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.
We 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.
This 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Painting 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.
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.