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Porch Paint PROGRESS!!!!

Huzzah!!!!! It’s a good-old-fashioned-porch-painting party!!!!!!

So. Let’s start at the very beginning, shall we?

Here’s the “before” shot.

Not entirely awful to look at, but frankly, it could SO easily look SO much better with a simple coat of paint. And the floorboards?

Legendarily bad. And I’m only willing to take part of the blame for that.

The garden edging was for a different project. You can ignore it — we didn’t even end up using it. This is an old shot, but I somehow didn’t have any good ones that properly conveyed how jacked-up the floorboards actually were.

So, as soon as the weatherman predicted a 3 to 4 day stretch of clear weather (Uncommon in these here parts; did you know it rains in Western PA pretty much as frequently as in Seattle? I did not.), I grabbed my brushes.

Actually, I thought I could use rollers, but not so much… more on that later.

We went with two paints: the Behr Deck, Fence & Siding Wood Stain in “Redwood” because it’s what our landlords used last time, (By sticking with it, we might be able to get them to reimburse us the cost… maybe.) and a deeper shade of red by Rust-oleum that we previously used to paint the porch gate.

Frankly, I don’t much care for the Behr color. (Heretofore referenced as “Renter’s Orange.”)
I’ve seen many a redwood deck in my time, and to say that this stuff resembles actual redwood is like saying that I resemble Scarlett Johansson.

Honestly, it just looks like dull orange paint to me. And again, why are they calling it stain? This isn’t even a blend — it’s straight-up acrylic latex paint! Oh well, my mom would say I’m being unnecessarily argumentative…

It’s what the owner of the house likes. So, we go with it.

Still, this isn’t a blog about doing free labor for your landlord. It’s about making your own mark on your rental property. And paint is nothing that can’t be undone, hence the second color of paint.

This one is also called “redwood” but is made by Rust-oleum and is a satin finish rather than the flat finish of the Behr stuff.

Now that I like. I don’t know if it’s any closer to actual redwood, but it certainly offends my sensibilities less.

Here it is only fair to note that my deep and abiding distaste for the Renter’s Orange might does stem from the fact that it is the same color my parents used to paint the trim on the exterior of their house made me use to paint ALL the exterior trim on their house. All by myself. And they wouldn’t give me any food or water ;-> Just kidding. They put in MUCH more work on that house than I did. But the part about me developing a distaste for Renter’s Orange is true. Once you’ve cut it out of your hair a dozen or so times, you get kinda grudge-y.

Anyhoo — we went with the Renter’s Orange for the main area of the porch, and used the deeper color for the trim. That way, everyone wins. We get to personalize our space, and when it’s time for us to mosey on… we simply toss another layer of Renter’s Orange on there. No harm done.

See how well it covers? And that’s just one thin coat, sans primer! Maybe my folks were onto something…

But that’s just an example shot. Before I got all paint-y up in here, I needed to give the floorboards a quick sweep. Then I proceeded to wipe them down with some damp paper towels & dish soap.

I could have — and would have under different circumstances — washed the entire porch properly with a high-pressure hose nozzle, long-handled deck brush & specially formulated deck wash. (A product that cleans outdoor wood.) Then I would have sanded & put down a layer of sealing primer. But frankly:

1) The supplies are expensive.

2) I don’t have time. (It’s going to rain. Soon. And repeatedly.)

3) It’s not my house.

Rental House Rule #11 — Don’t treat a weed like an orchid.

If you’re one of the few renters with a landlord that gives a flying fig, you’ll want to follow all of the recommended steps when using any product. And all renters should show respect toward their rental properties. However, if like ours, your landlord is more of the hands-off, “bottom shelf” type…?

Well, I don’t feel bad about cutting a corner here or there.

So, to “prepare” the porch for painting, I just sprayed some paper towels with my handy-dandy spray bottle of plain old tap water, put a squirt of soap on there, and wiped.


Then I went over it again with another damp paper towel, no soap.

See? NOW they’re ready for paint. And you’re welcome for not making the dirty-towel shot bigger. Who wants to peep that while eating their yogurt? Not me. (Although I did. Bluurrrp.)

And finally, finally, it was time to put paint to wood. (And the heavens opened. And the angels sang.)

Actually, it was pretty anticlimactic. I just scooted over the patio furniture, and got to work on one corner. I would have preferred to clear the whole porch before starting, but I was racing the heat and needed help with the schlepping and… ppllllluuufffftttttt.

Tip: If you need help with a project, try getting started before asking. For some reason, most people are more willing to help a working person than a talking-about-working person.

I began dry brushing the corner area & the ends of the floorboards outside the railing.

Then I got to paintin’.

Tip: Put your paint tray/can on a ripped-open paper bag to prevent drips and smears.

First, I did the first two planks in the Rustoleum redwood to create a border.

Then skipped over a couple of planks & did the area outside the railing, only applying it about a foot and change “deep” at a time. That way, I didn’t accidentally put a knee or something in my fresh red stripe (Yum… Red Stripe. Hooray, beer!) or paint myself into any corners.

Tip: An exit strategy when painting a floor is essential. The old adage is too easily accomplished. And nothing will piss you off more than having to walk across your own beautiful, fresh paint job. Think ahead.

Once I’d gotten clear of the railing, I planned to use a roller rather than continue with my brush.


I didn’t like the texture.

Sure, it’s a tiny detail, and would smooth out to some degree as the paint set, but I couldn’t get over how much better the brushed planks looked:

Sure, it would have been SOOOO much faster to just get over it & continue on with the roller, but, in the words of every Jerry Springer guest worth her bus fare, “Whatever. Whatever. I do what I want.”

So brush I did.

Here’s the front corner finished:

Loooookin’ gooooood 🙂

Before I could go any further, I needed to get the armoire inside. Which was going to require some help.

But, I still had some paint in my trays & a little more time to kill, so I hit the front lattice real quick:


And yes, painting the lattice with vines already growing on it WAS a pain in the patootie. But, it was a labor of love — as in I love the way the fresh paint makes the flowers “pop.”

Notice how I brought the red stripe around the lip of the porch & framed the orange lattice with dark red? It’s little touches like these that really make you feel in control of your rental property 🙂



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