3 Tips to Help You Paint Your Porch Like a Pro
Now that spring is officially here and the weather is warming up, many of us are looking forward to spending quiet mornings drinking our coffee outside or ending the day with some good conversation while enjoying a cool breeze. Of course, the best place to do these activities is your home's porch. But if your porch is looking lackluster, you might not be so inclined to spend a lot of time there. That's why now is the best time to think about painting a porch; that way, you'll be able to enjoy this outdoor space for several months to come.
If you've never tried painting a porch before, you'll want to make sure that your hard work won't go to waste. As long as you follow these three tips, you'll be able to achieve the long-lasting results you want and savor the final effect throughout the seasons.
Pick Your PaintWhen painting a porch, the first thing you'll want to do is make some pivotal decisions concerning paint. Picking out paint can often be an overwhelming process, so it'll help if you eliminate some possibilities first. Deciding on the color might be the easiest, as more than one-third of homeowners would choose a neutral color palette when redecorating their home. Neutral hues like gray, white, and brown are most common, though there's nothing that says you have to do this route. Light colors are usually best, as they reflect the light and can make your porch seem bigger and more comfortable.
Once you've determined the color you want, you can think about whether you'll want your paint to be water-based, oil-based, or acrylic-based. Keep in mind that low VOC paints are typically water-based, which means there will be no odors to contend with. You'll also want to choose what type of finish you'd like, such as flat (a matte finish), gloss (a shiny finish), or eggshell (a finish that's somewhere in between). Although glossy finishes are considered to be the most durable, the high sheen factor isn't to everyone's tastes. After you've determined your color scheme, finish, base, and other must-haves, you'll be able to pick out a porch paint that will perfectly complement the exterior of your home.
Prep Your SurfaceBefore you start painting floors, you'll need to prepare the porch. First, remove all furniture and plants from the porch and examine the floors carefully for loose nails and debris. After sweeping and cleaning, you'll want to secure any loose nails or screws before beginning and remove old paint with a paint scraper or sander. Older porch paint may actually contain lead, which is dangerous for homeowners. If you believe your porch was originally painted prior to the 1960s, it's a good idea to contact a professional to have this paint removed first. However, newer paint jobs should be fine to remove yourself, as long as you take the proper precautions (i.e., wear gloves, goggles, and a face mask). After the paint has been removed and any sanding has been performed, you'll need to wash the porch with a wet-dry vacuum and let dry before starting the painting process.
Avoid the PitfallsNow you're ready to begin painting a porch. Be sure to cover up surrounding landscaping to avoid splatter. You may not need to use a primer, as many porch paints are self-priming. It's typically easiest to use a roller, though others may prefer the feel of a brush (and you may need one for the smaller details). If you're painting the entire porch, rather than just the floor, you'll want to start from the top. Always apply your paint in one direction --with the wood grain -- and avoid excessive pressure. Work quickly and cleanly, remembering to paint the exposed edges of the floor boards. You may only need to apply one coat, as porch paint tends to be thicker than other types of paint. Allow the paint to dry for at least 72 hours before walking on the porch or putting back your furnishings.
Ready to work on painting your porch in advance of the summer season? Our eco-friendly, VOC-free exterior paints are perfect for any outdoor project. To learn more, please contact us today.