The porch was beautiful. And then it rained.I walked through the front door onto the porch to check the mail and slipped across the floor like it was an ice skating rink. It wasn’t even hardly wet from the rain mist the wind carried. I was worried about the mailman walking on the porch floor and slipping. I ran to the store and got a large, black rubber mat, large enough to cover the area from the front door to the porch steps.
A month or so later I tried adding some fine sand to the clear coating and put on a couple of more coats in the area we walk most. It didn’t look nice and shiny anymore but helped a little on the slipperiness.
The next spring I noticed the finish was peeling back in areas like dried egg whites. They were small areas but quite a number of them. I sanded and repaired the areas only to have them peel up again. It wasn’t looking good at all anymore. On the plus side, the shellacked sideboards looked great.
I checked so many websites and called companies and it didn’t look like there was a clear finish that wouldn’t be slippery when the rain hit it and be able to withstand foot traffic for any length of time. I made the decision to paint the porch floor a brick color because I was tired of constantly fixing it. Surely paint would stick even in those troublesome areas. When they ever made a product that wasn’t slippery and that looked beautiful, I could just easily sand the paint off since it doesn’t have the 80 plus years of paint on it anymore.
I painted a couple of coats of the outdoor primer sealer and then porch-floor paint. The paint peeled up in the same exact areas that the clear finish had. I kept sanding it back down and repainting and it would peel up again in a few months. Just in those same areas. I wondered if the original black coating had oil or creosote in it that I couldn’t get off. The areas looked like raw wood with no trace of anything when I sanded them back. I would clean it really good with denatured alcohol and then sometimes would seal it with shellac sealer before I painted it. A couple of times I even used stripper again on it to try and get any unknown product up. Didn’t help.
After a couple of years of this I painted it and when the paint was cured we pulled out the indoor/outdoor carpeting that the previous owners had put down on the porch that hid the bad paint. Not at all the effect I wanted. In fact, I’ve always disliked that carpeting on people’s porches and couldn’t wait to remove it when we moved in. I’m glad I saved it.
Fast forward to today. The porch floor is protected with the carpeting for now. Water doesn’t seem to get under it so the paint under the carpeting is fairing better than any exposed areas. The new porch steps need re-coating and touching up. The side bead-board needs touch up in the lower areas but really held up great until this year. I’ll do the touch up this summer and leave the porch floor alone because it is protected until I get to it.
I’m not sure why I didn’t try the clear deck products. Either they didn’t have good ones back then or there was some reason I didn’t think they would hold up. The clear stuff I used on my porch floor isn’t made anymore. The company is out of business or was bought out and the name changed. My neighbor just put on a clear waterproofing product on their new deck and it looks somewhat shiny and it doesn’t appear slippery as they walk on it when it’s wet. When I get caught up on all the other projects that need doing, I may try the new deck coatings to get back this look of a wood floor.