Things You'll Need
Electric drill with paddle bit
#30 silica sand
Pea gravel mixed with epoxy creates a strong durable flooring material that you can spread over your front porch for an attractive change in the porch's appearance. The gravel, which comes in a variety of colors, sits on the surface of the porch, held in a binder of epoxy that helps the gravel lay smooth and level. Application is quick, consisting primarily of mixing gravel with the epoxy then spreading it within a wooden form atop the surface of the porch. The epoxy quickly cures, leaving you with a new surface that can last decades with proper maintenance.
Wash any dirt or debris from the surface of the porch with a power washer. Start at one side of the porch and work your way to the other using a sweeping motion with the nozzle of the washer to clear the surface.
Remove any trim from the base of the side of the house facing the porch if present. Use a pry bar to force the trim from the wall at the locations of the nails until the trim is free. Remove the door jamb for replacement with one that matches the new height of the porch surface after application.
Create a frame surrounding the porch surface using 2-by-4 planks. Measure the length and width of the porch with a tape measure and then cut the planks to fit the porch perimeter. Join the planks together into a frame using deck screws, then place the frame around the porch with about 1-inch of the frame rising from the porch surface. Secure the frame in place by driving wooden stakes into the ground surrounding the frame with a hammer, then nailing the stakes to the frame so that the frame remains level.
Spread a layer of epoxy primer over the porch surface using a paint roller. Allow the primer to dry for two hours before proceeding.
Pour a large pile of pea gravel onto the porch surface. Use the measurements for your porch multiplying porch length by width to determine the amount of pebbles and epoxy necessary for coverage. Use 200 lbs. of pebbles for every 50 square feet of porch surface needing coverage, adjusting the amount as needed.
Mix two-part epoxy in a medium bucket, using about 1 1/2 gallons of the epoxy per 200 lbs. of pebbles. Adjust the amount by porch size as with the pebbles. Use an electric drill with a paddle bit to mix the epoxy components together, using the mixing ratios provided by the component manufacturer.
Pour the epoxy onto the pea gravel and mix the two materials using a shovel until you've covered all of the pebbles with the epoxy mix.
Spread the pebbles over the porch surface, filling the form to a height of about 1/2 inch using a rake. Switch the rake for a trowel and smooth the surface of the pebbles with the trowel, leveling the pebbles in the process.
Toss handfuls of #30 silica sand over the pebbles lightly to create a non-skid surface then allow the epoxy surface 24 hours to dry.
Remove the stakes and then dismantle and remove the form to complete the application process. Replace the trim at the new floor level alongside the house. Replace the door jamb with a shorter one as well, to match the new height of the porch.
Larry Simmons is a freelance writer and expert in the fusion of computer technology and business. He has a B.S. in economics, an M.S. in information systems, an M.S. in communications technology, as well as significant work towards an M.B.A. in finance. He's published several hundred articles with Demand Studios.