Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Painting a House & Other Things I Get Myself Into

Painting and priming and scrapping, oh my.
My, oh my, oh my. Have you ever offered to help (your mom, your friend, your grandpa's dentist..) with a project out of the goodness of your heart and then when you jump in it takes WAAAAY more energy and time than you expected? That's where I'm living <sigh>.
 Earlier this spring my mom mentioned that her house needed painted but that it would cost between $2,000-$3,000 (if I recall correctly). Years ago in high school, I painted our small, one-story, ranch house and therefore figured I could save her the $$ and do it myself (Note to self: think it through for a week..or month..before volunteering next time). On the contrary, this is a two-story with a walk out basement (3 story in the back) and steep, downward sloping sides (not so great for stabilizing an extension ladder).

Ok, enough of the whining and complaining and on to the details. I painted the front with a brush and flat sponge combo. That was time intensive! However, it seemed easier considering all of the windows I would have needed to cover if using a sprayer (it may have been that I will still scared of using the sprayer at this point). After that I got smart and used the sprayer as mentioned in this post. My little brother even helped!

Now on to the trim. When they say the devil is in the details, they weren't kidding (who is 'they' by the way?). The windows and trim were in desperate need of attention. When you got up close they looked like this.
Oh yes, and do you see the overspray on the window? That's where I was lazy lax on covering the windows properly when using the sprayer. I have no patience for prep work. It's a terrible habit, but I would rather go back with a razor blade and scrape off the paint than take the time to cover it all perfectly.

Back to the scraping. In order to do it properly (and avoid re-doing it next year) you will need to be thorough and scrape until you remove all loose pieces. In some places it is likely that you will be down to bare wood. Now, and this is important, you will need to prime the areas with bare wood with an oil based, exterior primer. This will keep the moisture from the snow and rain out and protect the window from rotting. Replacing rotting wood is no fun (which we also have to do on some windows)!  The scraping alone will take several days, particularly if you have a tall house requiring an extension ladder. You will also need to allow the primer to dry for a day or two prior to applying the top coat.

Can you tell where I have scrapped/painted/primed and where I haven't?
 I must have been falling over when taking this one (sorry).
I know it's hard to see if you aren't close, but I have completed everything on the front except the two peaks and the trim under the gutters (which need cleaned first). Getting the ladder up to the peaks has proved challenging, particularly with the little red tree there.

So if I am absent for a few more weeks days, you know where I am (behind the house, working on the windows you can't see from the street). Don't mind all the 'stuff' laying around, waiting to be put away for the winter (a girl can only do so much), as well as Bill, the dog, sneaking in to the picture. Did you see him in the one above, too?
On the flip side, I am so thankful for the abnormally warm weather! It has been beautiful and has allowed me to work on the windows much longer than would normally be possible in Iowa this time of year.

I would love to know, have you ever volunteered for something that turned into a much bigger job than you expected?

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