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August 15, 2007 8:17 PM   Subscribe

I need some help with porch paint.

I have an older wooden plank porch. We can not make the paint look good to save our lives. I saw a historic house in rural Georgia that had been redone and had this amazing porch paint job. It was very opaque paint, had grit to it and then what appeared to be a very thick epoxy top coat. Who knows? No one at that inn knew what had been used.

Does anyone know if there is a single product that does all this? Or is it more likely that they just sanded the paint like gesso and then added lots of poly or something?
posted by stormygrey to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Make sure you use a good oil base paint, prime it, then do a coat with sand, let it dry, and give it another coat or two. Once you have it looking really uniform wait 48 hours then hit it with a few coats of exterior or marine grade clear urethane. Thats what I would guess they did to the porch in GA.

The nice thing is you can use any color or colors (remember use oil base for all coats) that you like to paint the porch. The urethane will protect better than any conventional floor or porch paint against both traffic wear and weathering.

The not so nice thing is you really really have to prep the wood well or it will show. Fill in cracks and holes with a two part wood filler prior to priming. I'd give the whole thing a quick sand. Putting a shine on paint always makes defects really stick out. But take your time and do it right and you'll have the best looking porch on the block.
posted by BostonJake at 8:54 PM on August 15, 2007

We had good success with the following (sorry, two products, not one):

Benjamin Moore "Porch and Floor Urethane Reinforced Enamel" (the paint)

combined with

Homax "Slip-Free" Anti-Skid Paint Additive" (the grit)

The grit has the same specific gravity as the paint, so you can just toss it in the paint, stir it up and not have to worry about it settling out. Try it out first in a sample to see if you've got the right amount.

The paint we used is fairly glossy, so it might give the appearance you're looking for.

One warning: If you put the paint on too thick, it takes forever (read a week) to dry. Follow the directions carefully and don't try to do it all in one coat like some spouses I could name.

The grit stuff I believe was bought at Home Depot, the paint at a Benjamin Moore store. Benjamin Moore generally has very good products.

The paint's only been on for 2-1/2 years, so no long-term report, but it still looks new.

We rebuilt our porch so we were starting from new, well-finished wood so the prep-work BostonJake rightly encourages wasn't an issue. We did prime the wood (can't find the can, so I can't tell you with what) but no sanding was involved at any stage. Note that if you wait to long between coats a little sanding to rough up the surface may be needed.

Blah blah blah - hope this was helpful.
posted by skyscraper at 10:44 PM on August 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

Or is it more likely that they just sanded the paint like gesso and then added lots of poly or something?

Yes, they sanded, like crazy...

We have an older porch (1928-ish) that is natural wood, but if we were to paint it, I would adhere to the advice above... Good luck!
posted by amyms at 1:31 AM on August 16, 2007

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