Monday, June 3, 2013

Knuckle-Busting Fun

If you thought restoring a staircase required a lot of scraping and sanding, wait until you start painting an exterior. Ha!

Our exterior clearly needed help and we had ...well, have areas where the paint is failing, peeling off in small and large flakes. Since paint is an important shield for your house defending it against the elements, pests and your neighbour's disdain, painting the exterior of your house is a task that rolls around every 10-15 years along with a bit of spot painting and touching up every now and then. Our Little Old House was beyond the point of touching up and since we also felt like giving it a new color, we decided to go the whole nine yards this year.

After helping Preservation SOS with two house projects I was convinced we could do it ourselves. It's not difficult, just labor intense because you are essentially painting a big box. Squirreling money away each month allowed me to buy new ladders, and just two weeks ago I picked up a large paint sprayer along with the usual odds and ends for painting such as drop cloths, extra scrapers, roller brushes, brushes, tape, caulk, and more.

Last week and especially this past weekend we finally allowed ourselves to pick at the paint flakes.
It felt SO good!
Like allowing yourself to pick on a peeling sunburn.

Sure, the novelty of  large scale scraping paint, patching and caulking outside will wear off soon (or at least I suspect it will) but right now, we're on a roll, baby!

We also took the opportunity to remove some of the old 'ghost' wiring and plumbing on the outside of our little old house. Generations of phone and tv providers had left their mark on the outside with wiring going nowhere, and there were two pvc pipes sticking out of the side of the house not connected to anything at the top and the bottom, and so we snipped and caulked and, boy, did that make a difference!

Good riddance!
It will look so much neater and cleaner once it's painted.

The plan is to finish prepping the backside of the house next weekend. Fortunately there is not much to repair, just the window trim of the kitchen window is showing signs of wood rot that will need repairing, and of course, our little old house needs a refresher run of caulk along the trim (not the underside of the siding - that will just cause moisture issues in the long run because historic homes need to breathe).

So, we are pretty sure that the knucklebusting fun (my husband's and my knuckles are all busted from accidentally scraping over the siding - bah!) we have had with our house's backside will wrap up this coming weekend and that we finally will get to apply a coat of primer!

After that it's on to paint, baby!
I can't wait to see how it'll look!


  1. Hi. I'm a new follower here. I'm starting on the exterior of my old house as well and was wondering if you could recommend paint removal tools (besides lots of elbow grease and 5 in 1 scraper)? This girl's arm is tired! Keep the inspiration coming!

    1. Hey Merry! How great to 'meet' a fellow blogger from Jacksonville!! When you went on the Springfield Home & Garden tour, you were literally just around the corner from our little old house :)

      Well, there are some neat paint remover tools out there but if your house was built before 1987, chances are pretty high you have lead paint somewhere and that renders power tools for removal a big no-no :( So elbow grease it is, and it suuuuuuucks *L*

  2. I am indeed working on a pre-1978 home. I may have to invest in a heat gun, though. At least we can tell ourselves that we have some pretty buff arms! Enjoying your blog.

    1. A heat gun can be a nice addition to your tool box! I picked up one at Harbor Freight and it's been working like a champ, but I have yet to try it on the exterior. Not sure it's the right weather for it right now though *winks*