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?