Do not paint your porch white!

Real Estate Sales Representative with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Do not paint your porch white, it will get dingy looking in a couple of years here in Massachusetts. Rain, snow, sun, then rain again, ice melting and building up and melting again - it all takes its toll, especially since we are talking about horizontal surfaces.

Now, a house painted white is  a different story. It stays looking good much longer than the porch...

Better thing to do is staining the porch with a dark stain of your choice. If you really prefer the paint, you can do so, but use a dark color as well. Dark paint is more forgiving when showing wear and tear, it also seems to be easier to repaint.

Here are pictures of a porch painted white, after 2 years in MA weather:

white porch massachusetts


porch massachusetts home       porch close up



Posted by

Anna Glebova


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Comments (14)

Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady!
Keller Williams Realty Boise - Nampa, ID

Good Advice for sure!   It looks so good when it is freshly painted but not so good later on!!! 

May 27, 2011 01:52 PM
David Spencer
Keller Williams Northland - Kansas City, MO
Show Me real estate in Kansas City

Don't you know that porches do not ake care of themselves, unless they are plastic and you wash them down frequently. Proper care is to pressure wash, seal and restain/paint every 2 years.

You probably thought they took care of themselves. You probably need a handyman on a retainer.

May 27, 2011 02:53 PM
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

That's a good idea. Grey would look nice but white would never stay.

May 27, 2011 03:13 PM
Kwee Huset
Kwee Huset Realty - Venice, FL
Venice Florida Homes For Sale

Hi Anna, most of the residents in our area just leave it with the natural color.

May 27, 2011 03:58 PM
Anna Tolstoy
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Natick, MA

Deborah, yep, the nice fresh look disappears too quickly...

David, yes, even if the porch is stained in a dark color it needs touch ups and new paint jobs. It needs cleaning and TLC regardless of paint color used. But white color will make all the imperfections much more obvious. 

Brian, white just does not want to stay put :)

Kwee, natural looks great IMHO

May 27, 2011 04:41 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Anna - Thank you for the detailed quality information on don't paint the porch white.

May 27, 2011 05:00 PM
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Of course, if you are planning to sell the house THIS year, go ahead and paint it white. Your freshly-painted porch will stand out from the rest of the neighborhood.

May 28, 2011 02:04 AM
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Anna, you are absolutely right about the color. Not many people think about down the road and think it will stay the same.

May 29, 2011 06:27 AM
Sandi Gerrard
Toronto, ON

Well that old porch sure didn't stand the test of time !

I just love a white porch (freshly painted) when paired with a sky blue ceiling.  Have a look at this BEAUTY

May 29, 2011 10:39 PM
Janet Jones
Just Your Style Interiors, LLC - Kihei, HI
Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

I love white porches--and having said that I will edit it to add--in the deep south.  Given your photos it certainly does not seem to make sense in your climate. 

May 30, 2011 12:49 AM
Anna Tolstoy
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Natick, MA

John, I wish it wsn't white...

Valerie, yes, grey, or dark brown... I guess at this point it's all about taking a plunge and sanding it down.

Liz, yes and no. Some buyers cringe when they see a white porch, because they are either very familiar with what happens rather soon, or they don't like the look as they are used to brown / natural toned porches. I heard people even say "who in his/her right mind would EVER paint their porch white". Besides, the porch is often in the back of the house, so doesn't necessarily add to the awe of first impression moments and curb appeal.

Sandi Nichols, absolutely. And what is sad - you need to redo all your hard work quite soon, whereas with a  dark colored porch you save on labor

Sandi Gerrard, it does look very pretty.

Janet, yes, that's a good point - South seems to be more forgiving, and lots of sun is probably bleaching the white and the color is holding up better in the long run.  Of course it also depends on how well the painting job was done.

May 30, 2011 02:15 AM
Jim Watzlawick
Watz Home Inspections - Algonquin, IL
Watz Home Inspections

I painted my porch grey, it does not show the dirt as much. Bur since it is a high traffic area I still need to repaint it every year.

May 30, 2011 04:50 AM
Anna Tolstoy
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Natick, MA

Jim, grey is a great idea. Our last landlord was the porch master, or so it seems. He painted the porch every 4 years, and cleaned it twice a year (spring / fall usually) with soap and water, or some type of cleaner, but with a broom, he never power washed. He painted it reddish brown... I wonder if this is a winning recipe?

May 30, 2011 07:55 AM