After several frustrating attempts with any type of cleanser, I gave up on the prep work and just decided to go ahead and paint the damn stoop already. I guess this is just one cement slab that refuses to be debris- and dirt-free on any given day. So, I did my best to just sweep any loose dirt off of the surface and bring out the paint.
My advice if you’re looking to paint a small area: Lowe’s had small container options for porch and patio paint; Home Depot did not (they only had full gallons when I first went looking months ago; that could have changed). Experience has taught me on more than one occasion that gray with any blue in it will appear blue, and with a blue door, I could easily see this turning into a nightmare if I chose anything that wasn’t a true gray. Without testing anything at home first, I purchased a quart of the paint swatch with the least amount of blue: Valspar’s Weathered Concrete. It still looks a little bluish in these photos since I chose not to begin painting until just before the sun set on Sunday night.
I tried a sampling of it on Saturday just to make sure I would be happy painting the entire slab with it; after looking at it for a day, I thought: meh. I was kind of hoping for something a little darker, but believe it or not, most of the gray swatches in the floor paint deck were actually lighter (and bluer) than this. But it’s gray, which is a lot better than red, and for $11, I could apply the first coat Sunday night and be done by the following weekend. I was also sure to begin painting in the far corner and end by backing into the front door, which would allow the paint to dry overnight without impeding me from getting in and out of the house.
And after looking around the blogosphere a little, I think it will work out just fine. I think it will look even better with a small chair in the corner, painted and decorated for fall (or any holiday that it happens to be by the time I ultimately finish this project). So next question: if you were a chair in the corner, what color would you want to be?
Update: What if, instead of a chair, I built something like this? Or just the bench part? Now my builder brain is getting my eye all twitchy. Haven’t built anything in a while and I’m starting to feel withdrawal.