Saturday, June 9, 2012

Porch Beautification with Thompsons Water Seal

Our house has a pretty awesome front porch. It spans the whole width of the house, and gives us a great view of the street.  In our neighborhood we tend to spend alot of time talking to neighbors on porches...esp since our house doesn't have AC...the breeze out there feels great at night.

The only problem? Our porch was UGLY.

It looked old, dirty and tired. However, in a house built in 1890 it was really low on the list of projects to tackle (yay for having plaster that cracks off the wall at random times!). So imagine my delight when I checked my email one day to see an offer from Thomposons WaterSeal to review some of their products.  Looks like the old porch just got a violent shove to the front of the to-do list.

After talking with Karla- who was the sweetest lady ever- she let us know that before we stained we would need to use the Heavy Duty Deck Cleaner to get rid of the gunk before applying the new stain.

This stuff is pure awesome in a jug. No lie.
All we had to do was put it on with a rag, let it sit for 15 minutes then power wash it off.  Seriously, it made the wood like new again.
Doesn't he look good with a power washer?
It took us a total of about 3 hours to clean the whole porch and the adjoining fence, which is a pretty big job.  After it dried, you could totally see the difference.  We let it dry for a full 24 hours before getting to work with the stain.
Holy cow- its clean!
The instructions said to thoroughly spray down any plants this product may come in contact with before you start, cover them to protect from over spray, then spray them again after you finish. We sprayed before and after, but didn't cover them...hubs claims that was my job, and I forgot. It didn't really matter though, because they turned out just fine.  Beneath our porch in the flower beds we have hydrangeas, lilies and roses and not one was harmed by any chemicals in the product.  
We used the Thompsons WaterSeal Deck and House Latex Semi Transparent Waterproofing Stain, which we had tinted at Sherwin Williams to a color called Banyan Brown.
While at the store we asked the guy working the counter which brush would be the best, and he suggested this guy.
The brush is super thick, and made the stain go on super easy. Once we had all of the tools, then it was time to paint. I have used other stains in the past, and with this one I must say it was SO easy to maintain a solid color.  No blotchy spots to be found, it glided on so super smooth and thick. We had absolutely NO problems with puddles or drips, and I'm a horrible painter so that in itself was a small miracle.  Although I did have a *minor* freak out moment.  I had labored over the color choice for days, and when we started to paint I noticed that the color did not look like it was supposed to.  Then my hubs pointed out that as it dried it turned into the color it was supposed to be- just like latex paint, it changed as it dried.  Once it dried it looked perfect. (You can see my complementary brown color on the side back there- sneak peak of the porch saga part 2!)
All told it took maybe three hours to paint, mostly because of all of the spindles on the railings. Within an hour of it being done, five of our neighbors walked up to see it- because it made such a difference from the street view.

Seriously, it was so easy to do.  I hate painting with a passion, but this was so quick and easy.  The porch measures 30 feet by 8 feet, plus the fence and railings.  Total of work time was maybe six hours- which is nothing when you consider it looks like a brand new porch.  Now the when it rains you can see the water bead up, which lets us know the wood is truly protected- not just painted.  That's really a relief, because in a climate where it rains and snows a fair amount we're no longer worried that it is going to rot and need replaced in a few years.  Plus, with the stain being semi transparent you can actually see the wood grain- which I love.

Clean up was so simple, it was just soap and water.  Typically stains are horrendous to clean up after, because you need a chemical solvent- but not this time.  The paint brush and paint cup were clean and set out to dry in less than 10 minutes.

I'm so super grateful to Thompsons for sending us this amazing product- the hubs has already gone out to buy more to stain our back fence to match.  Plus the neighbors a few doors down have decided that they will be re staining their porch as well.  If you are thinking about re-staining or staining any wood product, I HIGHLY recommend these two products. I know that after using them I will never use anything but Thompsons products for staining again- they made the process so easy and user friendly.
Next up is to paint that u-g-l-y green that is chipping off and get some new porch furniture out there! Even the hubs is excited to get it finished...and that never happens! 


  1. (I need a really good auto correct... first post was a mess!!)

    Do you have any pics of your whole house outside?

    I LUV old houses and your porch is just to die for. It's just screaming for a woven and/or slat rocking chair (or two).

    My mother weathers her outdoor furniture using a dark gray stain and light brushstrokes of her favorite paint color. The she seals it. Really beautiful.

    I found you on Pinterest, by the way, and love your blog!!!

  2. What a great project and I bet it looks awesome. You should be proud of yourself :-)


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