How to Reapply Stain to an Already Stained Porch
Several years ago, Scott and I stained our front porch a soft grey-blue. The porch was pressure treated wood that had never been stained, and we opted for an opaque stain so that it would give the illusion of a painted on look. Considering our Chicago location, we’ve been impressed with how well it has held up, despite a few worn areas that receive the most traffic. That said, we always felt that the soft gray was a little too soft and a little too blue. With a handful of years on the books, it was definitely time to reapply to maintain the health of our porch, but this time, we opted for a slightly different hue! I’d like to share with you how we reapplied stain to our already stained porch, including the prep work and a small change we made along the way.
First, here’s where we started:
We had a handful of worn tongue and groove boards on the porch landing, right at the top of our staircase. This has never bothered me much (‘character!,’ I always say), but Scott suggested that since we had already planned to reapply stain, we might as well go the extra mile and replace those boards with ones that had a cleaner edge. Our job got a little more intense, but we were up for the challenge. (Spoiler alert: It ended up being a breeze!)
After removing our patio furniture off the porch, we took a moment to pick up any debris. Items such as sticks, dead leaves and pebbles had worked their way into the grooves of the flooring over time. I went around with a putty knife, and I scraped up any loose chips of stain, with the goal of giving us a smooth slate.
Next, it was time to repair those damaged floorboards! Removing the first board is always the most difficult, but a little patience and a hammer and pry bar go a long way. Scott continued to pull up the remaining boards, one by one, until all the rickety boards were removed – about ten total.
While Scott removed the boards, I was cutting new. We purchased the same in-stock tongue and groove boards from our local hardware store, and I trimmed the edges down to size. We needed a 4.5′ run per board, and I used a miter saw to cut them down to size. Because they’re tongue and groove, these new boards slipped right into place with guidance, and Scott used a piece of scrap and his hammer to tap them into place.
The new boards were secured into place with deck screws, after which, we were clear to continue on with the re-staining process!
Using a pump sprayer filled with warm, dish-soapy water, I sprayed down the porch in small sections. I followed that up with a regular push broom, making sure to work the sudsy water into the grain of the floorboards. Tip: For exceptionally grimy floors, I’d recommend using a TSP mixture to really pull the dirt out of the boards.
There was one final step before we could jump into staining – pressure washing! Scott has a love affair with his pressure washer, so he happily worked his way slowly over the floor, working from one side to the other, and eventually, down the stairs. This step will further loosen and completely wash away everything that we brushed out with the soapy water.
With the porch floor prepped, we were ready to stain! After allowing the porch to dry overnight, we used an opaque stain specifically formulated for decking, in a slightly deeper and warmer grey than our previous color. Our paint roller extension comes in handy for this step, as it allows us to stand comfortably while rolling the floor. Tip: A minimum of a 5/8” nap roller is recommended for rough surfaces.
When painting walls, Scott and I easily fall into a groove where I do the cutting in, and he does the rolling. Staining our front porch was no different! I first went around our railings and along the house using a short handled angle brush, and he followed behind with the roller. I cut in twice, and he rolled on two coats to get the job done!
To a neighbor, the difference in color might not be noticeable, but to us, it has made a world of difference! We absolutely love how much warmer the space feels. It has a more traditional vibe, which feels appropriate for our 130-year-old home. Below on the left is the original stain, and the right shows off the darker, warmer grey:
To be honest, I didn’t think changing out the floorboards would make much of an impact, but I’m actually happy to say that I was wrong! The stairs and landing look much more neat and clean.
Last but not least, we gave our porch a few new outdoor pillows, a porch swing cushion, and we laid down a new rug. I potted a large fern to sit proudly by the front door, too; the icing on the cake!
We couldn’t be happier with the slightly darker hue, which as you can imagine, hides dirt a bit better as well. The entire job from start to finish took one weekend – not bad for a project that’s the first thing you’ll see when you pull up to our house!
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