Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Journey Of A Thousand Miles…

Yesterday and today I took the first steps in what will be a very long journey. I’ve started painting the house. I’m weeks away from picking up a paint brush, but I have started the prep work. And as they say, prep work is 90% of a good paint job.

I’m starting the with south west corner of the house. This is where the 2 story addition was and it is the least visible part of the house. I bought some paint two years ago because I thought I was going to be working on the front porch 2 years ago, but that never happened. I'll paint this one wall and decide if I like the colors I chose all those may years ago. If I like them, then I’ll move on. If I don’t it will be a huge waste of time and money.

I also chose to start here because this wall in the back corner of the house is in the worst shape. After I removed the addition I had to basically reside the whole wall. I used a lot of the siding I took off the addition so there were lots of nail holes. I also had nail holes from the asbestos siding, and then there were the new nails I drove in when I put the siding up.

It doesn’t look bad from a distance but you get up close there are a lot of little holes in the wood. The new nails had to be driven below the surface with a nail-set and then puttied, so all those little putty dots aren’t necessarily holes. Here are some pictures. The grayish colored shingles on the bunmp-out and the flare are all new and have never been painted.

Here it is with the addition Booo! Hisss!

Here is what it looked like yesterday. Not too bad, right?

Holy siding Batman! That’s a lot of nail holes.
You said it Boy Wonder.

The one good thing about the asbestos siding is that the house has only 1 or 2 coats of paint on it, depending upon where you look, and the last coat was put on back in the 20s. All of the siding from the addition had only one layer of brown paint that was hanging on by a thread. It took me about 3 or 4 hours with a random orbital sander to get the whole thing back to bare wood. Here’s where I stand now.

Bare & Beautiful

There is still a lot of work prep work to be done before I can start painting. The plan is to paint the bay window bump-out and the wall with all the holes in it now and then move on to the next section. It will be an unbelievable amount of work.

Here is the whole south elevation
Eventually there will be a proper porch in front of that door that extends the width of that wall. It's on the list.


Yokel said...

Looking great there Greg. And looks like you have the weather to be working outside!

One questions. What's that 'bump' thing under the small (butler's pantry?) window?


amanda said...

Wow! I can't imagine that sanding those with the RO sander is very easy. It will all be worth it when the paint goes on!

amanda said...

Wow! I can't imagine that sanding those with the RO sander is very easy. It will all be worth it when the paint goes on!

Patrick said...

Take this FWIW:

I went completely overboard when it came to prepping to paint--but I think it was worth it--Depending on how far you want to go you may want to consider:

(1) If you are taking the boards down to bare wood, you may wish to consider using a penetrating epoxy. I used Smith and Company's CPES...the stuff soaks deep into redwood, solidifies the wood, creates a great barrier against water, and provides a "grippy" undercoat. Also, if your siding is like mine--with some dryrot/punky wood, the CPES will considerably strengthen/soldify this wood.

(2) Putty/spackle will fail fairly quickly given that the boards will expand and contract. I had plenty of holes (and some rather large cracks) and decided to use a 2-part epoxy filler--again a Smith and Company product called "Fill-It." The stuff fills voids without shrinking, sands great, won't show through (if you top the CPES and Fill-it with an oil based primer), and grips wood like crazy.

Both of these products are made primarily for the "wooden boat industry" so they are made for wood and water. They work great--but are incredibly expensive.

This approach is not for everyone...but I do believe that when it comes to painting again (which, knock on wood, won't be for some time), prep should be considerably easier given the level I went this time.

That being said, I've followed your work and I'm sure whatever you do will be wonderful. The great think about painting is that makes such an immediate positive visual impact that everyone can see (unlike a swetted water pipe).

Good luck with the paint--and may the weather stay dry.


Greg said...


The little box is hiding the first floor sub-panel. The city wanted if covered because the romex was exposed coming out the bottom before it went under the house. When I made all the octagon shingles to repair the siding where the addition was removed I had a lot of shingles that were too narrow to be made in to octagon for the house. What I did was made smaller octagon shingles and siding the box to cover the panel with them. The front cover lifts off to expose the panel.


Great information. I’ve heard about the penetrating epoxy but I’m not sure if I will go that route yet. Because the wood was behind the asbestos siding for so long it is in great shape. A few boards have cracks but nothing major. It is only in this one section because I removed it and the resided with it. The rest of the house is in amazing shape.

I also used a 2-part epoxy wood filler for the all the holes here. Three years ago I repaired the window sill on the bay bump-out in the picture with a MinWax epoxy wood filler and it still looks great so I used the same stuff again. I think if we had a freeze/thaw cycle here I might have gone with a better product, but so far this has worked very well for me. It ain’t cheap. I think it is $13 for a 12oz can. I used two cans just on this wall.

mindy said...

Major difference - that poor wood, with all those holes. *Shudder*

Teague painted a bungalow last summer, and I did not envy him one bit. It was a long process, with lots of ruined clothing and aching muscles. But it was TOTALLY worth it. The bungalow looks amazing, and I'm sure your place will too.

Becky said...

Waiting on pins and needles to see the test of the colors!

SmilingJudy said...

Yay! I was wondering when you'd be starting this project that you'd be hinting about for so long. Can't wait to see the progress!

slateberry said...

We get a lot of freeze-thaw up here (Boston suburb), and an old-timer once told me to use Dap 33 window glazing compound to fill small holes in exterior woodwork, because it wouldn't pop out like many wood fillers. So far I've only tried it on my front door, but two years later, it's going strong. I want to research this more before I fill the bazillion nail holes left when I remove the vinyl siding. The other thing I'm looking at is Flex-tec epoxy, which supposedly expands and contracts at the same rate as wood, but it costs an arm and a leg.