines and we scooped it up, knowing our energy would be far better spent tiling the girls’ bathroom (woot!).

When I started my search, I googled, “Extra large porch swing.” We were looking for something in the 5-6 foot long range, and I stumbled upon this beauty from Ballard Design.

The white wash felt a little shabby chic for our house, but I loved the lines, the cushy pillows and the dimensions were spot on at 65″ W and 32″ D. However, the price, $899, stung! I filed it away as inspiration for building one since it became clear rather quickly that a deep, long hanging swing was going to be in the $1000+ range to purchase. But THHEEENNNN…..

I came across this porch swing with almost identical dimensions as the Ballard one (65″ W x 30″D), with all the clean lines, at less than half the price–only $399!

It came in a white version, with bright blue cushions or a wood version with tan cushions. If it came in a white version with tan cushions–I definitely would have gotten that one! But I feared the blue would be too bright for the front of our house and decided on the wood one knowing I could always paint it.

As per every time we’re making a decent sized purchase, I searched eBay for a coupon and found a 10% off Hayneedle coupon for less than $2. It was emailed to me instantly and saved me an additional $40!It was on our doorstep before the end of the week and in the, literally, 15 minutes it took us to put together I kept thinking, “I’m so glad we bought this!” Hanging it was a little more tricky because not only is the ceiling of our covered front porch very high, but we assumed the studs were where the siding was stapled in. After one rogue drilling incident, we learned that was not so. Chris crawled up into the attic crawl space and found where the studs were. They weren’t exactly centered like we had hoped, but fortunately they were only about 3 inches off which is hardly detectable.

After we got the hooks into the studs (we pre-drilled a small hole and then used a screw-driver through the eye to twist the hook into place), we had to attach an extra 20″ of chain to the ones that were sent with the swing (like I said, tall ceiling here) and clipped up the swing. The entire process took about an hour from unboxing to swinging away.

While we love the shape, size and comfort of the swing (seriously! I could sleep on it!) we knew almost instantaneously that the color of the wood wasn’t going to work out here. While I think it could work in other settings, it looks really orange against our brick and especially compared to the richness of our front door.

Fortunately, I kind of expected that might be the case when we ordered it. But now that it’s here, I’m torn whether to go white or black! Help!!! I did a quick photoshop rendering of both options.

Option 1: If we painted it white, I would likely also spray the chain black (which I didn’t have the skills to photoshop so use your imagination for that). I think it would tie in nicely with the window and door trim and the black chain would still bring out all the black accents we have going on.

Option 2: A glossy black swing with gold chains (I have to spray the chain either way since we added to the chain that came with it and the colors aren’t exactly matching anymore).

I guess the third option could be to keep the wood, but that’s your vote–I hope it’s paired with a great reason in the comments section. ;) Can’t wait to hear what you think!



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What do you think?

  1. Joyce says:

    Our deck is gray sling with the steps and railings. But porch swing is wood and we still have to pick it up from Home Depot. Should I put a primers on there first and the the gray paint? Also it is raining now. And in 40-50 most days. Can I paint in basement or garage? Any other suggestions to this first timer?

  2. Karlie says:

    Is it possible to stain the swing a similar color to your from door? Then spray the chain gold :)

  3. Vicki says:

    Here’s another vote for staining dark to match the door.

  4. BJM says:

    I love the Black swing with white cushions gold chains such a clean look I think you should paint your front door black that would solve the problem oh and why your at it paint your brick options are endless !!

  5. Laura D says:

    While reading, I was thinking hands-down white. Then I saw the photoshop and I voted black, but then I saw the comments about staining it, and THAT option has won me over. Whatever you do, I think gold chains would be a wonderful tie-in to the rest of your home’s style!

  6. Kate says:

    I voted to keep the wood, but my actual choice would be to stain it to match the front door, and spray the chain gold. For what it’s worth. ;)

  7. Amy says:

    Haven’t you been thinking about painting the brick on your house? I’m not sure how far off in the future that is, but consider that before you paint this. It could change your opinion. I’m on #teamstainit too. I love wood, and if it can be stained, it will be more easily maintained, I think.

  8. JL says:

    First thought: stain to match door. Good luck!

  9. angela bradley says:

    how about a pop of color. you can always go back and paint over it. i suggest navy blue.

  10. Leisa says:

    I clicked in to say how about staining it to match your door, and I see a bazillion people have beaten me to it. At least if you try staining and you decide you don’t like it, you can always paint white over that. But can’t really do the other way around.

  11. Erin says:

    Stain the wood, paint the brick

  12. Kisha says:

    I saw the photoshop mock-ups and immediately thought, “why not just stain it to match the front door?” Then I saw all the commenters who had the same thought and was convinced that’s the best way to go. Neither the black or white option really ties nicely to the front. Dark stain with gold chain is my vote!

  13. Sarah Ridenour says:

    I think the white would look nice because it ties it well with the white trim around your door and windows.

  14. LILIAN says:

    I’m voting for keeping the wood, BUT, staining it to match the front door. And spray the chains gold. Can’t wait to see how this project comes along!

  15. Jacquie W says:

    Staining it the same as front door color and replacing chains with larger diameter roping. Painting the brick the same white as the moulding around the front door would look great but staining the swing darker makes the brick pop to.

  16. Melody says:

    At first I thought I would suggest black, but when I saw it, it was too harsh. So, I went with white. HOWEVER, if you could stain it the same/similar color of the door, I think that would be the way to go!

  17. Kristine says:

    I love the black, but it doesn’t seem like there is any other black on the front of your house. So, I think it’s either white or the new popular stain it darker option. Makes me wish our front porch had room for a swing!

  18. Ann says:

    Agree with staining the wood darker. Perhaps an opaque deck stain would work.

  19. Kirsten says:

    Another vote for staining it to match the front door and spray painting the chains gold to match the door numbers.

  20. Caroline says:

    I voted “keep the wood”, which is loosing by a huge margin. BUT I would NOT keep the orange wood, I would try to darken it to match the door. I have had great success doing this with Minwax Polyshades. The more coats, the darker it gets, it just takes some experimenting. Good luck! Whatever you end up doing will look fantastic, you have a great eye. :)

    • Julia says:

      That’s getting a lot of votes in the comments and the more I think about it, the more I’m on board! At this point, I think having a darker wood would be better than black, but it’s still a toss up with white!

      • Lisa P says:

        I also agree with stain it darker to match the door and spray the chains gold. Can’t wait to see what you do!

  21. Stephanie says:

    Stain to match the door!

  22. anna says:

    definitely stain it like the door and black chains!

  23. Lauren says:

    I was looking at this exact swing 3 days ago for the same reason! I stumblked upon this one first, then the Ballard one. I agree with all your comments. I was nervous to purchase online. So I am glad you took the guess work out for me ;)

  24. Katie Griffin says:

    I love the idea of staining the swing the same color as your front door and then maybe adding a rug underneath.

    • Nina says:

      I’m #teamstaining too and the rug is a great idea! The black or white option doesn’t seem to fit out here…
      Love from Germany!

  25. Samantha says:

    I thought of the black with the cushions. But, then I thought that those cushions would look awesome with a navy swing! I don’t know how it would blend into the rest of the house?

  26. Mary says:

    I like the idea of staining it as well. But does adding another large item with dark stain take away from the dark door standing out so nicely alone?

  27. Courtney says:

    What about keeping the wood (or staining it darker as so many have mentioned) with black chains?

  28. Amber Britt says:

    Stain to match door! Add some colorful pillows!!

  29. anna says:

    I like the black, but think it distracts from your front door (which in my opinion should be the focal point).
    White is my favorite of the options, but if staining is up for debate I might swing that way! :)

  30. Amy says:

    Oh, swing envy! Can you show us, or explain, how you hung it? Or is it just as simple as a few screws? We want to hang a swing on our porch, but thought that we would have to do something to reinforce the studs. Did you have to do anything like that? What kind of hanging hardware did you use? Thanks Julia!

  31. susan says:

    I totally voted on my experience with black swings. I repainted mine after having it black for so long, I really didn’t like it for summer furniture. White just seems clean to me and I am really liking my white swing now.

  32. Oksana Grishchuk says:

    White or stained the same color as the front door

  33. Melissa says:

    What about staining it ebony? Might weather better than paint outside and not feel as flat. Otherwise black with gold chains. What a great find!

  34. Sam says:

    Either black or coordinate with door finish!

  35. Lindsey says:

    Black really makes it pop so much more! And being outdoors white could show wear and dirt much easier.

  36. Bri Moysa says:

    I thought for sure I’d vote for the black, but seeing the visuals I feel like the black is taking away from your front door. The crisp white really does tie together with the trim and then I love how the black chain will provide a nice contrasting border. There’s my explanation for my vote ????

  37. Kjirsten says:

    I’m liking the white! Buuuuut– Can I opt for a 4th option? Stain it the same as your door color?

  38. cindy says:

    I would stain it the color of your front door or maybe a little lighter if you can stain it. I think that the black is too stark for the front of your house and the white gets lost in the windows. I think the wood looks good with your brick and would look better if stained a little darker.

  39. Jen says:

    What about a dark grey?? It seems like a charcoal grey would go well with the grey undertone of the siding while still offering contrast, and without competing with the door as much as the black. Just a thought! Love the swing and I’m sure you’ll make it look great as always!

  40. Sarah says:

    Black is a really nice contrast. My next favorite option would be to stain it a similar color to the front door.

  41. Tish says:

    Maybe staining the wood a slightly darker color?

  42. Sara says:

    I voted wood with a few caveats ;) to stain it darker AND paint the brick..which I know was a discussion in the past. And would be a TON of extra work. I just think painting the swing may make it look cheapy, but conversely the style in wood tones looks so high end and timeless. Can’t wait to see what you decide!

  43. Floriane says:

    I would keep the wood and stain it…

  44. TMH says:

    I’d like to see a fourth option of staining it the same color as your door.

  45. JUSTYNN says:

    It seems really tilted back, more so than it should? I vote stain to match the door and then some pillows for flair. And to not spray the chain as it’ll just flake off, but to replace the extended chain with one that matches what came with the swing initially.

    • Julia says:

      It looks so straight in the picture, but the chain that was sent is slightly shorter in the front? It makes for a loungey swing, but I suppose we could always even it out by cutting a few links off the back if we wanted to even it up.

      • Hilary says:

        Did the chain come already attached to the swing? I’m wondering if the slightly longer chain is supposed to be on the front. My thought process is that the back is heavier than the front, so even if the chains were even, the back would probably hang a bit lower than the front.
        If the tilt is bothering you, switching the chains could be something to try before taking links out.

  46. Michelle says:

    Stain the wood to match the door? Or white to match the windows?

  47. Krista says:

    I love the look of the black swing but feel like I should warn you that it will never look clean and crisp. We painted our porch swing black along with some vintage metal chairs to contrast well with our white house and i feel the need to wipe them down every time I go out there. Of course anything will get dust and pollen on it, but black just tends to show it worse. I vote for keeping the pretty wood. Even though the color is a bit off from your door, it isn’t bad and make the swing look more expensive. What about adding a row of pillows to the back like on the Ballard swing, and doing them in a black and white stripe to distract from the wood tone?

  48. Amy says:

    I agree with some of the other commenters about considering a stain so that the swing complements the door rather than competing for attention (as with the black), coordinates with the brick without drawing attention to its rosiness (as with the current wood tone and to some extent, the white), and plays nicely with the existing cushion color. I’m sure you’ll make the best choice for your family, whatever that may be! :)

  49. Colby says:

    Adding tan pillows like your inspirational photo has could also help the swing feel right at home whether it’s painted white or black (although I like the white!).

  50. Laura M. says:

    I love this porch swing! I am on the hunt for one as well and can’t believe the price. The black really seems to pop against all of the white window trim.

  51. Karen F says:

    I voted for black, but after reading the comments I REALLY love the idea of staining it to match the door, with gold chains.

  52. Allyson says:

    Could you stain it to match the door?

  53. Kala Morry says:

    I like the idea of black but I wonder if it will show more pollen. Another option that might be nice is a Charcoal color.

  54. Kala Morry says:

    I like the idea of but I wonder if it will show more pollen. Another option that might be nice is a Charcoal color.

  55. Sheree says:

    Hey Julia! I love the swing it looks great! Can I pose a fourth option on the color? How about staining the swing to match your front door?

  56. Megan Edlefsen says:

    Have you thought about staining the swing to match your door? I really like the darker contrast of the black but think it would be even more lovely to achieve that contrast with a dark stain!

  57. Sarah says:

    White! It lightens the are nicely and feels so fresh and summery!

  58. Kelly H. says:

    Could Option 4 be to use a stain/glaze to make it match your front door?

  59. Victoria says:

    I didn’t vote because I didn’t fully like any of the options!
    Agree with you not to leave it as wood. I don’t like the idea of black chains as that will draw attention to them, whereas the brassy tone currently disappears more and I don’t notice the chain much. If you have to spray it to blend the two chains then I’d make it a similar to tone to the chain that came with the swing. If you really want a statement I’d go with black for the swing, otherwise white, but with gold-ish chains.
    Or, would the colour of the siding work? It might be the wrong shade for the tan cushions but I think I’d actually prefer a pale sage green, which I think would hide wear better than white.
    I’m curious as we don’t really do porch swings in the UK, is it supposed to tilt back that much?

  60. Kristinah says:

    Hi Julia-
    I feel like you, Chris, Preston and I are all pals since we hang out so often in my ears as I walk my dog…. anyhow, my opinion on the swing is that you maybe try to stain it a similar color to the door, then use black chains. I like the look of the black swing but the contrast with the tan cushions right near the white window trim seems stark somehow. Does that make sense? Also- other quick question I couldn’t find on the blog anywhere- where did you get your house number planter? Is it the one from Schoolhouse? I love the finish and it looks great with all you have going on in the front.

    Is there a way to get a full-on shot of the swing in front of the house? Love love love the blog and podcast! Can’t wait to “meet” your new little smurf! Thanks for all you do!

  61. Kristin says:

    You could also sand and stain it darker to tie in with your door. It is hard to tell from the photo what the wood is and how it would take stain. It could be lovely with the gold chain.

  62. Bethany says:

    Pretty, pretty swing! I vote black and gold chains. Just wondering if the swing is as low to the ground as it looks like in pictures?

  63. Ryan says:

    What about staining it darker to match the front door? Also, I think spraying the chains isn’t your best option. The paint will start to rub off after a while. Why not just replace the chains with ones that are already the color you want? Love the swing idea!

  64. Jenny says:

    I like the contrast the black creates with the white cushions!

  65. Whitney says:

    I think a view from further back would really help here and then think about what you want to achieve. Either of the lighter colors still allow the front door to be the spotlight whereas the black competes with it. Unless you want a darker feature to balance out the dark contrast of the front door I would skip the black. The white blends with your window and door trim which could be a good option if you want the contrast from the brick but don’t want it to say “Look at me” from across the street. The warmth of the wood blends well with the warmth of the brick, which I personally like. Have you considered any other colors?

  66. Becky says:

    I voted for black with gold chains. I think that matches the best with what’s inside your home. Like a continuation of your home.

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