When we last left our lovely, L-shaped, concrete porch and the project of repainting it, we had practically run out of elbow grease trying the physically remove all the paint with sheer force and power washing. As with any archaeological dig (haha), removing the paint revealed some interesting finds. One was that the porch had been painted at least twice, possibly three times. Below the dark gray paint was one, and in some places two coats of a light gray paint. And below all that was evidence — stains and rough spots– that the previous owners must has used the porch untreated for awhile.
As fun as it was to play Indiana Jones, we still had a long way to go, and it was time to make some major progress. And by “major progress” we mean “resorting to paint stripper.” Yes, we didn’t want to do it, but we did. Only on the really, really, really difficult spots. It actually worked better than we expected, though it didn’t get up every last spot of paint. After a decent power wash, see were 99% there, so we decided to call it done. But before moving onto the next step we entirely, we gave the porch a good, final wash.
Once the concrete was totally dry, it was time to apply the etch, an acid solution to prepare the concrete to take paint. Putting down the etch — diluted and with a watering can — and then rinsing it off was quick. Waiting for the concrete to dry was not. A cool, humid weekend, made for less than optimal drying conditions. In the meantime, when most of the floor was dry, we did a little patching up of some weak spots and cracks. We also set about stripping off even more paint before proceeding.
With the concrete etched, patched, washed, and swept clean, it was time to start staining! Picking a color wasn’t an overly complicated process, but it took some time to settle on our choice: “Deep Terra Cotta.” It’s brick red color with slightly cooler tones than a true brick red, or even a terra cotta. That’s to say that the color is more red and less brown. And we like it. A lot. And at the very least, it’s not gray. A couple late night sessions got us to the point if applying the primer, two coats of stain, and one layer of a protective topcoat. We plan to do another topcoat layer, but predicted rainy weather this week may preclude that for a few days.
All in all, not too bad for a couple weekends worth of work. And still, there’s so much more to do, not the least of which is getting the garden ready for winter. Once the leaves start to fall, that’ll be the sign to return to yardwork.