How to: Paint Your Farmer’s Porch

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When I started this year’s summer break, I had a lot of grand plans – the grandest, to paint our farmer’s porch (a project I abandoned last year.) As you can see in the picture below, the floor of the deck was somewhere between teal and green (and chipping where it hadn’t been totally replaced and not painted over). The ceiling was close to the same. I knew this would be a biggie, but with all the “free time” I had this summer, I knew I wanted to get it done.

For you first time DIYers out there… this is not a project for the faint of heart. I significantly underestimated how much work it would be, but it was so rewarding at the end!

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Read more to learn how to successfully paint your porch – even first time painters like me.

1. POWERWASH.
I cannot stress this enough. Powerwash, powerwash, powerwash til the cows come home. The wood on this deck is old, and the entire porch was chipping paint. It was hard enough to manage the texture of the wood AFTER three rounds of powerwashing, so I can only imagine what it would have been like if we hadn’t. The smoother the surface, the easier your life will be.

2. Pick Your Colors!
We live between a cove and a bay in a coastal Rhode Island community, so with our colors I wanted to channel a beachy vibe – but I’m also obsessed with the haint blue porch ceilings of the South. So – we blended both! I always love Valspar’s colors, so we ended up choosing High Altitude for the ceiling and Hiding Space for the floor, which gave us the bright blue beach sky ceiling and a darker, oceany blue for the floor. (not sponsored) I think I ended up using close to 4 full gallons on the ceiling (2, sometimes 3 coats) and a gallon and a half (2 coats) on the floor.

You may also remember we upcycled my old dresser into an outdoor buffet last year — that mermaid teal was also chosen to match these porch colors!

3. Buy your supplies.
Learned the hard way through this project that you cannot CANNOT skimp on good supplies. Like I said – old chippy wood, which means it will both drink paint and make you work to fill in the little ridges between the old drips. Tried and true supplies right here:
EXTRA ROUGH SURFACE ROLLERS – this is very important. We started out with smooth surface rollers (we just bought the cheap ones) and it took me so many more hours than it should have. I finished half the ceiling in half the time once I made the switch.
Purdy XL Paintbrushes – I needed a few of them since the surface I was painting was so uneven and the brushes got ruined pretty quickly.
– Paint roller extension pole – any old brand will do, just make sure it threads into the roller handles that you buy.
3M Edge-Lock Painter’s Tape – very important. I tried the cheap tape, and it peeled off in about 13.5 seconds. The 3M tape stayed for DAYS, and also held up plastic sheeting along the house.
– Paint – OBVIOUSLY. I used Porch and Floor from ACE and thought I have no basis for comparison I loved how it worked for me.

4. Tape it out.
And also – protect the house itself. Big sheets of plastic worked for us – I used push pins to hang the sheets along each side of the house, and then taped over the edge when I painted the ceiling. To protect the house for the floor section, I just did 2-3 tape widths high of tape along the edges. Not shown – RAILING protection. I wrapped the plastic sheeting right through the space between the railing and the floor and pulled it tight against the railing, then secured the loop with tape. Saved me literal HOURS taping around each tiny crack in the railing and a ton of inevitable paint splatters on the white.

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5. Ceiling First!
That way all your drips will hit the old floor and you’ll paint right over them at the end. I was lucky enough to have Mike set me up two ladders with a scaffolding in between so that I didn’t have to use my balance muscles the entire time. Much less tiring – but still a very sore neck!

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Make a really good playlist for this and plan on listening to it for days on end. I started this project last year (the day that Mike proposed, which is why it never got finished) and between last summer and this summer it took probably 45 hours to paint the ceiling of this porch on my own.

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DON’T FORGET EYE PROTECTION!! Lots of hours of paint = lots of drips on the painting sunnies. 

6. YOU’RE ALMOST THERE.
Now that you’re so sick of painting you could puke, you finally get to the fun part! The floor. Two coats of paint on this floor took probably 2 total hours minus the time it took to dry in between.

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Don’t forget to PLAN YOUR WAY OUT. Paint yourself into the house, or paint yourself out and use a different door to get in. Either way. Just don’t paint yourself into a trap! Unbeknownst to me, Mike took our Nest camera recordings and made a little time lapse video of me painting the floor. Here’s my path.

7. Admire your work!
Add some plants (note my nasturtiums from my starter garden), your furniture, and your deco – then grab a glass of wine and enjoy the view. You’re done!

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No brands or stores mentioned or linked to in this post have paid or sponsored this blog in any way.

Related projects:
Upcycled Dresser to Outdoor Buffet
Starter Perennial Garden
DIY Golf Chipping Game

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