Painting a Porch Floor

Can someone please help me. My porch floor is horrible. I try so hard to make my yard look nice and the front porch sticks out like a sore thumb. The floor is made of wood planks. I have tried to prime them and paint them with expensive porch paint. Then I tried the cheap way and painted them with spray paint. Nothing made any difference. The paint peels and flakes continuously.


I have 5 dogs who practically live on the porch. I can not keep them off. I put up a little gate and they chewed it up to get on the porch. So what kind of porch floor should I use? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. This porch is making me miserable. The first thing people see is an ugly porch .

Thank you,
Lisa in Georgia

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Lisa: How about trying some indoor outdoor carpet or those remnants of astroturf? I have found many carpets that people or the carpet store threw out and they are perfect for outdoors; when they wear out or the dogs chew them up get another one. Hope this is somwhat helpful.

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Why don't you try an outdoor carpet ? It can be hosed down and or vaccumed. You could just tack it down and repace it whenever it wears out. There is a wonderful selection of these carpets now and they don't look like artificial grass any more. The dogs would love it !


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I like the ideas posted already--about getting a carpet. But if you really want a painted porch, that won't do. You might have to sand the wooden planks and then prime and paint. I don't envy the project--but at least it would be outside where you wouldn't have to worry about the mess. Good luck!

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It seems to me the wood would rot under any kind of permanent carpet. I think the sanding is the best idea, tho a lot of work. Then you could bleach the wood or stain it. Stain won't flake off.

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Get rid of the dogs? lol just kidding. I would get the outdoor carpeting, I don't think the wood would rot if there is space between the planks. Good luck!

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That sounds like the wood has at one time been impregnated or treated with a preservative or fire-proofing oil.

The only way to cope with that is to rent a rotary or band type floor sander for an afternoon and sand it down to bare wood, then use a clear sealer, not a primer. Oldfashioned, stinky (turpentine based) spar varnish like it is used on ocean-going ships and boats, will seal it for sure. If you can't get spar varnish, email some of the bigger paint companies and ask them what they suggest. They WILL need to know what kind of wood is involved. For example cedar and redwood need different sealers than pine or fir.

Once the wood is sealed properly, any porch paint will work fine, though it might be a shame to paint over a nicely varnished deck.

Have FUN!


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You can paint your porch floor with Kilz which will keep any other paints and dirt from seeping through the new paint. Then paint your floor with regular good quality paint then use polyurethane to seal it. Or something like Thompson's waterseal. It may be more costly but in the long run it will work the best. The polyurethane or the Thompson's water seal with help with preserving the wood.

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Get #10 Canvas duck have a good carpenter tack it down and glue it down. Paint it the color of your choice with a oil based house paint, you can even thin it with linseed oil to make it soak in better. If it is a covered porch it will last about 30 years. Consult an old time carpenter or painter.

check out

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stencils, multi-color!

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I'm getting ready to paint my porch, My question is i was told to sand it than prime it than paint, when i sand it im I trying to remove all the paint or just get it smothe?

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i live in an apt. which is very dusty! the carpet is very very old and the landlord will not change/replace it. . i want to paint the subfloor and use area rugs. please advise as to the best process! thank you!

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Painting a Porch floor was a "PROCESS"

Clean between spacing of boards for proper drying and drainage. I used a short wall board saw.

Strip off old stain with a chemical

Sand and smooth as much as humanly possible. I used thirty six grit sandpaper and did with a hand block.

Wash with TSP a cleaner and remnant paint duller.

Primed with exterior primer (Glidden)

Painted with a porch paint (Behr from Home Depot)

Two Coats (it went on easy)

Not satisfied with color as chart was deceiving. I may change in a year or so as it will not be that time consuming now)

At this point April 2006 I have no idea of what I did will be durable and another reason to live with the disappointing color.

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If your dogs are on the porch all the time, I would not recommend putting down carpet. Our dog ruined the porch carpet very quickly, now we are in the process of sanding and painting our porch, good luck to you!

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We just bought our house 3 years ago. For all three years we have had to spray for carpenter ants. I finally took off the carpet that was on the porch, and there they are. The carpet was keeping the porch floor wet after it rained, perfect for the ants to make their home. Ever since we pulled up the carpet, I have not found 1 ant in my house. Of course we also have someone coming out today to kill the whole nest. But once our new porch floor is put in, we will NEVER put carpet down.

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I know you've got it solved by now, but for the benefit of those who may have the same problem and be looking for a solution, here's what I did with my deck.

Rented a floor sander (the kind you use on hardwood floors) sanded the entire deck floor down to the wood. Painted with a brush an oil based alkyd semi-transparent wood stain (which blended better with my brick than any deck paint I could find), really allowing the wood to soak it up. Then painted my railings with a matching outside paint.

I'm told that all I need to do now is spray on a wood perservative every two years. (I was told to use one LIKE Thompsons water seal, but to use ANOTHER brand. That Thompsons was the first, but is definitely not the best.)

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There is no need to prime when using a floor/deck paint. The paint already contains a primer. The primer is too soft. Try California paint or Benjamin Moore deck paint.

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I work as a paint salesperson and can say that I've never heard of a primer for wood that you walk on. There are some self-priming deck and porch finishes but none that require a primer underneath them. Primers typically dry to a soft finish and can not be walked on even when top coated.

I would powerwash or strip off all of the coating that you have on there so you get down to bare wood. Then use a solid coat deck stain. There are step by step instructions on this page that explains stains and how to apply them: ... nt/Painting/How_To_Stain_A_Deck.html

Hope that helps.

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Brian, I just purchased some floor/porch paint and it has clear directions on it saying that I need to prime with an oil based exterior primer. In fact, the other brands of paint said the same. are you sure we aren't talking about two different things here. Porches and Decks are two different things.

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Use the paint marked garage floor. It adheres better and helps to resist chipping.

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In This Article
House with a nicely painted front porch.
Painting a Porch
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Home and Garden Home Improvement PaintingJune 21, 2005
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