Examine the porch swing to determine the scope of the project. For instance, if only a few slats require replacement, carefully remove them and set them aside. Either measure the slats or take them to the hardware store with you to match the style of wood. If you want to replace everything, remove each slat and set them aside in piles of the same size. Count how many of each slat size you need. Consider replacing the arm rests at the same time for a unified look.
Once the slats have been removed, browse the hardware store for replacement options. Ideas include wide slats, thin slats or a combination of the two. One idea is to update the porch swing with a decorative detail found in the moulding department of the hardware store. Small finishing details like medallions and corner details will add personality to the porch swing. For a varied look, choose a combination of wide and thin slats and install them alternately for the back rest and the seat. Change things up by creating a new pattern for the back rest, or you may choose to install the slats vertically for the back and horizontally for the seat.
Touch up replacement slats with the original color used for the porch swing, or start with a fresh color. Whether you choose to incorporate a muted color found elsewhere in your patio furniture or landscaping, or a bold vibrant hue meant to act as a focal point, many color options exist to suit the decor of the exterior of your home. For instance, pale yellow, bright white and sage green are common options. Or look to cherry red, grass green, cerulean or a combination of colors. One idea is to paint half of the slats red and the other half white, and install them alternately.
Replace the slats in a similar order as the original swing. Remember to leave a slight space between each slat to allow proper air flow and to prevent warping. Once you have cut and sanded the wood and allowed it to dry, the slats will be ready for installation. Screw each slat back in place in the order you removed them. If you are replacing the arm rests, add the arm rests once the slats are in place. Finish the porch swing by hanging it back in place.