The Exterior House Painting Diaries: Part 1

House painting.  Exterior house painting to be exact.  That’s the topic of tonight’s blog post.  When we moved to our Vermont country home (aka #campbellcompound #circa 1781 ) we knew one of the projects we needed to tackle this summer was scraping and painting the exterior of this bad boy.  No big deal, right?  A couple weekends of painting and we got this 2,400 square foot, giant old colonial doused in paint flake-er-ie licked.  Oh silly, naive, Angie.  So summer is almost over (noooooooo!) and here’s the extent of our painting progress.  Welcome to our house painting diaries.

Exterior House Painting In Progress

June 11, 2015 at 0800 hours:  Hmmm…summer is officially here, we’re reasonably moved in, maybe it’s time we start painting the house?  Oh, we got PLENTY of time.  Let’s wait a bit and set up the new hutch instead.

June 30, 2015 at 1900 hours:  Perhaps we should start thinking about painting the house?  But oh what color shall we paint it?!  Pinterest boards were consulted and a white/green Benjamin Moore color combo was picked out.

I swear by Benjamin Moore paint.  Random side note.  At our first house we painted the exterior immediately upon moving in.  Two coats with the cheapest exterior paint Lowe’s sold.  Four years later, it was like we never painted it and had to do it all over again.  Now we use the good stuff.  The kind with a 25 year warranty because nobody’s got time for that!  Yes, we pay more at about $50 a gallon but in the long run it’s cheaper and saves us tons of time.

July 2, 2015 at 0700 hours:  Enthusiasm is at an all time high.  The troops are ready to go into scraping battle.  Exterior storm doors have been removed all in the name of revealing the beautiful old wood doors.

Old wood doors either need a storm door to protect it from rotting away in the rain OR they need a ridiculous amount of paint to protect it.  I promised Colby I would paint the wood door every summer if we could just remove the storm door.  He caved.  Point for Angie.

Removing Storm Doors

July 2, 2015 at 0800 hours:  Where did all our painting supplies go?  In a box….somewhere.  Le sigh.  Mount boxmore is still looming, the shop is still in shambles, the scraping tools are nowhere to be found, and Goose is chasing groundhogs in the back meadow.  Necessary run to the Home Depot for a wood scraper and scraping brush (scrub brush style).  An even more necessary stop at the ice cream stand across the parking lot from Home Depot.  Whoever thought of putting an ice cream stand in a Home Depot parking lot…genius.

Exterior House Painting Scraping Tools

July 2, 2015 at 1100 hours:  Let the scraping/painting mission begin.  Enthusiasm slightly down but that soft serve vanilla ice cream cone with rainbow sprinkles certainly helped.  Adamant the house exterior around the patio will get painted today.

July 2, 2015 at 1300 hours:  The scraping progresses, I need a beer.  Or two.  Ladders and beer mix, right?  Maybe if I down a hot dog with the beer I will be less likely to fall off the ladder.  Who’s idea was it to scrape and paint the house?  Oh right…mine.

When clapboard scraping, I like to give all the boards a nice, aggressive scraping with the metal scraper.  It just flakes everything off with ease.  After I feel like the loose paint has come off I go over all the siding with the metal brush.  The brush not only helps scrape off errant paint chips flakes but also helps clean the siding of any dirt, grass, and spider webs before painting.  I don’t worry about getting a completely smooth, scraped board.  It’s an old house, a big old house, so you won’t catch me obsessively scraping/sanding the whole thing down to bare wood.  I dig chippy looking paint.

Scraping A House Exterior

July 2, 2015 at 1400 hours: Scraping is nearing completion.  The troops have rallied two beers into a grilling break.  All that remains to be scraped are the window sash.

This is when I said to myself, “self…these sashes are looking a bit…what’s the word the house inspector used again?  Mr. House Inspector advised us to replace all the windows but I channeled my inner Nicole Curtis of Rehab Addict and vowed to save the old wood windows.  They’re charming, but need tons of work.

The glazing is chipped right off, the glazing pins holding the glass in the sash are almost all exposed, and there’s barely an ounce of paint protecting the wood.  I quickly debated taking out all the window sash, scraping, re-glazing and painting each one.  Then I realized it would be a miracle if we finished painting the house exterior before winter so tabled sash repair until next summer.  So slapping paint on the sash for the win.  At least a couple coats of paint will help them through the winter until we can truly repair them.

Windows Exteriors In Desperate Need Of A Reglazing

July 2, 2015 at 1700 hours:  Scraping complete.  Around the patio area at least.  It’s hot, troops are stinky.  Dog is REALLY stinky after finding a pile of horse turd to roll in.  Painting to be continued on another day.

July 4, 2015:  Poison ivy battling.  Not sure if I’m going to make it through.  Tell Colby I love him.

July 8, 2015:  Poison ivy subsiding.  Beginning to develop a painting itch I must scratch.  Start painting siding around the patio while the weather is nice.

July 9-10, 2015:  Rain delay.

July 11, 2015 at 1000 hours:  Troops are celebrating victory.  Patio area painting complete.  Two coats.  See?

Painted House Exterior Around Patio

Point creative photo cropping.  Zooming out it’s a different story.

Exterior House Painting In Progress

July 11, 2015 at 1000 hours:  Troops are tired and sick of white paint.  Painting/scraping arms are falling off from fatigue left and right.  To boost morale, the big guns are brought in, a bright green color Home on the Range by Benjamin Moore.

Exterior_Door Paint Benjamin Moore Home On The Range

July 11, 2015 at 1200 hours:  Two coats on the door and the patio area is improving.  The troops should plan a scrape attack on the Southern living room gable end but they are tired.

Painted House Exterior Patio Area With A Green Door

July 11, 2015 at 1300 hours:  Out comes the patio furniture for a bit of patio relaxing.

Adding Patio Furniture To The Patio Area

July 18, 2015:  On leave.  Fishing tournaments and estate sale treasure hunting.

July 25, 2015:  Troops deployed to Chicago for a week of work conferences and visiting with family.

August 1, 2015:  Troops redirected to New York for a baptism and family get together.  Upon return, mission paint the house exterior aborted temporarily until the completion of operation guest bedroom makeover.

August 3, 2015:  Operation guest bedroom in full swing.

August 9, 2015:  Operation guest bedroom complete at 2200 hours.  Commence house guest descent in t-minus five days.

August 22, 2015:  Panic setting in about house painting mission as winter is looming.  Darkness falls near 2000 hours each night.  House painting season in Vermont is drawing to a close.  Scraping attack on Southern gable end commences.  Vacation time has been requested to allow for more house painting time.

To be continued…

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