When we first moved in, the porch was a glassed-in three seasons-type of porch with a strange striped indoor/outdoor carpeting (wish I had pictures of that!) We removed the glass and the frame and painted it nearly twelve years ago. And, we haven't done much since.
The ceiling and the railing were starting to chip, so, before my son's graduation party, we scraped the ceiling and the railing and used some Citristrip on the railing as well. Then we sanded it smooth.
We primed it and painted the railing and the ceiling with Fawn Brindle from Sherwin Williams' Resilience line.
The porch ceiling is bead board, and my first thought was to paint it the lovely pale blue that you see on many porches. In the end, I simply ran out of time and painted it the same Fawn Brindle color as the railing.
My son scraped the ceiling and my daughter helped me cut in along the edges and in between the boards.
I find myself grateful for help on home improvement projects, that my children are at an age where they are so helpful, and that my front porch is both open and a refuge for reading a good book or the Saturday morning paper.