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How to add shade to a screened porch

Sun shining a little too bright on your screened porch? Here are three great ideas for how to add shade to a screened porch!

We absolutely love having a screened porch and try to eat out there as many meals as it is comfortable.

Sometimes we can’t eat outside due to the temperature, but for a long time we couldn’t eat out there when the sun came in at just the right (wrong?) angle and would blind half the people at the table.

Whether you need relief from the scorching sun or are hoping for a more secluded atmosphere, this blog post will guide you through three effective methods to achieve these goals: installing roller blinds, incorporating shutters, and constructing a wooden privacy wall.

how to add shade to a screened porch

How to add shade to a screened porch

The three best ways to add shade to a screened porch are:

  • blinds
  • shutters
  • privacy wall

Let’s dive into each, how to get the look, the pros and cons, and anything else you might need to know!

Roller Blinds

Roller blinds are the simplest way to control light and add shade to a screened porch. They are fairly inexpensive to buy, easy to install, and do a decent job of blocking the sun.

roller blinds on a screened porch

Here’s how you can install them:

  1. Measure and Prepare:
  • Measure the dimensions of your porch windows accurately.
  • Consider whether you want the blinds to cover the entire window or leave some space for natural light.
  1. Select Suitable Materials:
  • Choose high-quality roller blind fabrics that can withstand outdoor conditions.
  • Opt for materials that offer UV protection and resist fading.
  • Know that natural materials like bamboo blinds tend to have a lot of gaps that let light shine through.
  1. Mounting the Blinds:
  • Install mounting brackets on the porch window ceiling.
  • Attach the roller blinds to the brackets securely, ensuring they are level and aligned.
  1. Operation and Maintenance:
  • Regularly clean the blinds to remove dust and debris.
  • Pull blinds down if a big wind storm is coming to prevent them being torn or damaged.

Stylish Shutters

Shutters will provide you a bit more blockage and privacy compared to blinds. However, they usually cover a bit more of the window, block more light, and can’t be tucked away as completely.

Here is our tutorial for how we built trifold wooden shutters for our porch.

Shutters fully open on both sides
  1. Measure and Plan:
  • Measure the dimensions of your porch windows precisely.
  • Decide whether you want the shutters to cover the entire window or only a portion.
  1. Choose Suitable Shutters:
  • Explore different shutter materials such as wood, vinyl, or composite, considering their durability and resistance to outdoor elements.
  • If you plan to build your shutters like we did, decide on an outdoor-grade sealant to help to protect them from the elements.
  1. Installation:
  • Mount the necessary hardware, such as hinges or tracks, to hold the shutters securely.
  • Attach the shutters to the hardware, ensuring they are properly aligned.
  1. Maintenance Tips:
  • Regularly inspect the shutters for any signs of damage or wear.
  • Clean the shutters with a mild solution and a soft cloth, preserving their appearance and functionality.
  • Plan to take the shutters down if a tropical storm or hurricane comes in, to avoid potential damage to the shutters and porch.

Building a Wooden Privacy Wall

For the most permanent privacy, building a wooden privacy wall can be the best option. Adding vertical or horizontal wood slats will be permanent and block light and possibly air flow all of the time.

Here’s a great tutorial from our friend Zoe on how to build a privacy wall!


I think that a privacy wall would be the best option if your porch backed right up to a neighbor and you wanted more significant privacy than a curtain or shutter could give.

  1. Plan and Design:
  • Determine the desired height, length, and location of the privacy wall.
  • Consider using lattice panels or slatted designs.
  1. Gather Materials and Tools:
  • Purchase the required lumber, posts, fasteners, and tools.
  • Ensure the materials are suitable for outdoor use and resistant to weathering.
  1. Construction Process:
  • Install the lattice or boards into the frame of the porch window opening.
  1. Finishing Touches and Maintenance:
  • Apply an outdoor-grade stain or paint to protect the wood from the elements.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain the privacy wall to address any damage or signs of wear.
  • Bonus: a privacy wall should be secure enough to not need to be removed due to wind storms.

Creating shade and privacy in your screened porch is essential for making it a more enjoyable and versatile space.

By installing roller blinds, incorporating shutters, or building a wooden privacy wall, you can transform your porch into a comfortable haven to best suit your needs.

Any more questions about how to create shade on your screened porch?

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