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Checkerboard Patio or Porch

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Simple yet sophisticated, painted checkerboard patio or porch floors have been popular since the eighteenth century, when homeowners sought an inexpensive way to imitate the marble floors of classical buildings. Use this simple porch paint idea to add to add character and an illusion of space to your outdoor living area.

Step 1 - Choose your style
Unless you're going for a busy effect, select colors that are close in tone—one lighter, the other darker—and keep the diamonds fairly large. For this example project, we used one-foot squares.

Step 2 - Prepare your floor surface
Prepare the wood by washing it with a TSP (trisodium phosphate) and water solution or Benjamin Moore Cleaner (315). After allowing it to dry, sand the floor lightly with a fine sandpaper and use a tack cloth to wipe it free of dust.

Step 3 - Prime and paint the lighter color
Prime and paint the lighter of your two colors over the entire porch floor. Use Benjamin Moore Porch and Floor paint with a reinforced finish designed for floors.

To create a more non-slip surface, adding a small amount of fine sand to the paint will provide better traction. Get specific information on this patio paint idea from your local Benjamin Moore retailer.

Step 4 - Draw in the checkerboard pattern
Once the first coat has dried, use chalk to create a line lengthwise down the center of your porch. Center your measurements and your pattern on this line, marking one-foot intervals across the width and along the sides of the porch.

Use the chalk line to snap lines between them, creating a diamond pattern (shown at right). Take your time measuring the squares and taping them off to ensure the best results.

Step 5 - Paint the checkerboard
Tape off the outside edges to every other row of diamonds across your porch. Apply two coats of your second color inside the diamonds, and remove the painter's tape while the paint is still wet.

Note: Excerpted from Benjamin Moore Exterior Style. For more unique patio ideas you can purchase the book online or at your local Benjamin Moore retailer

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