Have an outdoor porch that needs a little spring clean up? Here’s our porch’s before and after and some simple tips on how to paint a porch.

disclosure: This post is sponsored by Wagner.

how to paint a porch

I wanted to start our front porch story here with our front porch at Christmastime.

And all that greenery? And the fact that it got dark at 5:00?

It made me so happy.

Because when people walked up to the house they didn’t really notice how much our porch needed to be painted. You couldn’t see all the porch wrinkles and lines and distressed surfaces because the greenery and the starlight covered them all up.

Maybe that’s why I left it looking like this until February and the neighbors started commenting.

And finally, one day we took all the greenery down.

And the porch?


That’s the rest of the story.

Here’s all the before and after and how to paint a porch with a happy ending.

how to paint a porch tips

how to paint a porch before

This is where we started.

This is what the porch looked like at the beginning of the week.



Good thing we were staying home.

Good thing we didn’t have any visitors.

Good thing the porch looks good from far away especially if you squint.

how to paint a porch columns before

Here are a few how to paint a porch questions before we get started:

Q: How do you prep before you start painting?

  • Remove any furniture and accessories from the porch
  • Power wash the porch.
  • Let dry
  • Caulk any areas that have gaps
  • Fill in any holes with wood putty
  • Cover all the surfaces before you start painting–especially if you are using a sprayer like we are
  • Tape around edges that you won’t be painting

Q: How much does it cost to paint a porch?

If you do it yourself, you only have the cost of the paint, caulk and the sprayer. If you hire it out to be painted it can be quite a bit more costly. When we priced it, it was between $2/$2.50 per square foot. That seemed too much for us, especially when we were able to paint it in two days (including prep time).

Q: How long does it take to paint a porch?

This really depends on the size of your porch. We didn’t need to paint the bricks because we tackled that last year, so it only involved painting the columns and the door surround and the ceiling. It took about 2 hours to prep everything. Then it took about two hours to paint the porch (it was so much easier because we used this sprayer). After we painted one coat, we decided that we needed a second coat which is why the project ended up taking two days. If you only had to paint one coat, you could potentially tackle it in a day.

Q: Do you need to prime the porch before painting?

Many outdoor porch paints come with a primer. Make sure to use a paint and primer in one to cut down on a step (especially if you were going from white to white like we were). You want to make sure you use a GOOD quality paint for this project to ensure that all your hard work painting lasts for more than one season.

how to paint a porch tips and ideas

How to paint a porch

How to paint a porch step 1: prep your surfaces

You want to start by power washing the porch. This will remove dirt and grime and prepare your surfaces for painting. Let your porch dry before continuing. You don’t want to paint wet wood. Next, caulk any areas that have gaps and fill in any holes with wood putty.

Next, cover all the surfaces before you start painting–especially if you are using a sprayer like we are and tape around edges that you won’t be painting.

how to paint a porch paint sprayer

2. Get your tools ready

Have you seen this new Wagner sprayer? The Flexio 5000. It’s the nicest one I’ve ever used. You can see it here.

If you are researching how to paint a porch, be sure and look at this sprayer. It’s perfect for porch projects like this. The sprayer is so lightweight because the motor is housed in the case on the ground. It has controls on the handle that lets you easily adjust the amount of spray that comes out of the sprayer at any one time and it paints a surface 12 times faster than a brush.

You can start with it adjusted to zero and then turn it up depending on the amount of spray that you need.

You can also adjust whether you want the spray to come out vertically or horizontally by turning the dial on the front of the sprayer.

It’s so easy to use, too.

You just fill up the container with paint and screw it into the paint sprayer.

No messy tubes or trying to connect with paint cans.

Just add paint and go.

how to paint a porch paint

Here’s how to add the paint to the sprayer.

You just fill up the container.

And attach the container back to the sprayer.

We used exterior paint from Sherwin-Williams to paint the porch.

It’s Sherwin-Williams Emerald Exterior Acrylic Latex paint and the color is SW 7006 Extra White.

3. Start painting

After you’ve prepped everything and added paint to your sprayer?

The rest is easy.

You just start spraying.

If you’ve followed this blog, you know this isn’t our first project with a paint sprayer.

You can see how we painted our fence here.

And our plastic garden shed here.

Here are a few paint sprayer tips we learned along the way.

  • Practice first–don’t start with your project
  • Instead, get a board and practice using the sprayer first
  • Keep your spraying distance even
  • Go slowly to ensure even coverage
  • Adjust the pressure on the sprayer to get a good spray pattern
  • Overlap your sprays
  • Keep the paint sprayer upright and parallel to the ground when using it

And now?

Here’s the after.

It looks similar from far away.

But up close?

Let’s look at the before and afters.












Just a little paint and a little elbow grease and it looks so different now.

If you are researching how to paint a porch, I cannot recommend this paint sprayer enough. Seriously. Not only did it cut down on the time for the project, it also created such a beautiful, smooth finish on the columns that looks so professional.

These columns are over 75 years old.

And when you have a few wrinkles and lines and distressed surfaces, you need all the help you can get.

The surface is so much better now.

And the porch?

And the people who painted it?

They all lived happily ever after.

PS For more painted projects, you can check out this collection I put together on Pinterest.

disclosure: this post was sponsored by Wagner.

All opinions are my own.

Please see my disclosure page for more information.

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  1. Image for Pam Pam

    It’s funny because the other day I looked at your post and thought you had repainted the steps on your porch. Instead, it was the white paint that was making your steps look freshly painted too! It looks lovely 💕

  2. Image for Connie Connie

    It’s looks great. So neat and fresh looking. My first thought after viewing and using the paint sprayer was - wouldn’t it be incredible if we could do that to our face. Lol. I know that sounds crazy, but when your looking at wrinkles, creases and brown spots, it would be nice to patch and spray and looked refresh. Lol.

  3. Image for Kris Kris

    I bet you smile every time you step out on that porch. Ours needs to be redone (including the steps). Maybe this summer. Seems like we will be around more to get to it! ;)

  4. Image for Nan, Odessa, DE Nan, Odessa, DE

    Does the paint you used have a primer? Do I use flat, semi-gloss, etc.? What size are your lanterns on the steps? Will you use solar lights in the lanterns? Any hints on buying lanterns for outside use? Thank you!

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Good questions!  1. I use semi-gloss paint on trim.2. The larger lanterns are 24" tall and the smaller ones are 18" tall.3. I plan on adding solar lights to them on a timer!4. I love shopping Walmart for lanterns---they have the best, most affordable selection. Hope this helps! karianne

  5. Image for Carol Karl Carol Karl

    This is exactly how I spent my weekend! Except ours was in way worse condition - it was 1970s brown!. I had to strip all the paint off and start from scratch. Your porch is so lovely. Sigh! One day, I'll own a gorgeous house like yours.

  6. Image for Tara @ Stilettos and Shiplap Tara @ Stilettos and Shiplap

    Your porch now looks as amazing as you! Loving the shoe mold you added to the base of the columns too. I’m working on a front patio refresh this week and I only hope it turns out half as nice as yours. I do need to invest in a sprayer one of these days......

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