Expert AdviceLandscape, Decks & Fences

Refinishing a Peeling Porch

Q: We have lived in our home for about eighteen months and I have already had to

stain the floor of our wraparound porch twice. I understand that the elements

play a huge part in this problem but it is a covered porch. Right now we have it stained with an exterior oil based solid stain.

A:

Sounds like you have a solid color oil based stain on the porch,

and I’ll assume that it is wood. If it is peeling as often as

it is and is somewhat protected from the elements, you probably

have an adhesion problem due to improper preparation.

If the finish is peeling deeper than the top coat, you will have

to strip off the finish. I would recommend removing all coats down to

the raw wood. Since there are multiple coats, you will have to

either use a good stripper or sand it down. Either way, you have

your work cut out for you.

I’d probably go the sanding route. It is not as messy, and will

most likely be the most efficient way. You will first want to set

any nails or screws. Rent a floor sander or belt sander and grind

it down. Be sure to get thorough instructions on its use.

There are a few different finishes you can apply to a deck.

Decks are very vulnerable to the elements and take a lot of

wear and tear. The fact that they are a horizontal surface, which allows

water to sit for extended periods of time. This can lead to paint failure if not prepped and coated with the proper coating.

We have recently been experimenting with some industrial coatings

that are very durable and can be applied over any sound coating, but

I would not recommend using them unless you are an experienced pro.

If you decide to go with an industrial finish, use an epoxy primer

with a polyurethane topcoat. This finish is very durable, but will

get slippery when wet, more so than a solid deck stain.

So, that leaves you a few other alternatives, including solid deck stain,

oil based deck enamel, or latex deck enamel. We have had the most success

using a solid deck stain, which creates a flat finish. Solid stains will

last longer than any other stains if applied properly, especially if it

is a covered porch.

Applying over a clean, dry surface is of the utmost importance. Be sure

the deck is cleaned very well using a deck cleaner. Let it dry for a few

days and then apply two coats of either an oil based or latex deck enamel.

A primer should not be necessary, as most deck enamels are self priming.

As always, be sure to read the label for proper surface prep and application.

This information is brought to you by Tim Perryman of

Perryman Painting in

North Highlands, CA.

To locate some reliable professionals to give you bids on refinishing your porch, please return to our site at: homeadvisor.com, type “Clean and Seal a Deck” into the search box and submit a service request so we can match you with the ideal service professionals in your area.

Good Luck!

Kathy Maynard

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