Painting the House

by Dominic Vautier

I started painting the house in May,2002.  It couldn't be that big of a deal.  Of course, everything l evaluate seems to turn out to be 10 times the original job.  Must be these rose colored glasses or something.

I looked at a bunch of brochures and went to the usual home improvement centers, asking the usual dumb questions, and came away with the usual set of confusing answers;  scrape, scrape, prime, prime, spray, spray--simple enough.  But consider:

1.  I will have to use a spray gun.  There are just too many nooks and crannies.  Cynthia got me a Wagner spray gun years ago (birthday present--I think), but I promptly hid it in the attic because it looked suspiciously like work.  I may need to search around and find the thing,  then figure out how it operates.  Might even have to read the instructions.

2.  Before I can paint the house, I will need to re-side the entire north and west walls.  This looks like the more of your common typical project-expansion syndrome here.  Big Trouble coming.  Watch out.

3.  My back is of limited capacity so those eaves have to be done with great care.

4.  Lots of cold beer on hand.

5.  I can probably handle two falls, and after that I quit and let all these younger underachievers finish the job.  So I will need safety ropes.


 All I had to do was get the siding on straight.  Hmmm.  This took some effort, especially for a guy like me.  I finally resorted to making marks and taking measurements.  The new siding needed an 8 1/2 inch "reveal".  That's the amount of exposure between edges.  It also had to match the existing siding on the rest of the house.  The south side is cedar, and wood like that doesn't grow on trees.

This new siding material is actually made with cement in it, so it had to be cut with a masonry blade.  It cuts pretty easily but generates huge clouds of dust.  It's also supposed to last 60 years, so I may have to do it again. 

Here's a view from the front.  Things get higher and higher, but fortunately, I'm not scared of heights....opps.  That's me laying in pain down by the roses.
The north side was easy since I didn't have much cutting to do and it wasn't very high.  I did have some pesky bees to deal with.  They didn't like the idea of coming home and finding their place boarded up, so they  milled around me wondering just what the hell I was doing.
Ouch! Ahh!  Ohh!  Get away bee or I'll hit you with this hammer!
Now for the paint.  I had to do a lot of oil based priming and then two coats of finish paint.  Notice the ropes.  Cyn wanted to make sure that if I took a fall, I had a chance to swing for awhile before dying (make my peace with God, I suppose).

I used several ladders and ropes.  What fun.

Here is a view from the front patio after new siding and paint.

As a final touch I put in new downspouts. I made sure that there was a flange at the base of each downspout, protecting the drain from foreign objects.  Notice the flange here.  By the way, this particular drain was plugged with all sorts of animal and mineral debris; toys, rocks, roots, rats, dirt, tinker toys, dominoes, checkers.  The first time I reached down there to clean it out I wore a very heavy glove.    


All done.  Now for the beer.