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How to Refinish and Paint an Old Wooden Porch and Deck

I refinished and repainted the worn wooden porch and deck on my 100-year-old house.

The porch is now painted. You can see the bedroom door that I faux glass stained.

The porch is now painted. You can see the bedroom door that I faux glass stained.

Why I Started This Project

About ten years after I moved into and restored my 100-year-old house, I decided to add a wooden deck and porch to the back of the house. The back part of the house ended with steps going out and into the yard. This new porch was built to run alongside the length of the house. It would lead out onto the deck area. I designed the deck to have a bench with built-in storage to store flower pots and other miscellaneous items.

The length of the porch and deck is about 40 feet long. I like to have family barbeques, so I planned to have enough space for the grill, a large picnic table, and lots of seating.

Soon, I had to make some decisions about refinishing and painting my deck. I will focus on the following aspects, which will hopefully be of help to you in your own project:

  • How I decided to preserve the wood
  • Wood repainting process (with an alternative method)
  • How long it would take me to finish the project
This is the pressure washer I use for all sorts of cleaning around my house.  I rent it out when I'm not using it!

This is the pressure washer I use for all sorts of cleaning around my house. I rent it out when I'm not using it!

How I Decided to Preserve the Wood

After the porch and deck were built, there was a lot of discussion as to how the pressure-treated lumber we used should be preserved. One school of thought was to let the wood age and then use a liquid sealer. Another idea was to just stain the wood with a good oil-based stain and then leave it alone. I wanted my deck to be painted so I could match the color with the trim on the house. BIG MISTAKE!

Painted Wooden Decks Have Many Drawbacks

If I had to do it all over again, I would never have painted the wood. After a while, the paint wears off. Another big drawback: Because of the high humidity we have in South Florida, a lot of mildew forms. This meant that I frequently needed to pressure clean the porch and deck. I got so tired of hiring someone to do this that I purchased a pressure cleaner so that I could do it myself.

My pressure cleaner has paid for itself many times over. I even rent it out when I’m not using it! I not only use the pressure cleaner for the wooden porch and deck, but on the house and my driveway. It's important to note, however, that using a pressure cleaner requires great care; otherwise, you can do a lot of damage!

These are the necessary supplies for painting the porch and deck.

These are the necessary supplies for painting the porch and deck.

Deck Painting

Once I decided to paint the wood, the only way to refinish it would be to completely strip the paint from all the wood and then treat it as new. That is one job I am not willing to tackle. So, when the porch and deck began to look bad, I only had one choice to make it look nice again: REPAINT IT!

  1. I pressure cleaned the area completely using my Husky Pressure Washer. Since I wanted to blast off as much old paint as possible, I used the highest pressure with the nozzle (not the sprayer nozzle).
  2. I used a wide paint scraper to scrape off the peeling paint. I also used a wire brush to knock off peeling paint.
  3. I sanded down those areas that had splinters with the belt sander.
  4. I used a good primer on the raw wood. I like Kilz brand as a primer.
  5. I used the very best Deck and Porch Enamel. I prefer Behr’s paints because I think it holds up better than other brands, even though it is more expensive.
  6. I used a four-inch brush to paint the deck to get down between the cracks. I could have used a roller, but I would have wasted a lot of paint. It took me longer to use a brush than if I had used a roller. You could use a paint sprayer if you prefer.
  7. I was able to use a roller for the porch because there are not as many cracks between the boards.

Alternative Method: Paint Sprayer

If you are proficient using a paint sprayer, you could use that instead of a paint brush or roller. I tried to learn how to use a paint sprayer once, and I just succeeded in spraying everything else except the object I wanted to paint!

Besides, I figure by the time I mask off the surrounding area I do not want painted, I can just as quickly use a paint brush or roller.

How Long Did This Project Take to Finish?

Fortunately, the weather cooperated with me to do this project. I had to stop for a couple of days because of rain. All told, I spent a week (off and on) to complete my painting of the porch and deck, but now it looks great. It will look good for about two years if I’m lucky. By that time, I am hoping I’ll be able to afford to completely demolish the old porch and deck and rebuild.

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Read More From Dengarden

If I have the new porch and deck built of pressure-treated lumber, I will NOT paint it. I am told there are products made now of plastic material that is maintenance-free. This is a product that is made primarily from wood fibers and recycled plastic. The claim is that it won’t splinter, rot or warp. I’m sure this product is very expensive, but the initial investment would be well worth it.

For the time being, I like the way my porch and deck look, don’t you?

I still have to apply a coat of paint on these steps leading from the deck.

I still have to apply a coat of paint on these steps leading from the deck.

The steps leading up to the porch have been primed with Kilz  and are  ready for painting.

The steps leading up to the porch have been primed with Kilz and are ready for painting.

The deck has been cleaned and scraped, and it's ready to be primed with Kilz.

The deck has been cleaned and scraped, and it's ready to be primed with Kilz.

The deck is now painted with the deck and porch enamel. I used Behr's.

The deck is now painted with the deck and porch enamel. I used Behr's.

This was a new board added that will be primed and painted.

This was a new board added that will be primed and painted.

The porch is primed and ready for painting.

The porch is primed and ready for painting.

The porch is primed and ready for painting.  You can see my dining room door that I faux-glass stained. Another project!

The porch is primed and ready for painting. You can see my dining room door that I faux-glass stained. Another project!

Here's another look at the finished project.

Here's another look at the finished project.

I Just Love to Paint!

I enjoy painting all around my house. I painted this fence in the photos below; one half is for my grandchildren. I painted their favorite Florida animals. The other half is for me, showing my love for flowers.