Fall project: Redoing the concrete porch floor (Part 1)

Last week, we had a little fun sharing this mystery picture:


In reality, it was no mystery at all to those of you who guessed anything that involved paint and concrete! Indeed, this was a section from the floor of our concrete, screened-in porch:

It does kind of look like a map…

One of the things that attracted us to our house when we first bought it was this L-shaped, screen-in porch. Attached to the rear of the house, we saw ourselves enjoying breezy, summer meals and company on this porch, and we’ve certainly fulfilled that. But over the past couple years, we noticed that the paint had begun to chip away in certain spots. Those spots were small enough that we didn’t pay them much mind, but we did put on our long-term to-do list “deal with the porch.” In the short-long-term, this meant redoing the floor, at least. (In the long-long-term, we want to turn the porch into a sun room.)

As the seasons passed, the little spots of chipping paint got bigger, revealing the primer and bare concrete underneath. The bigger the spots got, the higher the “deal with the porch” bullet point placed on the to-do list.

Things came to a head over this past Labor Day weekend when, with our new power washer in hand, we decided to clean the porch. And as we did, the extent of the damaged paint was revealed. Once we had cleaned up, the floor that was left behind was pockmarked with a dozen or more bare spots, and even more where the paint was delaminating and bubbling.

And that was that. We had found our fall project: redo the porch floor.

After Labor Day had passed, we set about removing as much of the paint as we could from the floor. During the week, that meant spending little evening time physically pulling up the paint with the help of putty knives and paint scrapers.  On the weekend, it was time for power washing. After seven plus days of that, the porch ended up in the state as seen in the above pictures and here:


We were remarkably surprised at how much paint came off using just the scraping and washing “technique.” Yes, being on the floor was no fun at all, but the work paid off. After getting to this point, the main problem was that the paint that remained was severely adhered to the floor. Over the course of another week, we spent each day after work scraping up whatever we could. It was slow, painful, and mostly unrewarding, though we did find that if we scoured a certain area one day, that were were able to remove at least a little more paint from that same area the next day. We tried some other tools, including a grinder, to try to get the paint up, but most of the heavy duty stuff removed the concrete along with the paint, which was no good.

By the time this past weekend rolled around, it was time to get out the power washer once more. By Saturday, we had succeeded in removing at least a little more paint just by scraping. The also weather helped a little by being more humid. That, combined with sheer determination, even more scraping, and the power washer, helped get porch to its current state, which is not half bad.

No more paint "continents!"
No more paint “continents!”
Could be better, but its not so bad, really.
Could be better, but it’s not so bad, really.
Theres a really stubborn patch in the far corner there.
There are a couple really stubborn patches left, plus spots of primer, but that’s it.

With another week of scraping, washing, and clean-up, we may be ready to repaint the floor by the beginning of October, which is the goal for the moment. The stubborn spots of paint and areas of leftover primer are bothersome, but if we scour well any smooth spots, we should be safe to paint. Speaking of which, gone will be the drab, gray/blue paint. After plenty of discussion, we’ve settled on a solid stain in the red family, leaning more red wine than terra cotta. Whatever the color, at least chipping won’t be a problem. Not for awhile anyway.

More updates on this project will soon follow!


3 thoughts on “Fall project: Redoing the concrete porch floor (Part 1)

  1. stillsearching2 09/23/2015 / 5:41 pm

    I was tired just from reading all the work it was to get that off! Can’t wait to see the finished project.

    • Garden State-ments 09/25/2015 / 12:38 pm

      Haha, this project is a chore, that’s for sure. But things are turning out well so far, despite needing lots of extra elbow grease. 😊

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