There aren’t too many things I enjoy more than my screened porch. Once the worst of the pollen season has passed the first thing I want to do is clean up the porch and get out there. This spring the floor is looking particularly drab. The floor is original to the house, boring 2” x 6” raw wood deck planking, dark and dirty. Time to clean, prepare, and paint the screened porch floor. I think it could also use a little color!
Years of Dirt Are Power Washed Away
Before I could paint (the fun part for me), I needed to prepare the wood floor for painting (not the fun part). The floor had several years of pollen, mildew, dust, and dirt on it so it needed a thorough cleaning. First, I power washed with water. After a few days of drying, it still had some dark sections so I sprayed those areas lightly with Clorox Bleach and power washed* it again. That did it! It looked clean all over.
* Make sure you use eye and breathing protection when power washing with bleach solution!
Doing It Right, Preparing The Wood Surface
After a couple more days of drying, I sanded it with a long handled dry wall sander. I didn’t go crazy here but I gave it an all over light to medium sanding then vacuumed it well. The guys at Sherwin- Williams, where I bought the paint, said that since the wood had never been painted before, the sanding would help the paint adhere. Also, I used a paint/sealer that was tintable so I didn’t have to buy a can of each.
Then using blue painters tape I masked off the frames around the screened panels. These will be painted white as soon as I can get to it so I don’t want the blue to show through the white paint later.
Time To Paint The Screen Porch Floor.
I got two recommendations on how to do this; the first was to use a contractor series roller with ½” nap, and the other was to use a 4” X 1.5” Cabot brush that is screwed onto a long handle. My “go to” guy at Ace Hardware who always seems to have the answers I’m looking for recommended this brush to me. He says it works well because it gets into the cracks between the boards better. This eliminates, or seriously reduces, the amount of “on your knees painting” that has to be done. I have to say the brush did work well and it was pretty fast. But in the very visible areas, I did do some additional “crack painting” with a 2 ½” foam brush…and it was not fun! (Perhaps I’m a bit too picky, but I was happy with it in the end.
I painted the screen porch floor with a second coat and let it dry for several hours before doing a close-up inspection. With a tad more touch-ups and covering some of the knots in the wood better, the porch floor is declared done. Can’t wait to move everything back and get in some “porch-sitting time.”