Often in these blogs we limit ourselves to our specialty, which just so happens to be indoor flooring. Wood, tile, marble, vinyl, carpet, laminate, cement- These are the materials we use most often to improve our customers' homes. What we forget is that, while what you see within a home is the most intimate glimpse into a family's life, the outside gives that all-important first impression.
We hate to admit it, but it's really easy to judge a book by its cover, so to speak. Haven't you ever pulled up to a friend's house and instantly took a mental note of how the yard, the siding, and general state of the home looked? If you're like us you have, and your first impression probably landed in one of these three categories:
"Wow, would you look at this place? It's GORGEOUS!"
"Aw, it's so cute."
"Yikes. This place is kind of a mess."
Ringing any bells? Good upkeep of the house exterior is a must if you ever want to reach category 1. What better way to start than from the ground up? For many homes that means the porch. It doesn't take much to make a painted porch look dingy and uninviting. Time does the job, really, and peeling, patchy paint is enough to make anyone stare with disapproval. Your home deserves better!
As you probably have already guessed, we want to give you a little insight into what you can do to make your porch deck look new again. We're fast approaching the perfect time of year to take on a project like this, so you might as well be prepared.
Let's do this!
Step 1: Prep Your Deck
We don't want to do more harm than good, so you'll need to protect everything on and around your porch from the process that is about to begin. Use plastic sheets to cover any siding connected to the porch, windows near the porch, as well as any greenery or flowers. Secure with painter's tape. Then, clear the area of all furniture and decoration.
From there you can grab a broom and sweep the surface clean. Be sure to wear safety gear (gloves, goggles, mask) and finish creating your blank canvas with a paint scraper to get as much of the paint off as you can. The more of this you do now, the easier your work will be later on.
Step 2: Dress It Up and Strip It Down
When choosing a paint stripper, we highly recommend limonene-based products, as they are the safest for non-professionals. Sure, they may not work quite as fast, but your safety comes first. Other products use harsh chemicals that need to be handled carefully, so do some research before heading to the hardware store.
Working in SMALL segments (If it takes you much longer than 10 minutes to treat one spot, your working in too large an area at a time) apply the paint stripper with a roller and let it sit for roughly 25 minutes. When you start seeing bubbles, you're ready to get back to work.
Apply enough stripper to get the paint wet again, then take your paint scraper and continue scraping off as much paint as possible. Repeat this process until all of the old paint is gone.
Step 3: Rinse Your Cares Away
This part of the project is less flowery than its title implies. There are only so many ways to add a creative spin on paint stripping, ya know? Basically, you just rinse your porch with a hose to remove any leftover paint or paint stripper. Then you'll need to... Nope, that's pretty much it.
Step 4: The Big Finish
Using fine-grit sandpaper, sand your porch ONCE IT IS COMPLETELY DRY. Go with the grain of the wood as you do so. If you notice any protruding nails along the way, hammer them back into place.
Now you're ready to repaint or stain you porch! That's all there is to it! Let us know how this little facelift project works out in the comments below!