COVID-19 = Boredom = Projects, the front porch

COVID-19 = Boredom = Projects, the front porch

In my last COVID-19 projects post on the front door, I eluded that it had led me to a much GRANDER project, and that project was the wrap around front porch. Below is a picture from the listing before we purchased the girl.

The current porch is not original to the Good home, it was most likely replaced due to wear and tear between 1960 and 1990 (small window, right?). Speaking to a neighborhood couple, I learned that their home is a “sister house” to ours and they offered me the name of the carpenter who was employed to recreate the original front railings with the Home Depot porch posts (insert eye roll) that were used, it is probably at that point that the floor was replaced and painted for the first time. The floor has seen at least three colors of dull “jail bird gray” before I decided to remove it all. Now in my defense, the paint wasn’t exactly adhering very well. We purchased the home in the fall of 2016, and four years later, it was very worse for wear!

Flaking paint

So I started small…

Emboldened by my five board success, I proceeded with vigor…each day after work, sitting in the May heat of Philly scrapping the paint with a putty knife (to not gouge the floor) and a heat gun.

As you can see, I wasn’t getting very far, so my husband offered his assistance…

Yep, those are rocks, electrical tape and sandals… lets all say it together…safety first! There are days I am amazed he has lived this long. I will say, the rocks did actually assist, since we didn’t have enough sand to fill the sanders removable weight, as it should have been filled. And lets face it, in lock-down, you do what you need to do to get the job done. After two days of his “assistance” I was left with the remaining sanding and paint removal.

My poor neighbors were probably tired of hearing noise from my lot during the months of May and June, but after a full weekend of the floor sander, they probably jumped for joy to hear the small irritating sound of my palm sander. I used both 40 and 60 grit sandpapers, my heat gun, a paint scraper (which was sharpened daily after i gave up on the putty knife), and a little dentist tool, each day for six weeks to remove all of the layers of paint and primer. When I was finally finished, I turned my attention to protecting the wood.

my helper

I did A LOT of research about staining a porch/deck, reading about what other sane people were using and what worked for them. I read about the difference between translucent and semi transparent coatings, deck stains, and solid stain colors until my head swam with way too much information, then I sat down and drank a beer.

After my head stopped spinning, I learned that there are as many ways to stain a porch/deck as there are porches and decks!

Since I had just pulled all of the paint off of the boards, I wanted the wood to be visible, so the translucent stain appealed to me. I chose Sikkens Prolux Cetol SRD Translucent Stain in Butternut. It boasted excellent UV protection and allowed for wood clarity with a matte sheen.  The porch does receive morning and afternoon sun because it faces east, south, and west. I shopped around (online of course) and found the best deal was from Twin Creeks Log Home Supply. The shipping was super fast despite my purchase of a 5-gallon bucket. Yes, a 5-gallon bucket…needless to say, I have extra.

With a natural bristle brush (I prefer Purdy over Wooster) I applied two coats of the Sikkens SRD on the floor over the course of four days, allowing it to dry completely between coats. I then used the same Behr exterior white that I had used on the door frame to paint the trim where the porch meets the house…I of course wanted to stain it, but the person who installed it used knotty pine (with a lot of knots) and it looked horrible with the stain, hopes dashed again 🙁

And WHA LA! My patriotic bunting was a little late going up this year (usually up just before Memorial Day), but it was up for the fourth of July and the porch was done…well kinda. The giant empty urns required my attention and the two french doors leading into the living room now looked completly aweful. I wanted to stain the french door steps, as I did the front step, but the previous owners version of a screen/storm door/window needs to be addressed first…

A cheap wood frame SCREWED into the door frame with removable glass & screen panels make this less of a door and more of a hot mess window.

So that project will be shared in a future installment of COVID-19 Boredom 🙂 Stay safe and healthy!

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