Refinishing your porch is a great way to update your home's look easily and affordably. In most cases, a porch can be refinished in only a weekend. Here’s what you need to know.
Step 1 - Clean
Before you refinish you will want to make sure it is clean. You can move any furniture and plants away to a garage or other covered area (in case of rain or other wet weather). If you have a porch that is made of treated wood, you can use a power washer that is low pressure to clean the porch. If the wood is already splintering or wasn’t treated or pressurized, then just use a garden hose with a sprayer to remove any debris.
Step 2 - Remove Old Stain
If you have a stain on your porch already, you will need to strip it before you can refinish it. You have two options for this, both with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Sanding - Using a sander you can sand the old stain off the porch. This is a good option if you have children or pets and don’t want to work with chemicals. With a belt sander, you just sand with the grain of the wood until the stain is gone. You can also sand if you have wood railings you are going to refinish as well.
Strippers - If you don’t want to take the time involved with sanding then you can choose to use a stain stripper instead. These are made with an acid-base and will be harmful to any plants you have around the porch. It is also harmful to children and pets. When working with chemicals you want to make sure you are wearing gloves, goggles, and a mask to avoid the risk of injury or chemical burns. Follow the directions on the stripper carefully. Most of the time you will apply the stripper with a paintbrush and rinse after several hours.
Step 3 - Prepare the Wood
After the old paint or stain is removed from your porch, you can apply a product directly to the porch to help prepare the wood to accept the stain. This step is optional, but it will give you more life out of your stain.
Step 4 - Refinish
You’re now ready to apply the paint or stain of your choice. In most cases with stains you will roll on a coat of stain, then use a clean roller to roll back over it. Some stains will have you just apply it and leave it to sit. Whatever stain you have chosen just make sure you are following the directions on the label for the best coverage.
Step 5 - Finishing Touches
You’re ready to refinish the railing if you choose. If you have a metal railing, you can just clean it, or you can paint it if you wish. Go over the trim work if you choose, provide proper drying time, and return the furniture or plants back to the porch.