This front porch of ours has seen many looks. When we first bought our house the porch was white with white stairs and railings. It looked cute…but it was not done right. The previous owner had built it using non-treated lumber, and on top of that painted with interior paint. To say it was destroyed would be an understatement. So we tore it all off and re-built it. For a year it sat and baked in the sun and soaked up all of the rain and snow before we got around to finishing it up. We decided to paint it black! And in doing so we received a ton of questions, the main one being why we painted vs stained our front porch.
The main reason we chose to paint over stain for our front porch was because we wanted it to be a true black. The best way to accomplish this is through paint. Stain will achieve a dark color but it will never be as black as black paint. In the sun it would show the greens found in the treated lumber, which in totality would appear more of a brown. Definitely not the look we were going for.
To achieve the look we first power washed the porch and steps. After allowing a week or so to fully dry and cure (because we just wanted the weekend to jump back in) we started the paint project! We chose Sherwin Williams Exterior Resilience in Tricorn Black. Cutting a porch and steps is a bit different, and it allows you to be a bit more liberal with the amount of paint you stuff and brush into the seams where planks meet. You want to make sure you really get it in there good because the exterior paint is super thick – a stain is far more liquidy and would soak in everywhere quick.
Once you cut it all in it is time to roll. Similar to a wall, you start at one side and carry your path down to the other side until you have the full surface covered. MAKE SURE you give yourself room to get off of the porch! You don’t want to paint yourself into a corner. For us, we have no railings on the porch so getting out of the way was easy. When you finish with the porch base move on to your treads and risers from top to bottom.
We applied 3 coats because Michigan weather is crazy. So far after 2 years the paint has held up wonderfully! We will have to touch up a few spots this Spring because of all the traffic it has seen with our renovation projects. Turns out when you’re loading in and out a ton of heavy furniture, appliances and material a porch is likely to see the effects!
We hope this helps you with your next porch project. These steps also apply to concrete or stone porches too! Just make sure to visit your local paint supplier and get their recommendations on paint type and supplies.