How to paint a porch or floor

paint a porch

When painting a porch or floor, wall paint is not going to get the job done. Floor paint is manufactured with a chemical makeup specifically formulated to allow the paint to dry harder, adhere better, and withstand heavy traffic. When painting a porch or floor, you have several choices of the type of paint to use.

To achieve a high gloss finish with easy maintenance one choice is urethane. Acrylic latex will have a lower sheen than urethane but it will provide a relatively non-slip finish. Latex floor paint is one of the most popular coatings for concrete floors, but oil-based epoxy paint will provide a more abrasion-resistant finish that lasts longer.

Before applying any paint it is necessary to prep the surface of the porch or floor to make sure it is completely clean and free of any oil and grease. Sprinkle the area with a good coating of cat litter, allow it to absorb the oil and grease and then sweep it away. Scrub the area clean using a mixture of detergent and water. Rinse the porch thoroughly to remove any detergent residue. Let the porch dry for two to three days before painting.

A previously painted surface should be cleaned with TSP. If mildew is present, remove it with a bleach and water solution. Rinse thoroughly after removing the mildew and allow the porch to dry completely. Scrape or sand the surface free of any loose or flaking paint. A pole sander may help you with this part of the job. Clean the porch floor Damp Mop to thoroughly remove any dust created by the sanding.

New wood can be painted using acrylic latex paint specifically for floors. Prime the wood with two coats of thinned latex to allow better penetration. After the primer coats, a minimum of two additional coats of latex paint should be applied. A paint pad or paint roller on an extension pole will allow you to cover a large surface in a short amount of time. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly between coats to prevent a tacky finish from forming.

A new concrete porch should be allowed to cure for 90 to 180 days before painting. It will also be necessary to acid etch a new concrete floor with a 10 percent solution of muriatic acid to allow the paint to adhere properly. After the acid treatment, paint on one coat of concrete primer. Allow the primer to dry at least eight hours. Paint on two coats of latex paint using either a roller or spray rig. Use a paintbrush to get around the edges. Allow the paint to cure for a minimum of two days before walking on the floor.


When painting a porch floor or steps, stir a small amount of sand into the paint to provide better traction and to help prevent falls in stormy weather. To help prevent insects from landing in your wet paint, add several drops of citronella oil to each gallon of paint. The paint finishes won’t be affected and the paint will repel the bugs.

To help minimize lap marks, roll from a dry area to a wet area. A previously painted concrete floor does not require to be etched with acid unless there are bare spots or loose or peeling paint present. When using an acid product wear the proper safety equipment such as gloves and protective eye gear and follow all manufacturer’s instructions.

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