| 1) Roughing up the surface before repainting (of course).
And wash, with very hot TSP solution, or non-sudsing
ammoniaif you can't get TSP -- something without soap
| 2) Using a shellac-based primer for areas that are very worn and that need
Never use shellac outside. And even inside it's mainly
used for sealing. For adhesion you want a penetrating
primer, preferably with linseed oil if it's exterior.
| 3) Consider using an alkyd or oil-based paint instead of latex enamel for
| possible better wear (they downplayed that idea, but am interested in that
| option since latex based enamel doesn't seem to do very well in my
| I would be interested in knowing what others think about that last
| using alkyd or oil-based paint instead of latex enamel porch and floor
I would never use latex/acrylic outside on horizontal
surfaces. It simply doesn't resist water. It's also soft
and tends to peel in a film. I avoid latex for anything but
walls and siding stain. But the options are limited
The whole issue has become a big problem. Good quality
oil paints are being phased out faster than the technology
can keep up.
I used to use urethane reinforced oil-base deck paint
for steps and decks. I also used oil paint for trim and siding.
In the 80s they came out with oil-base "stain", which will
mostly wear off rather than peeling. So I switched to that
where I could. It saves a lot of scraping down the line.
Solid oil-base deck stains were also pretty good. That's what
I have on my deck now. They don't last as long as paint,
but they're easy to re-apply, while urethane reinforced paint
is very hard to scrape.
More recently solid oil-based stains and deck stains are
being phased out. The latex solid stains, while good enough
for siding, are useless on steps and decks. They just wear
away within a year. So there isn't any ideal solution. On
my deck I'll probably try to hunt down another gallon of
Cabot's solid oil deck stain for the next coat. After that?
I'll be tempted to try some new "high-tech" solution like
the new Sherwin Williams deck products. The problem with
those, though, is that they're simply unproven. I can't afford
to have people calling me back on jobs because their deck
paint slid off the deck in a sheet and landed in the driveway.
(I actually remember a case like that in an article in
Fine Homebuilding back in the 90s. California had set new
paint regulations. A contractor used the new paint on a
bathroom wall. The customer called back a few days later
to say the paint had fallen off. The contractor assumed
they meant it was peeling. But no, it was sitting on the
floor like a length of curled-up wallpaper. :) Current paint
technology is not much better than that. Acrylic paints
are better than ever, but they're not *good* in the ways
that oil paint was good. Meanwhile, the oil paints still
available have mostly been downgraded -- thinner and
softer than the older versions.
The entire building industry is faced with changes that
are just happening too fast and may not all be good.
Remember sprayed polyurethane insulation? It was the cat's
pajamas 20-30 years ago for filling attic areas. Then it turned
out the stuff gave off formaldehyde. When I come across it now
there's also another problem: With age it gradually breaks
down into a pile of very fine, choking dust. Yet spray insulation
is the new must-have approach for new building. Will it work
out? There's no way to know. Even if it turns out OK, I wonder
about electricians trying to snake new wires later, in a house
where every gap inside the wall has been filled with hard foam.
If I were building a deck for myself now I'd probably test-try
the new Sherwin Williams product. If I had a more finished
porch, with a roof, I might use the urethane-reinforced oil
paint. I couldn't recommend anything else. But with that paint
you may be cursing 10-15 years later, when your steps or
porch look like a relief map of different scraped layers.