Return to the Old House Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Douglas Fir porch going in--paint only or prime first???

Posted by sarahandbray (My Page) on
Fri, May 17, 13 at 12:20

We already have everything needed for our contractor to start replacing our old front porch with new Douglas Fir floorboards. I've gathered from many sources that it should be primed all the way with oil-based primer around before installation, and then two coats of the appropriate porch paint.

But now, over on the painting forum, I've read that they don't recommend priming--just the porch paint because the primer doesn't harden enough? Or something like that?

Must find out before the weekend as I need to start either painting or priming all decking materials before install begins next week. I haven't had too much luck at our local Sherwin-Williams or Ben Moore dealers with their "expertise" in the past.

Any help here? We know we're painting the porch--not staining--so any paint color and brand recommendations are greatly appreciated.Thinking a medium, battleship gray color.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Douglas Fir porch going in--paint only or prime first???

I would not leave any unfinished wood, to minimize the warping and cupping.

Instead of a primer, paint all sides of the boards before they are laid, then paint the top with another coat or two.

RE: Douglas Fir porch going in--paint only or prime first???

The paint forum guys say to dilute the porch paint with a little water and use that as the primer. The clerk at my Ben Moore store told me the same thing. I used Ben Moore porch paint. It's been less than a year, but so far so good.

Get a test sample of the paint before you buy the gallon. Medium gray is likely to look a lot lighter outside than you may think.

RE: Douglas Fir porch going in--paint only or prime first???

Last few porch floors (mahogany) we have been back-priming with clear wood preservative that is a water-repellent and fungicidal. Can't recall the brand; it likely is killing brain cells too.
Acrylic paint is not particularly water-repellent, and if it has been thinned down so it does not form a real film, then worse?

RE: Douglas Fir porch going in--paint only or prime first???

Any thoughts on soaking wood in borates beforehand for longevity of he wood?? Just started reading about it and I'm a bit fascinated...

RE: Douglas Fir porch going in--paint only or prime first???

I'd do a shellac based exterior grade primer. And then a coat of the paint. On all sides of the uninstalled boards. Then do a second coat on the installed surface. A good primer's job is to seal and to provide grip for the topcoat. A topcoat simply doesn't have the grip needed to stick long term to wood exposed to exterior conditions without the wood being primed first.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Old House Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here