We've been unable to get porch & deck enamel paint to not peal, so we are thinking of demolishing it for a rebuild of some or another design.

Last paint job was ~5 years ago. Scraped off all the loose paint, then used a wire cup on an angle grinder to give it some tooth. Maybe use TSP. Maybe did some random orbital sanding to feather the edges. This revealed only previous layers of paint, not any bare cement. It also revealed some more flakes, so repeated. Paint lasted for a year or two before starting to peal again.

But this is not a question about how to paint a cement porch in the PNW. But for those that want to respond along those lines, the front of the house faces south, and the stoop receives direct sun from mid-morning on (no shade). It bakes!

The pealing paint is not the only reason.

For example, if it is hollow under the stoop, I might drill two 1"-1.5" holes in the walls to seasonally route a garden hose from the spicket side to the other side, rather than tunnel a length of 2" PVC under the sidewalk.

At the front door of our 1940's home with a crawlspace there is a 15" x 5' x 7' cement front porch / stoop, with a 7" x 16" x 48" initial step and a 30" wide cement sidewalk leading up to it from the easement. Dimensions measured, but approximate. Some or all of that could be from the 40's as well. How was front stoop constructed?

The 5'x7' portion overhangs it's base by 2", so it has the basic appearance of a being a single slab, 4" thick, resting on top of 11" high (above grade) walls. Looking at the bottom side of the 2" overhang, the joint at the walls shows exposed river-rock, as if the cement used the river rock as aggregate.

How was the stoop constructed? is it structurally separate from the house's cement foundation walls? or tied in with rebar? or just poured at the same time? Is it solid cement underneath the slab? back-filled? hollow? is the step a solid 7x16x48 cement block? Does the step have a footing? is there rebar in any of it? etc ...

  • 2
    How about a picture or two so we can see what you see. Are you using a paint for concrete/cement? Seems drastic to remove it because paint won't stick.
    – JACK
    Jun 15, 2023 at 17:57
  • 1
    How are you preparing the porch before painting? Painting preparation is 90% of getting paint to last. Just slapping paint on is guaranteed to have paint peel fast.
    – crip659
    Jun 15, 2023 at 17:57
  • edited Q with more info
    – User292177
    Jun 15, 2023 at 19:05
  • 1
    There is no way at all for us to know how your porch was constructed, especially without any pictures of it...
    – FreeMan
    Jun 20, 2023 at 16:31

3 Answers 3


It would be helpful to tell us where you are on the planet, as construction techniques vary by region.

What you describe is a typical slab on block or formed concrete base.

It is most likely just sitting on the base with no rebar attaching it to the house. Most likely, it was not poured with the foundation.

Those old 40s homes had wooden front steps, landings or porches and often when they rotted they were replaced with concrete.

That said you could have something different. We do not know the history of your particular home. What is known is that concrete can be painted/ stained with the correct prep.

What is the correct prep? That depends on what condition your concrete is in. What is on it now. Paint? What type of paint? How old? Is there constant dampness or other conditions? You need to answer more question to get proper info.


You can consult professional painters to do the prep and get the job done. They will then have to warrantee the job for at least some time.

The same can be said for a company to apply an epoxy surface. Much longer lasting.

Good Luck


The only way to know what the structure was is to start demolishing it and see what you find. Or drill some holes without considering them the start of demolishing and stick in a small camera + light and see what you can see.

Best odds are that it's a block (CMU) wall with rubble fill (that may have settled by now) and the slab on top, adjacent to but not tied into the house foundation. But that's merely the best odds, and sometimes old houses have things that run against the odds, because the people that built them didn't choose to do things the usual way. Could be a poured concrete wall rather than block.


Grind it all off. Seal it with a moisture primer, corro shield is a good one. We install stains, flake floor, excellent for outside, and epoxies which are much longer lasting with proper prep. Use a UV stable topcoat so the sun won't yellow it. Latex will always peel off.

  • Hi Kathey, the OP specifically said But this is not a question about how to paint a cement porch in the PNW. Feb 3 at 5:00

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