Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It was a really hot day...

I finally started priming the house today!! I picked up primer at Sherwin Williams that would fill in all the cracks in the old paint job. There was a little more prep work to do on the front and back. After a few hours I started painting.

Bad news - It was super hot today.
Good news - I got a little bit of a tan and hopefully burned a few calories!

The primer looks good, although you can still see some of the "alligatoring" from the previous paint when up close. It looks great from the street though. I can't wait to see what it will look like with some color! We've been staring at the white for so long. We decided to go with a Valspar color from Lowes (Woodlawn Juniper). We will get the color matched at Sherwin Williams.

Tomorrow I will start priming again and hopefully get all the low parts of the house - I would rather not get on a 32 foot ladder like Matt and Adam!

I decided to save all detail work (windows, doors, etc) for last. Can you tell?

Top part is too far to reach on a "normal" ladder - therefore I won't be doing it.

Left side (primed) - right side (not primed) - obviously :)

Our adorable pup admiring the new paint job - door still crappy looking though!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"Did you eat a lot of paint chips as a child?"

"(giggle) No, why?"

Alright, enough Tommy Boy references. Let's get down to business...

After a day of dry time, we got to work on the wood siding of the house again.

We had a friendly bet going about how much of the "alligatoring" paint the power washer would remove and how much additional hand-scraping would be required to get everything ready.

The East side of the house, post-power washing/pre-scraping.

The good news: I won the bet. Three-thousand PSI of water pressure isn't nearly enough to break away 40+ years of brittle oil-based paint.

The bad news: We need to scrape the entire exterior by hand.

One of the many trim boards being scraped with a 5-in-1 scraper.

It was easy to tell that the house was (at some point) painted with an oil-based paint and/or primer because the paint simply flakes off in bits and pieces. Had it been an acrylic-based paint, the chips would bend or flex before breaking. In some areas, the paint peels right down to the bare wood. In other spots, it still maintains a remarkably strong bond.

Exposure to the elements definitely makes a significant impact on certain areas of the house. The South (or back) side of the house receives the most sun throughout the days, and it shows. The only parts that didn't need too much attention were the areas directly under the soffit (roof line).

All of the trim around the windows and doors were in especially rough shape. I have a feeling this was due to a few factors:
  1. the wood used on the trim had a smoother finish than the rough-cut siding, giving the paint less surface area to hold onto
  2. these surfaces were not properly prepped/primed before the paint was applied

The side door after 30 minutes of sanding.

The East side of the house after scraping.

After spending most of the day Friday and Saturday scraping and sanding, our sore bodies begged us for a day off - and we complied. We did manage to remove the outer veranda doors from the front of the house that had been painted shut. Now we need to find a local refinisher to help us strip the paint off them so we can put a really nice finish coat on them before the end of the summer.

Exterior paint color reveal - COMING SOON...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Water + Pressure = Clean Siding

This week we got a kick in the pants from my brother, Adam, who volunteered to help us with the exterior of the house. Adam used to run a painting business during the summer, so we were excited to get the extra help since he clearly knows what it takes to get the job done right.

So I made a few calls, lined up a 32' ladder and a moving van, rented a power washer, and we were off and running.

Thirty-two foot ladders are much longer than one might expect.

We didn't have a ladder rack to use, so we elevated the 32-footer using a step stool and a LOT of bungee cords.

Once the ladders and equipment were in place, the weather decided to take a turn for the worse. What had been a warm, dry start to the week quickly changed to cold, wet, and dreary. The cold water from the faucet mixed with the falling temperatures made for a long and difficult process.

Nevertheless, Adam got to work power washing all of the siding, soffits, and fascia. Because the house hadn't been washed in years (probably decades), loose dirt and paint poured off the walls in sheets. Here he is on the fully-extended ladder stretching into the neighbor's yard, and a home-made poncho fashioned from an over-sized trash bag.