Now that the porch was painted and stained we could start making the screens for the openings. After several brainstorms we decided to make these ourselves. The work needed to create 'standard' sized openings to utilize prebuilt screens was almost the same. Building our own screens would give a more custom look while using store bought would look more builder grade. Step one: what to build the screens out of? We ruled out cedar due to cost and MDF out of crappiness, which left us with pine trim pieces. These would work well because we wanted the screens to be removeable, light, and attractive.
We found our pine trim stock at Lowes. It was 1" wide and 1/4" thick. One edge was bull nosed which we liked. It made them less boring and standard looking. They came pre-primed and I always like when a step has been removed for us. The biggest issue was how much of the material we needed. The pieces came in 8' lengths and as we started tabulating the number of sticks grew. Our plan was to build two frames for each opening. We would staple the screening to one side and then nail the frames together to make a complete screen. So each opening x 2. In addition to the screens, we needed to purchase trim to create frames inside the porch bays to allow the screens to rest in the openings. We decided the same trim for the screens would work pretty well. Before the math made our heads explode we decided to get 30 sticks. At roughly $8 a piece, it brought us to $240 in wood. We also had to buy screen material $116 for a roll (we chose black aluminum, which was more expensive but more durable), brad nails, staples, screen clips, black screws, and paint. I talked the Lowes lady into giving us contractor pricing (since we bought so much) and we gulped and moved forward.
Since it was June in Oregon, it rained the entire month, so I set up shop in the basement to paint the trim red. I am not sure when we decided to make the frames red. By this I mean, that I decided they should be red. Very quickly I grew to regret this decision. As I already knew, our red (Benjamin Moore Raisin Torte) requires 2-3 coats to cover. This was even worse since the pieces were painted with white primer and it was slow going painting the 1" pieces without drips or brush marks. I spent hours in the basement half bent over painting the sticks on saw horses. It took about 2 hours to coat all the pieces on one side, wait to dry 4-6 hours, paint again, then flip and paint the backside (I cheated and did one coat on the back). This is the point where I should have sucked it up and purchased a paint spray gun and the job would have taken half the time.
As soon as the trim pieces were complete, I remembered that our porch doors would also need to be red. So four doors came off their hinges, down in the basement and onto my trusty saw horses. These required primer, and two coats of red on each side. It was a lone women show and it was not fun. We rehung the red doors once we stained the porch. After all this effort, we were still miles away from being completed and we needed two full weekends to complete the rest.