Asked on Aug 09, 2013

Stripping paint from large porch floor

Debbie Machmer
by Debbie Machmer
My front porch is large and has mega multiple layers of paint. I am scraping the loose paint and using a heat gun. This is a daunting task and taking forever. Is there a method I am unaware of for removal? My goal is to get the paint off and put linseed oil more painted floor! Appreciate any tips.
  12 answers
  • Gabriel D Gabriel D on Aug 09, 2013
    Depending on the paint you can rent or buy a paint heating gun which is alot hotter than a blow dryer which softens the old paint and allows easy scraping. The final would need sanding to bring back to fresh wood. Another alternative to linseed oil would be stain either solid or semi transparent. The thing with linseed oil I have found is it's pretty hard to cover up once its slapped on as it goes deep into the wood and sweats in the sun.
    • Debbie Machmer Debbie Machmer on Aug 09, 2013
      @Gabriel D I am using a heat gun...still a verrry long process. Thank you for the tip re: linseed, I can already see what you mean about it sweating. All the shake shingles have been linseeded...years ago. It does have that appearance. I thought it was sloppy application...the drips at the bottom of each shingle. I just want some kind of sealer...not color. Getting to the wood is looking like impossible! The area close to the front is easy, it is the area well protected that is giving me grief.
  • Gabriel D Gabriel D on Aug 09, 2013
    I hear you. Any chance replacing the wood or putting down k- vinyl covering? My landlord just had his deck done and it looks amazing. Pretty much a 25 year survival installment. Virtually untearable and you can get several colour combinations in speckled or a houndtooth pattern.
  • You could always try an environmentally safe gel paint remover. Or as I have done in the past with my deck~flip the boards over and they are usually like new on the bottom side. That is a thought. Removing paint is a real bear and one good way to look at it~you are sweating off a big piece of chocolate cake!
  • If your porch is old. Please do not use a heat gun. It is very likely that the paint contains lead and heating it gives off some really bad fumes that you do not want to breath. Your best bet is to use paint stripper. There are lots of great brands that use water to wash up with. A good soaking and perhaps cover with plastic so it does not dry out as fast, some time and a good scraper with a bucket to put the gunk in is the best method of doing the majority of the work. Once removed a good sanding and you should be good to go.
  • Debbie Machmer Debbie Machmer on Aug 09, 2013
    I've considered that, but figured since this was an outdoor project there would be plenty of ventilation. I know the top several layers are not lead based however, it is the old paint that is difficult to get up. I will need a 55 gallon drum of stripper!!!
  • Debbie Machmer Debbie Machmer on Aug 09, 2013
    @Gabriel, precious little chance :) I want the old wood, has character! I'm not much for making any changes to original work. I have absolutely no counter space in the kitchen, not willing to sacrifice the old floor to ceiling cupboards. Was just hoping to discover an easier technique for paint removal of this magnitude. This could be a 5 year project at this rate :)
  • Another method of doing this is to use a floor sander on the deck. This will remove a ton of paint in short order. Just use care and take your time.
  • Spheramid Enterprises Spheramid Enterprises on Aug 10, 2013
    You are doing the fastest and best way. I once did a house that similar on the cornice and every bot of wood. I made a scraper from a garden trowel for crown molding, and used shave hooks for the rest. Shave hooks are THE best for what you are doing, Yes, it's slow.
  • Debbie Machmer Debbie Machmer on Aug 10, 2013
    @Woodbridge Environmental Are you talking about the big drum sander? I tried to use one once....they're not easy to manuver. What grit paper do you suggest? The heaviest I've found for my orbital sander is 60. I would be willing to try that just to get this done!
  • Drum sander is one method, they make large four motor orbital floor sanding machines now. Much easier to use and work much better for softer pine flooring and in your case deck. As far as grit, this would depend upon how thick the paint is, how soft it is related to plugging paper and how careful you are not to dig into the surface of the wood. You can use a hand held machine, but that is not going to be much faster then using chemical stripping method and can be just as bad for your health as if your using a heat gun with the lead paint fumes. One thing you need to understand, there is no magic method that will do this project easy. They all have their benefits and draw backs. The trick is to pick a method that works best for you and your energy level. While stripping the finish may be easy for some folks, I prefer the machine method of paint removal. Then there are others that would rather simply use a good quality scraper to remove. Its all personal preference. So pick something you think you will be able to stick with for the long haul and have at it. Just work safely.
  • Susan Sheroan Susan Sheroan on Jun 09, 2018

    Is there any other ways to get paint off of a conceret porch.beside using a scraper,or a wire brush?