Old House, New True Mahogany Deck, What Finish?

farmgirlinkyOctober 25, 2011

Have there been recent favorite alternatives to painting a porch, being rebuilt on a 100-year-old house? How long might the porch floor last if we just let it weather naturally (in Connecticut, southern exposure)? If we treat the floor, what finish has worked best for folks recently? We're coming up on a decision point, and I'm in a quandary. One thought would be to 1) paint the railings, and let the floor weather. 2) Another choice would be paint the railings, and put some sort of oil or sealer on the floor to preserve the color of the Honduran mahogany. 3) Another choice is to oil the whole shebang, but that seems not to integrate so well with a turn-of-the-century house. Knowing that my husband and I can let some years slip by without thinking of treating a porch floor, what would you recommend? Like everyone else, we would like a less labor-intensive solution. If it were you, what would you do?


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collins design

I'm going to let mine weather to a silver grey, but that suits the character of my house (1956 house renovated sort of coastal/cottage/craftsman.) I'm using mangaris (red balau) which is somewhat similar to your Honduran mahogany, I think. I didn't want that new/stained deck look.

For what it's worth, there was a recent high-end renovation of a Victorian down the road, and they chose to leave the (local fir) decking untreated. It looks funny right now- much too dark and bright to my eye, on a period home, but they builder told me he just couldn't bear to do the historically correct thing and paint over that beautiful wood :)

Pics of that house:

    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 5:14PM
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Staceyneil, thanks for those photographs and your thoughts. Since my original post we've gone back and forth and finally decided on the following plans: we'll let the mahogany porch floor weather (silver over time). We'll paint the railings on the porch and balcony, to tie these to the 1910 house. There is a mahogany bench that we will keep stained with Sikkens -- shouldn't be too hard to keep up with that job annually, which is what the man doing the millwork recommends. I agree with you that the natural/stained finish on the Victorian house seems jarring. We'll see how that goes, and I'll post a photograph next summer.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 9:45PM
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