Friday, July 5, 2019

Painting the house

Here's a huge project we needed to tackle before our move: painting the house. We hadn't added a lick of paint to the outside in the 16 years we've lived here, so it was a long-overdue task. We decided to stick with the original theme of white with barn-red accents.

First we need to go back in time to last November, when we had some work done on the siding. The south side of the house -- which faces the prevailing wind/weather direction -- was getting somewhat battered. It didn't help that we had some red-shafted flickers -- woodpeckers with powerful bills, a subspecies of northern flickers -- wreak havoc with the siding a few years ago. We'd stuffed the holes with spray-foam insulation which worked very well to keep rain out, but as you can imagine it looked like kaka.

So we hired some local contractors, who completely removed the siding and replaced it. These guys were fast and efficient, and had the job done in a day.

We were pleasantly surprised to find the insulation beneath the siding in excellent shape (we were braced to have to replace it).

The material they used to replace the battered siding was a different color (beige) which actually looked so nice we thought about painting the whole house to match it, but in the end decided to go with the original color theme of white and barn-red.

That's all we did until a couple weeks ago, when we tackled the job of painting. This was a task we did ourselves because we were quoted a staggering $4500 a couple years ago by a professional painter and nearly choked at the cost.

To this end, however, we did purchase a professional-quality airless paint sprayer. It was pricey, but worth the savings in time and effort (especially when compared to the professional quote we received).

We waited until we knew the weather conditions were right: dry, warm (but not hot), calm.

Sadly, Don had to remove the heavy growth of Virginia creeper that had, true to its name, crept up onto the front porch roof and twined itself around the porch railings. He trimmed it back to ground level, otherwise we would not have been able to paint the porch. (It's already starting to grow back.)

Then we completely cleaned off the side porch.

While Don figured out how to work the sprayer...

...I started taping newspapers over all the windows.

The inside of the house was very dim as a result.

Before starting on the house, Don tried out the sprayer on a board to get the hang of things.

We soon got into a rhythm. He sprayed, and I followed behind and rolled with a extension roller brush. My goodness, that sprayer was fast. We progressed far quicker than we anticipated.

The dingy look of the house was replaced with fresh, bright paint. Looked lovely.

Speaking of dingy, this was what one of the inside portions of the side porch looked like before painting. Grungy, no?

What a difference!

While spraying near a window, we surprised a very scared frog who had been resting on top a window frame. Poor little guy got paint all over him. I hope he survived.

Here's the south side of the house with the new beige siding.

Soon it became white.

With the main house rough-painted, we turned our attention to the long barn, which had a similar color scheme (white with barn-red trim).

We hired the teenage son of a neighbor (whom we'll call CJ) to do handiwork for us. My goodness, this young man is a treasure. He works and works and works and works. Here he's on a ladder scraping wood on the long barn before priming.

Gee, what part do you suppose will get painted red?

Don started spraying, and I followed with the roller.

He worked carefully around this one part that has swallows nesting under the eaves. The parent watched anxiously as Don got closer. Don kept the sprayer at least a foot away from their nest, and I was able to follow and roll the paint all around the opening without disturbing the babies.

Once the white sides were painted, CJ climbed a ladder and started painting the trim red.

Don tackled the trim on the upstairs windows of the house.

(He still has the little window in the loft to do, as well as some overspray cleanup.)

Don and CJ are still working on the painting details of the house and barn, but so far the results look splendid. A new coat of paint. Who'da thunk it could make such a difference?


  1. It looks beautiful.
    Great job!
    Enjoy it.

  2. Hi Patrice, Been checking again to see the progress on the moving thing. Wow! The house looks wonderful! I have painted in the past and both Don and CJ did a great job! Still wonder where you guys are going. So, I'll just keep checking. Have the girls been there lately and know what you are doing? How is your Navy daughter? So proud of her serving our country! Hope she has been able to come see you guys even occasionally. Been reading your stuff for years now...actually lost count. I feel I know you since we seem to think and believe the same (on most things). Thanks for including the pictures when you write. Love the cows and calves pics, too. BTW...what will you be doing with your animals when you move? Hope you had a great 4th yesterday! Enjoy your summer , although you'll be busy getting ready to move...and then the move!! Let me know if you guys ever come down to Central Texas! Hugs!

  3. That looks spectacular!

  4. Wow! Very impressive.......I betcha this will sell very quickly. Prayers and hugs.

  5. I've had that same sprayer for years and love it. One word from experience, disassemble the spray gun, including down to the filter in the handle. Even running rinse water through the sprayer won't get all the paint residue out until it's taken apart. I learned the hard way, the gun alone costs $129!

    The house looks great!

  6. Looks so nice Patrice. You guys have certainly been working hard. We are still talking of selling our farm and moving as well, and plugging along with many little projects that we have put of over the 20 years we have lived on our farm. Silly that we are only doing them as we might decide to sell and move. But it is nice to have things fixed up again. Looking forward to seeing your photos once your home is listed. Again best wished on your upcoming move.
    Janae @ Creekside Farmstead

  7. Looks great Patrice! Painting is one of my least favorite tasks - fortunately we currently have a brick house, so mostly just trim to worry about.

  8. Amazing what a new coat of paint will do for a place! We have to tackle painting our barn this summer - ugh - but much better than the $11,000 quote I got a couple summers ago!! $11,000!!! I couldn't believe the guy could say it with a straight face, lol. I politely declined.

  9. The house looks lovely, Patrice. I'm so excited to see where you and Don settle next. . . and what delights you bring to the surrounding territory!!!