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How Do I Choose the Best Porch Paint?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 August 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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While any homeowner considering painting a front porch will certainly be concerned primarily with choosing the right color, many other facets of the paint must be considered. Choosing porch paint starts with determining how you want your porch to appear, but also how much maintenance you are willing to do. Some porch paint will dry out and flake off over time, and as people walk on the porch, the paint can thin or wear out. It is important to choose exterior paint, and it is best to choose paint specifically designed for porches and decks, as such paint will create a thicker seal that will be more resistant to wear.

Exterior paint can be used for a variety of purposes, not just for use as porch paint, but its benefits will be suitable for porches in many ways. This paint will feature water-resistant properties that will help protect the porch's wood from water damage such as warping, splitting, cracking, or developing mold, and the paint can also help protect the wood from chipping due to direct impacts. Exterior paints come in a wide variety of colors and, in some cases, textures, so it is best to explore the various options within your painting budget.

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If you want to take a step further to protect your porch, choose porch paint that is specifically designed for porches and decks. These paints will be more expensive than exterior paints because they will be designed to dry thicker. This is done to provide a barrier of protection in high-traffic areas; as people walk on the porch, the porch paint can wear over time, but choosing paint specifically designed for porches or decks will prevent premature wear. This will cut down on maintenance costs over time and will prevent frequent re-application of the paint.

Whenever you use porch paint or exterior paint on an existing porch, it is important to strip off or sand off any existing paint or stain. The old paints and stains can prevent the new paint from adhering properly to the wood, which can lead to a decrease in aesthetic value and strength. It is also advisable to use an exterior primer that will help promote better adherence between the new porch paint and the wood. Any repairs to the porch should be conducted before beginning the painting project to prevent damage to the paint once it has been applied.

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Discuss this Article

Sporkasia
Post 2

@Feryll - Not removing the old paint from the porch will save you time and work, but I think removing the paint is worth the effort. When the paint is already chipping and worn you can remove most of it with a paint scraper and elbow grease. If you have a power sander then that's even better.

Either way, getting as much of the old paint off as possible will make the porch look better. The new primer and paint will go on smother and it will better protect the wood. The last thing you want to happen is for the new paint to start coming off because it's not sticking, and then you have to do the job over again in a few months or a year.

Feryll
Post 1

The front porch on the old house my girlfriend is fixing up really looks bad. The front of the house looks fine because it is covered in vinyl siding, but the porch is wood and the paint in worn thin in places, and in other places it is flaking or has already flaked off.

I don't know how long the boards on the porch floor have been around, but they are in good condition. Well, most of them are in good condition. I'm going to have to replace two of them because they are a little weak, and they give when I put all of my weight on them.

I thought I would simply clean the boards on the porch and then paint over the old paint. I would use a primer like this article advises. Basically, I don't want to try to strip all of these old boards. I'm not even sure I would be able to get half of the paint off of them anyway.

I guess my question is how important is it that I strip off all of the old paint? Would a good cleaning, a couple coats of primer and a couple coats of paint make the porch look decent if not good?

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