There are several things we planned to do on the exterior of our home this summer. One of them was a simple upgrade to the front porch. The chipped, peeling paint on the front porch made an exit this summer… and I couldn’t be happier.
While we plan to make some BIG changes to the exterior of the home eventually, this summer we focused on the small things and will wait to carry out the big, overall plan… but I think this update not only brightened up the exterior but it is making our home cleaner.
The front porch was such an eye sore when we first moved in. Not only had the paint been peeling but the railings were damaged and wobbly. The main objective was to get the patio looking presentable. The rough paint would peel and come in on peoples shoes and I had enough. So, in the hot summer sun I began the week long process of stripping paint, sanding, and sanding some more. I’m so thankful for a husband would helped strip and sand along with me, thanks babe.
Here’s a quick reference for how you want to go about prepping a patio or deck BEFORE you put any paint or stain on it.
1. Use a chemical stripper to loosen any chips or debris. Follow instructions on label and ALWAYS wear protective gloves and glasses. I recommend a metal edging tool to strip the paint.
2. When done stripping paint, gently clean off any residue with a hose.
3. Let dry completely.
4. Start sanding board by board. I recommend a rough, 40 grit sand paper and a good electric sander.
5. Once sanded and all the paint is removed it’s time to deep clean the area to prep for your stain or paint. Double check to make sure the deck is completely paint, dust, and debris free. We simply shop vacuumed, swept, and hosed down at the highest setting on our regular garden hose. Some sites recommend using a commercial grade cleaning agent, I thought it better to skip the added chemicals, as I didn’t want to create a layer of residue between the wood and the stain.
I love to be able to tell that wood is well, wood. I am not a huge fan of painted decks because they can become slippery and wear a little faster than staining. If you do choose to paint, use an outdoor enamel made specifically for decks. For our porch I used Behr’s Semi-Transparent Stain in Padre Brown. I love the rich color and it flows with our new floors in our interior. Then we used Behr’s Dove White as the accent color on the stair backs… again use an outdoor paint for this!
Larger decks may require the use of a lamb’s skin attachment to a long roller to stain. I just used a medium sized brush and a clean cotton rag and stained, board by board. You want at least two layers of stain, applied very THINLY. If the stain is too thick it won’t dry properly and could become glumpy. Follow the instructions of your paint or stain to ensure proper application. I waited the prescribed hour before applying the second coat. It made such a difference to allow the stain to dry and the color to come out. Once both layers were applied, I allowed to cure 72 hours. Meaning I had to watch the weather before I started the project to make sure no rain was in the forecast.
There are still some projects that we will do on the exterior of this home. But the main purpose of this project was to promote function, cleanliness, and safety. It’s better to have no rails than unstable ones; plus it makes for a open feel and larger looking deck. Eventually, we plan to give the entire exterior a MAJOR update but before winter sets in we will update the walkway, prep the flower beds (currently in process) to make them more summer and fall friendly, and start saving for spring exterior projects.