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How to Paint Fiberglass Porch Columns

Updated February 21, 2017

When painting your fibreglass porch columns, keep in mind these important points. Unlike wood, fibreglass is nonporous, leaving it unable to absorb the adhesives in paint. You must prepare the column, using abrasion techniques, or it will inevitably shed its new finish. In addition, because porch columns are located outdoors, they are exposed to varying temperatures, so use a paint that can expand and contract without cracking.

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Clean the fibreglass porch columns using a pressure washer equipped with a low-pressure tip. Wait two to four hours for the columns to dry.

Promote adhesion by abrading the fibreglass porch columns with sandpaper. Scour the columns until they feel slightly coarse.

Cover areas adjacent to the columns with professional painter's tape. Cover the porch with heavy-duty fabric dust sheets.

Coat the sanded fibreglass porch columns with acrylic latex primer, using a roller stocked with a nap cover. Use a paintbrush, manufactured for use with water-based latex, to apply primer to areas of the porch columns inaccessible to the roller. Wait three hours for the primed columns to dry.

Wash the roller and brush with water.

Coat the primed fibreglass porch columns with acrylic latex paint. Apply the paint as you did the primer. Wait two hours for the painted columns to dry. Add an additional coat if you can see the base primer showing through.

Tip

If you require a step ladder to access higher portions of the fibreglass porch columns, read the safety instructions on the side of the ladder before you climb it.

Warning

Never paint unabraded fibreglass porch columns, or the finish will fail. Never paint bare fibreglass columns, or the paint will peel. Do not use a latex paint on porch columns, or the finish may crack as temperatures fluctuate.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pressure washer
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Professional painter's tape
  • Heavy-duty fabric dust sheets
  • Acrylic latex primer
  • Roller frame
  • Nap roller cover
  • 2- to 4-inch latex paintbrush
  • Acrylic latex paint
  • Step ladder

About the Author

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.

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