Will Paint Adhere to a Porch Floor That Is Exposed?
- Newly replaced wood planks should be allowed to acclimate to the environment prior to installation. Freshly cut wood holds moisture that needs to evaporate before paint is applied. Otherwise, as the moisture is released, freshly applied paint will peel off the surface. Replacement planks should be air-dried outdoors on a raised platform for two to three weeks. Another option is to test the wood with a moisture meter. When the reading falls below 20 percent, the wood has dried enough to be installed. Wood porches should be well cleaned of surface dirt and debris and lightly sanded prior to painting to help the paint bond with the wood.
- Concrete porches should also be scrubbed clean before painting. Stone or concrete sometimes produces efflorescence, a white powder that is comprised of mineral salts released when moisture evaporates. Sweep or damp-mop efflorescence off the porch floor before painting. Use a commercial concrete cleaner to remove grime, as well as oil or grease, that may cause paint to peel or flake off.
Primer and Paint
- You'll want to apply a primer to a wood porch before painting. Primer provides a smooth base and helps paint to adhere to the surface. Whether the porch is wood or concrete, choose paint labeled specifically for porches and floors. Both oil- and water-based latex porch and floor paints are specially formulated to provide tougher, longer-lasting coverage that holds up against foot traffic and inclement weather.
- The undersides of exposed wood porches should be sealed against moisture. As moisture from the soil penetrates the underside of the porch, unsealed wood absorbs that moisture, which can push the paint off the porch floor. Concrete is also porous. Some sealers penetrate the surface while allowing moisture to escape. Other types of sealers coat the surface, trapping moisture inside. Consult your retailer or a professional about the type of sealer that is best for your porch.
- For best results, wait for cool, dry days to paint an exposed porch. If the weather is too cold, the uppermost layer of paint may dry before the paint underneath dries. Hot and humid weather may cause exterior paint to dry too slowly. Either condition can cause paint to peel and flake prematurely.