A couple of years ago we had our deteriorating side porch replaced with synthetic decking. It looks lovely and we are delighted with it. We have a large deck in the back and a large covered wrap-around porch in the front, but the cost of composite decking is significantly higher than wood and we just didn't want to spend that much on something we walked on everyday.
Then we discovered Behr DeckOver* - a paint product that seals decks and needs little follow-up care for years. Over two summers I painted the back deck and railings and we have been very pleased with them. This year it was time to do the front porch. We did call our handy-dandy construction guy and had him replace the front stair trends with the composite, since they are constantly in the weather, but then i painted the porch floor over a ten-day period of good weather.
|Day three of stripping .... and it just goes on and on.|
The most difficult part of this job is the preparation. Because this porch is completely covered it had only been stained and sealed twice in 16 years, but it still took me four days to strip off the old finish. This is back breaking work - much of it done on hands and knees with a brush! I used the stripper, but there is still plenty of elbow grease required.
Once it's stripped, then it also has to be cleaned to remove all traces of the stripper and any remaining dirt. Then you can paint. It's rather like painting with thick pudding - chocolate in my case - and goes very slowly, but if you do good, full coverage with the first coat, the second is much easier. Full coverage is the key to good aging with it.
Because of the strong right angle at the corner, the decking is laid in a chevron pattern that connects at the corner. I had paint that was old - left from the back deck - and new paint, so the corner "seam" made it easy for me to use the old on the L-side and new paint on the front side, using the obvious seam to hide any visual difference in the two paints.
|Voila! Ready to use.|
When finished it looks like it's been there forever, and the new color exactly matches the color of the composite steps!
Imagine that small table with two glasses of wine around 5:00 any evening and you will have a very accurate picture of the front of our house!
* Behr does not know I like their product and has not paid me to say nice things. I did it for free.