Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Other Full Time Home Job/Mystery Picture

With all my posts about pergola building one would think that perhaps I didn't do anything else this summer, but that is certainly not the case. I have also been working at painting the south side of the house.

But before I talk about that, here is today's mystery picture. The first one to correctly identify what it is will win a FABULOUS Foxcroft prize!

Add a comment to this post if you think you know what this is!

I am perhaps the world's slowest painter. It took six years to paint our previous house, but in my defense I do a damned good job of it. What takes so long is that I only paint houses whose last coat of paint is at least 25 years old. This requires me to go down to bare wood and start over.

For the south side I started in the overhang at the peak of the gable so that I could build my scaffolding as tall as possible. I was on top of four 5 foot high sections. I use a heat gun and putty knife to scrape the beadboard. My routine is ingrained into my brain after nearly 10 summers of doing it:

  • Heat Gun/Scrape
  • Sand
  • Wash
  • Prime
  • Caulk
  • Top Coat
  • Move to the next spot

My process is how a single person can reasonably work over a long period of time. Here are some pics I took throughout the summer:

Above is what my paint job looks like next to what it was when I started. The beadboard is without a doubt the hardest part of the whole house, and there is a ton of it.

Similar view from a little farther away

A view of the lookout boxes at the peak of the south gable 25+ feet up

Side view of same also showing my high tech anti-bird's nest device

Speaking of birds' nests, remember this incident earlier in the summer? Yet Another Narrow Escape From Burning the House Down Well here is what I put over the outside of the dryer vent to prevent birds from building nests there. I bought a shower basket thingy at Lowe's and cut it apart and re-sized it to just fit over the vent. Below is my final product sitting next to an unaltered one:

I bought two because there is a bathroom fan vent in the North gable of the house.

I wish I had taken a picture of all the board and battens when I had stripped them, and before I painted! You can see the vent guard in this picture too.

Another similar shot

I finally got the last of the triangular gable area done a week ago. I just finished painting around the second floor windows too. My goal, before winter is to stain the shingles down from the chimney back to the other side of the dining room windows. I hope to scrape and paint the dining room window trim too.


StuccoHouse said...

Well, I am certain my neighbors would submit my name to the slowest house painting contest. I have the same process as you - minus the handy scaffolding. I'm very impressed with the end result of your beadboard. Mine is just rotted enough that I talked my self out of stripping it & bought some bindercoat paint instead. Also, very clever solution to the vent cover - with your permission may borrow that idea myself.

I have no idea what the mystery picture is. I missed lunch, so my first guess was apple upside down cake....but I suspect the real answer may involve shellac.

Mike said...

Hey Stucco,

The scaffolding has become a non-negotiable for me. I own a good chunk and have borrowed the rest, I only had to rent a section of 3 foot tall frames when working under the eaves near the chimney because another 5 foot tall section wouldn't fit.

My vent cover is certainly not proprietary, I consider everything I put on the blog "open source" and free for the taking/modifying!

You're in the general ballpark with the shellac idea...

hovercraft said...

Right, I was going to say "green tomato pie," but that's just what you want me to say. Reality must be more like--"what remains after you leave a glob of stripper on a window."

hovercraft said...

Okay, you've kept both of your loyal readers in suspense long enough--what is it??

Jenni said...

LOVE the color of the bracket.

Mike said...

Hey Jenni,

The lookouts (brackets) are "Roycroft Copper" in the SW Arts & Crafts exterior line.

Just in case anyone wonders:
1. Trim is "Lambswool" an old Pratt & Lambert color that we also used on our previous house.

2. Bargeboards are a custom color mixed to match the "Weathered Bronze" from the roof's drip cap

3. Shingles are "Oxford Brown" Pittsburgh Paint's stain

3. Storms/Screens are a custom color using SW's "Rookwood Green" then I said, make it more green, like a park bench