Blue tape. Scaffold. Rollers and brushes.

blue tape

Yeah, when you see all that blue tape and plastic sheeting, it can only mean one thing.  Over the course of three weekends we painted the house.  That colorless layer of latex, peeling and flaking off in places, permanently dirt covered in others, was just getting on our nerves.  Pretty sure that was the only layer of paint the house had ever seen before we came along.


Graffiti would have been an improvement, if we had any gangs or crews of taggers on our island.  Which we don’t.

LightWe used an airless paint sprayer, which means we spent about 9 hours taping everything off and then 20 minutes painting, per section.  A sprayer is really good at painting odd shaped objects, such as bat and board siding, but it does go through a lot of paint in a very short amount of time.

wet paintThis is a small house, but for some reason it’s still a bitch to paint.  Go figure.  And yes, I painted the rusty flagpole too.  How do you paint a flagpole?  Get some rustoleum and put it on a 4″ paint roller and put the roller on a telescoping pole.  The roller can reach about 10′ off the ground, or 20′ if you stand on top of a ladder.  My advice is to paint the top part of the flagpole first, so you can hold onto an unpainted section of the flagpole for balance.  Otherwise you just get wet paint all over your hand.

Unsafe scaffold

There’s the scaffold setup for the other side of the house.  Note that part of the scaffold had to rest on the deck.  The other part?  Well, I had to make those footers out of 2×6’s.  Fortunately I have about 900 board feet of 2×6’s leftover from the garage construction.  It was wobbly as hell but the wobbliness came from the two legs seated on the deck.  The footers I made were sturdy enough to support a Mack truck.

Scaffolding is fun.  Remember the jungle gyms we used to have on playgrounds?  (younger readers may not have these; they were probably replaced with something much safer)  Well, those things were training for your future on a scaffold painting your house someday.  When you’re trying to keep your balance on them, you use muscles you didn’t even know you had.  I’m not exactly afraid of heights but I’m not too fond of them either.

all finished


The trim around the windows we left white.  We weren’t terribly happy with it at the time but it’s grown on us.  The five logs adorning the front of our house were painted that same disgusting beige as the rest of the house so I painted them with varying shades of brown to make them look more like real logs.  At first they looked cartoonish, but after some dry brushing they acquired a bit of texture and now they either look really cheesy or they look like real logs.  Or both.  No one’s really had the honesty to tell us yet.

even side looks nice


This is the ugly side of the house.  The side with the electrical connections and disfigured deck and crap.  The side people first see when they approach the house.  Anyway, it looks much better.  And I have plans for it.  Slowly, over time, it will improve to the point that people might actually look at it and say “ooh, nice house.”  We’re about a million miles away from that point (not to mention dollars) but someday it will come.

new lights too

We got some new light fixtures for the side and the rear, and they look much better than the Ace Hardware clearance flood lights that used to be there.  Previously on the side, there were two flood lights set on a motion sensor.  Not a bad idea in theory, if you didn’t mind being blinded every time you walked up to the side door.  Pretty sure they caused brain damage in the short time I tolerated them.  They are now trash.  We don’t miss them.

nice place to relax

The front deck has now become a nice place to relax.  To sit and just stare at the sea.  Do I ever sit in those chairs?  Ha ha ha!  I own a house on Orcas Island.  I have things to do.  Sit in a chair, ha, that’s a good one.

chairPainting the house was a real milestone.  Now that it’s done, we’re a lot less embarrassed when people have to come over or walk up from the road or simply see us out in front of the house working on some chore or another.  It used be like “yeah, we’re just contractors.  Migrant farmers.  Just passing through.  Live here?  Oh, ha.  Who would live in such a dump?  Of course we don’t live here.  Silly tourist.”  But now, finally, the place is starting to look like a nice little house, and we don’t hide our faces when the cars drive by.  Maybe someday I’ll actually sit in one of those chairs and just, well, sit there.

looks nice now

Yeah, it looks much better.  I really do enjoy painting, it’s fun and kind of soothing and there’s a huge sense of accomplishment at the end of it.  But as far as I’m concerned the next person who paints my house can be the executor of my estate.

5 thoughts on “Blue tape. Scaffold. Rollers and brushes.

  1. Whow!! What a difference the paint makes! I love the color green (I’m sure it has a fancier name than green!) It just blends the house in perfectly with it’s wooded surroundings. The white window trim is just enough to draw you inside so to speak! The logs under your deck look much better brown than beige, it’s had to tell a lot from the pictures but if your still not satisfied with the solid brown on a sample log try drybrushing your house green color onto the brown so it settles down in the wood grain & cracks, then wipe it with a dry cloth, so the green fades away but it may anchor the solid brown color of the logs. Just a thought. It might be to much, hard to tell.
    If you ever get around to setting in that chair on the front deck Jef, I’ve got a telescope to give you if you’d like one. It’s a NexStar 114GT reflecting telescope
    I looked it up on the internet, I have the manual and the accessories. A friend of Mindys gave it to us I thought my older grandsons would be interested in it, but they don’t have a big enough area at our house or their’s to leave it set up and learn to use it, so they lost interest. Let me know if you’d get some enjoyment out of it, I’d think it would be perfect to watch the activities or star gaze out your big windows overlooking the deck towards the water. Let me know.
    Keep up the good work kids you’ve really done wonders with the property so far.
    Talk to you soon. Judy

  2. I think we now like the logs the way they are but when we get around to replacing the front door and the deck I’ll probably re-assess how they look. That’s the beauty of dry brushing, you can always just add on some more color until it looks the way you want. The best part is that latex barrier is one more thing the carpenter ants have to chew through to get to us.

  3. Hey Jef and Jamie

    The house is looking great! I need to visit sometime with Doris and Donna. Your mom is doing better she has been over a number of times to swim with Doris. She had to scoot up the stairs on her bottom, but now has a cane. Coming along. Keep up the hard work on the house.

  4. Yeah, I think mother would not have had much fun up on the scaffold. Someday I’m going to invent wheelchair accessible scaffolding to include the mobility impaired.

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