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Professional Review of Sherwin Williams Porch and Floor Enamel

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Sherwin Williams Porch and Floor Enamel works well on concrete and wood, but is it worth the cost?

Sherwin Williams Porch and Floor Enamel works well on concrete and wood, but is it worth the cost?

Is Porch and Floor Enamel Durable on Concrete?

Porch and Floor Enamel is a versatile wood-floor paint ideal not only for floors but also for window trims and concrete. The paint is available in a satin and gloss finish that (in my experience) is very durable with two coats and good preparation.

I painted a customer's concrete floor in their empty basement using this product, and after returning to this home two years later for another project, the paint still looks as good as the day I painted it. The trick, I've found, is to not cut corners on surface preparation.

I have used this product many times on wood surfaces, but this was the first time using it on a concrete floor. I vacuumed the floor, washed and sanded everything, vacuumed again, and applied two coats of this product.

The paint can be re-coated in four hours. I let the first coat dry overnight before applying the second coat. After rolling the second coat, the paint should be allowed to dry for at least 24 hours before heavy foot traffic. My customer waited one week before moving the furniture back into their basement. The results spoke for themselves. They were very happy with the floor.

Is the Paint Durable on Wood Flooring?

I used Sherwin Williams Porch and Floor Enamel to paint a large wraparound porch on an older home that had already been painted many times. Like the basement floor I had previously used it on, the paint held up over time on the porch floor.

The existing layers of paint were peeling badly, so I first power-washed the loose chips and dirt. I let the floor dry for one day and returned with my Wagner Paint Eater to electric sand the whole floor and remove the remaining peeling paint.

Like the concrete floor I painted, I brushed and rolled two coats, allowing the first coat to dry overnight. The glossy satin finish of this paint looks very nice on both the porch and basement flooring I painted. Unlike the waterborne deck stain Super Deck, the satin enamel finish of this product is smoother and more resistant to dirt accumulation and stains from foot traffic.

Is Primer Needed?

The first time I used this product, the paint store manager told me it seals wood knots to prevent bleed-through, but that definitely wasn't the case with a stairway I painted once. The staircase stringers were painted white and the wood knots bled yellow tannin into the paint, so I had to spot-prime the knots with oil primer and touch them up. This only happened once, and only on the stringers, not the floor.

Every time I've used this enamel on wooden floors and stairs, the paint has covered really well without any issues. The surface needs to be clean. This is very important, and I always apply two coats. On raw, knotty wood, when a very light color will be used, it's important to spot-prime the knots with oil primer to prevent the chance of bleed-through from tannin. Most of the wood surfaces I've used this product on were already painted.

Is It Worth the Money?

In my experience, this product has been durable on the wood and concrete surfaces I've used it on. When rolled with a microfiber roller, the finish looks really nice. I haven't used the gloss finish, but the satin looks great. This product is a good choice for porch floors and wooden basement stairs.

The current price is $76 per gallon, as of this review update, but you can easily get a $10-off coupon by signing up for Paint Perks on the Sherwin Williams website. The store also holds sale events throughout the year on their paints and stains.

The price of this product costs less than an epoxy kit, and for the price, it stays intact when applied to a prepped surface. You must follow the application recommendations, allowing the paint to cure before re-coating, or walking on it.

On concrete floors, I would use a floor epoxy kit for maximum durability. I would avoid using this enamel on garage floors underneath vehicles. Epoxy dries a lot harder, and it's also more scuff resistant. You can also buy epoxy with flakes in it for a decorative look. The fumes are stronger than paint, but the smell can be aired out from a basement easily. Wearing a respirator is a must.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: Would you recommend the Sherwin Williams porch and floor enamel for use on an uncovered older wooden deck, or would it be best to use a deck stain like Super Deck?

Answer: Super Deck stain is the better choice.

Question: I put Sherwin Williams paint on my interior stairs. The paint has been drying for 48 hours, but still has a tacky feel (not wet). Does this go away? Should I use a water based poly over it?

Answer: The tackiness might be caused by humidity slowing down the cure time. The tackiness should go away over time. I've had this happen with Super Deck stain, but it always goes away after a week tops. I can't comment on top coating Porch and Floor Enamel with poly. I recommend contacting your local Sherwin Williams store manager on that one, but in my experience, the satin finish of this product alone is very smooth and durable for good scuff resistance.

Question: Can I apply over a latex paint or apply a primer? If so what type of primer should I use?

Answer: Yes. A prime coat isn't necessary. I do recommend spot priming wood knots and stains before applying Porch and Floor Enamel though. I had bleed-through occur a couple times when painting white over knotty wood. Spot priming with oil primer first will prevent this.

Question: I used Sherwin Williams Porch and Floor enamel last fall to paint my porch and it is made of pre-treated wood. I washed off the porch but I didn’t clean it with deck cleaner or anything first. As I had plans to apply a second coat, life happened, the weather happened and here I am in April. It’s starting to chip in places and I’ve decided to go with a different color. Should I sand the first coat of enamel off, clean and then reapply? Or should I strip the enamel off of my deck?

Answer: If it's chipping really bad it's best to strip and sand it down. If it's only chipping in a few places you can sand down those spots and reapply the enamel.

Question: We just painted an interior concrete floor with this product. We're super happy with the look. We didn't plan to seal it. Should we seal it, or is it water-resistant enough on its own, for example, if we spilled a cup of water, would it be fine? It sounds like you didn't seal it for your customer's basement. How do they clean the surface?

Answer: I didn't seal the surface of the floor, and the floor is fine. I suppose you could apply sealer, but the enamel seems to be fine without it. The sealer would enhance its durability, but it would be a good idea to talk with a Sherwin Williams store manager about compatibility with this product to make sure it can be top coated. I vacuumed and washed the floor before I painted it.

Question: Can you use the Sherwin Williams porch and floor enamel on concrete that has been sealed or should you use an etching solution first? We want to use this for our finished basement instead of recarpeting.

Answer: You might need to etch the concrete first to remove the sealer, but I'd check with your local Sherwin Williams store for their recommendation. I used Porch and Floor Enamel on a concrete floor in a basement three years ago, but it wasn't sealed. This product bonded well with the concrete after thorough surface cleaning and two coats. I've been back to the house for other painting projects and the floor showed no signs of lifting paint.

Question: Can I use Porch and Floor Enamel on wooden steps?

Answer: Yes. The surface needs to be cleaned and prepared properly before application.

Question: How long before I can put the furniture back on the floor after painting my porch?

Answer: I'd wait at least two days before placing heavy furniture on top of the fresh paint. You should be able to walk on the painted floor after twenty four hours.

Question: After prepping old wooden stairs I am left with a patchwork of oil paint, latex paint, and bare wood. The remaining paint is all tight and the surface has been sanded but I am wondering if I can apply this product directly or need a coat of primer?

Answer: The specs for the product says primer isn't needed, but in your case, I would definitely clean and sand the stairs and apply a bonding primer first.

Question: How do you think this Sherwin Williams floor enamel would work on an outdoor concrete basketball court?

Answer: I wouldn't use this product on a concrete basketball court. It isn't meant for that purpose. I would look into acrylic surface coatings for sports, or possibly epoxy. Sports surface coatings can withstand the abuse and even resist hot tire pick up if it's applied on a driveway.

Question: I used a coat of SW loxon concrete & masonry primer/sealer and then a coat of SW porch and floor enamel to paint a basement concrete floor. The area is dry. However, even after a couple of months, it just doesn't seem like it has dried completely and sealed. It is tacky and walking on it leaves footprints (it's a greige/light grey beige color). If I set anything down, it leaves marks. Should I repaint it with a different product?

Answer: Porch and Floor enamel don't need a prime coat for concrete. I used two coats of it on a bare concrete floor in a basement without any issues. I returned to the home two years later, and the floor still looked as good as the day I applied it. I cleaned the floor and applied two coats, allowing the first coat to fully dry before applying the final coat. The primer you used might be causing problems, or humidity, or both. I'm not sure. It's possible the primer hadn't fully cured yet when you applied the enamel, or the first coat of enamel hadn't dried yet before applying the second coat, if you applied two coats. You didn't mention cleaning the floor. If it wasn't cleaned thoroughly that might be part of the problem. Maybe wait a while longer to see if the enamel dries out. Try using a humidifier, or a couple of fans. If it stays tacky and doesn't cure, the only solution, unfortunately, is to strip off everything and start over.

Question: Do you think the Sherwin Williams porch and floor enamel might cover a small floor space with pergo?

Answer: I've never used this product on pergo, but I don't see why not. I'd check the product specs first. The laminate flooring would need to be sanded first and cleaned.

Question: Is it "OK" to use an oil-based primer to help weatherproof the wood?

Answer: I would use deck stain for the playhouse deck instead of the floor enamel. Deck stain seeps into deck boards instead of forming a thick layer on top like enamel. The product I use for my deck staining projects is Super Deck waterborne stain from Sherwin Williams. That would be a good option for your playhouse deck. I've used the semi-solid finish and solid finish. I would allow the brand new deck boards to dry out for a few months before staining them.

Question: What is the best choice for interior wood basement steps?

Answer: I've used Sherwin Williams Porch and Floor enamel on basement wooden steps. It's worked well for me.

Question: Could you thin this paint down with water and apply it with a sprayer to concrete floors for a light coverage look?

Answer: I can't recommend diluting this product with water for application. Thinning down paint can cause problems with durability and adhesion. It also reduces the gloss of the finish.

Question: Can I spray-coat the plastic lattice panel apron below my elevated deck with Sherwin Williams Porch & Floor Enamel?

Answer: I'm not sure since I've only used it on wooden porch flooring. Check with your local Sherwin Williams store or the specs online. If the lattice is vinyl though, you can paint it with Duration or SuperPaint. Both are vinyl-safe.

Question: Thinking of doing a plywood plank floor and will be using a primer. Planning on painting the floor white. Would you recommend this paint on that?

Answer: I've never used this product on the type of flooring you're referring to, but on a concrete basement floor, porch floor, and basement stairs, this product has worked fine for me. Priming the whole floor isn't necessary with this product. Apply two coats. But spot priming any wood knots with oil primer first is a good idea because the enamel won't prevent bleed through in them. You won't see bleed through in wood knots if the color is dark, but it's noticeable with light colors. I used white once with this product, and I had to go back and spot prime the knots and repaint them to get rid of bleed through stains around them even though the product claims primer isn't needed.

Question: Can you use this paint on cabinets?

Answer: No, I would not use this product on cabinets. Use Emerald urethane, or ProClassic enamel. Both are from Sherwin Williams.

Question: We are wanting to paint our deck here in Colorado. We get sun 8+ hours a day and harsh weather in the winter. We just got new decking for the flat surfaces, but the rails are already stained. We want to get a flush look throughout with good, durable coverage. Would SuperDeck be better or Porch & Floor Enamel be better? We are planning on doing a darker stain to make the color cohesive throughout.

Answer: Use Super Deck stain on your deck, not Porch and Floor enamel. If the deck boards are new, the wood shouldn't be stained for six months to one year.

Question: After scraping off and sanding the edges of wooden stairs I am left with a mix of bare wood, oil paint, and latex patches. Can I still use this product directly on the surface or should I use an oil primer first?

Answer: I would apply a bonding primer first. Clean and sand the surface thoroughly first.

© 2018 Matt G.


Ankur on August 13, 2020:

I got my wooden staircase restained and it has become very blotchy. Thinking of getting the treads and risers painted now. Can we use SW porch and wood enamel. Is it scuff resistant and would give a good finish? Do you recommend satin or semi gloss?

Matt G. (author) from United States on October 10, 2019:

It's not necessary to protect the coating with a clear coat if that's what you're referring to. I've used this product many times on indoor basement stairs. I've always applied two coats so it's smoother and more durable.

Joseph Nardone on October 06, 2019:

Is it necessary to protect this product once it's on indoor staircase? If so what would you use? Thanks

Laura on September 10, 2019:

Thanks for the fast response Matt!

Matt G. (author) from United States on September 09, 2019:


If it was my house, I wouldn't use Porch and Floor enamel on the window sashes. There are better options. Emerald urethane enamel is a good product to use for that. Clean the windows, sand them, and prime with oil-based ProBlock primer, followed by two coats of Emerald urethane. If the window sash is outside, I would still prime them with oil-based primer, but consider using Duration exterior paint instead. The satin finish is good. Emerald urethane can be used outside too, but I've never personally used it outdoors, only indoors. Duration is a good paint that lasts. There is also an exterior acrylic latex version of Emerald, but if the sash is indoors, the urethane version is what I would use. Hope that helps.

Laura on September 09, 2019:

Hi Matt, would you recommend this over SW emerald urethane trim enamel for interior and exterior wood window sashes? We are refinishing the original wood windows on our 1930s home and we're trying to decide between the two products. Planning to prime with SW Prep Rite Pro Block, then glaze with Aqua Glaze. Any advice appreciated, thanks!

Matt G. (author) from United States on July 02, 2019:


Sherwin Williams has a Pro Industrial line of paint that would probably work good for your metal deck and stairs. I've used their Industrial Enamel many times for metal railings and doors.

Matt G. (author) from United States on July 02, 2019:


Use deck stain, not this product. I've never used it on a deck, mostly covered porches. It probably won't last as long on an exposed deck.

Paul on July 01, 2019:

what happens if you use the porch and floor enamel on an uncovered wood deck?

Jimmy on May 17, 2019:

What is a good paint for outdoor metal deck and stairs

Matt G. (author) from United States on March 01, 2019:

Good to know.Thanks for the comment.

Matt G. (author) from United States on March 01, 2019:

Thank you for confirming this product cannot be top coated with a clear coat. I've always just applied two coats and never had any problems with it.

Kelsey R. on February 28, 2019:

In continuation of my first comment, this product is tuff to keep clean and sadly will have to be sanded off before applying a different floor coating.

Kelsey R. on February 28, 2019:

I work for sherwin Williams. I enjoyed reading your review on this product. But i would like to point out that this product is not available in a gloss finish, but at one time long ago it was. I have used the satin finish in my own home and was dissatisfied with the sheen, which is not the products fault but my own for not using a different product that has a higher sheen available. This product can NOT be topcoated with a poly or clear acrylic or any other coating to achive a higher sheen finish such as a gloss. Due to the properties of the product it will fail if topcoated with a different coating.

Matt G. (author) from United States on November 17, 2018:


Thank you for the comment. I'm glad you found my article helpful for your floor painting project.

Elle on November 12, 2018:

Thank you for this article on SW floor paint. I've applied the first coat to an interior concrete floor and was nervous about both my choice of paints and the timing of the second coat. Both this column and the questions that followed were helpful.

Mary on August 03, 2018:

Yes I did apply two coats and primed as well. Like I said it looked great at first but it is not shiney enough to repell dirt. I will be repainting with a different product.

Matt G. (author) from United States on July 14, 2018:

I haven't had that problem. Did you apply two coats? With two coats, the satin finish will be more smooth and glossy, allowing for easier cleaning. The enamel should also be allowed to dry for recommended time before walking on it.

Mary on July 14, 2018:

Used the Sherwin williams porch and floor on my covered porch, looks great but the dirt totally sticks to it. Would not recommend it .