Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Prep Party Part I

Nothing provides more motivation to "get'er done' than a visit from the parents.My parents hadn't visited us at our little old house in three years - health issues had thrown us a curve ball, and Germany -is- quite a bit away, and it's not a trip you take lightly, or on a weekend. Not if you don't own your own jet. Which we don't.

So, three years since their last time, and of course we wanted to show some progress in regard to all our grand home improvements plans.
And the biggest project we could possible force into a tight deadline?
Painting the exterior, of course!

We got a helping hand from my co-worker Mose who provided back-up and equipment to power wash our little old house. It helped remove some of the loose paint but really only aimed at washing off the grime and funk of decades. You have to be careful with the old siding since most commercial grade power washers are too strong and cause more damage than good.
You can literally rip your siding planks to shreds washing out the soft wood pulp between the grain. Ugh!

We gave the house a good scrubbing ending up incredibly filthy ourselves. Man! There's nothing that gets you wetter and dirtier than power washing anything. And don't you dare consider power washing yourself - takes the skin right off! Not a good thing!
Here's the husband scrubbing down the stairs. The poncho is really just for show - he was just as dirty and wet as me who skipped the protective gear!

Afterward we scraped.
And scraped.
And scraped.
There was quite a bit of loose paint that had to be removed, carefully, catching and discarding it in bags to contain any possible lead.

More scraping along the front elevation of our little old house. The front, facing mostly north, wasn't bad at all. Here the peeling paint was minimal, really, compared to the rest of the house and especially the western elevation. That one was a -real- mess!
At the front most of the failing paint was along the window frames due to ancient paint build-up.


Little Man was a great big helper, and really enjoyed getting to hang out on the roof of the porch -with- permission from the parental units.
We even ate lunch picnic style out here because the weather was fantabulous and the view is really nice.

After lunch there was more scraping.
And more scraping.
And some more after that.
There was a lot of peeling paint caused mostly where some bright mind had decided to caulk the underside of the siding. That inhibits an old house's natural ability (and need) to breathe, and in the end the moisture that collects there causes the paint to fail. Geee, they could have saved so much money on caulk and time -and- gotten a longer lasting paint job out of it, but no.

We spent a lot of time prying old caulk out of every nook and cranny on the underside of the siding our house. As one contractor once explained to me: " Imagine pushing your house underneath a waterfall. That's how you want to caulk'em."

And caulk we did ... two weekends later!

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