House

Painting, Exterior Walls

I have been trying to get as many loose ends or smaller projects done inside our home as I can. Whenever I have a moment, I am working on something and therefore I am slowly dying, but I am doing this insanity instead of napping like I should be, since I haven’t slept in over a year, but Wallis is so mobile and honestly, I have felt an urgency to get our home restored as quickly as possible since having her.

Of course I understand this isn’t realistic, but remember my lack of sleep – I am not listening to reason, I am just working as fast as I can.

However, when it came to painting the exterior of our home, Andrew and I were both dragging, because we couldn’t figure out how to fit something like that in, but since the power company cut down a few of our trees (jerks) the paint on our home has aged at rapid speed. Shocking how fast sun can damage what appeared to be in pretty good condition over a few months, and then we let it go nearly a year, and yep, it needs to happen.

We received a quote from a licensed painter that was bananas and he told us that with how old our house is, we should really considered going with a painter that wasn’t licensed because our home would always be priced higher than newer homes, he was right because we got two more quotes from two other licensed painters and yikes.

We had two brothers stop by our house randomly one afternoon that were un-licensed painters and they were nice enough guys. They had t-shirts on for their small painting business and to be honest, I liked the idea of helping them more than a big company. However, this plan blew up in our faces. We hired them to paint the 3 worst sides and told them if that went over well, we’d have them come back in the spring to finish the job (because we couldn’t afford their estimate for the whole house either).

When they arrived, the one brother was on point but the other was acting strangely (Andrew confessed later that he smelled alcohol on him). They were slower than we’d hoped and they were not doing the best job scraping, and when Andrew asked when they’d be back the next day, the one brother replied, we’ll play it by ear and Andrew said, nope and let them go. It got heated and it was the first time we’d ever had to do that, but it was for the best and also, super disappointing.

I know when I tell that story most people will say, well that’s living in the country for you but I always dislike those kind of responses, because I’ve lived in suburbia, and cities and we had plenty of lemons there too. It’s just how it goes, and in this case, we got what we paid for.

After the relief of that error was over – it set in that we had to finish a job that had barely been started and the cold weather was settling in. I was so furious with time and that we can’t ever seem to have enough of it, and no matter what we try to accomplish, there are always a hundred things in the way.

Andrew did that thing where when one partner is over it, the other partner has to be under it. He told me, we’d make it work and we’d get it done and not to worry. Unconvinced by Andrew’s jolly reply, I told myself that at Christmas we’re taking time off, and all I need to do is make it to Christmas.

We stuck to our plan of working on the 3 worst walls, though honestly, the whole house really needs it but we waited too late into the season, and will have to wait until spring. Andrew took over this project and I was grateful, I really am running low on steam with all the work I’ve been doing on the inside of our house, and I needed him to release me of my controlling ways, ha!

What Andrew accomplished :

  • He scraped the old paint.
  • He sanded.
  • He cleaned the walls.
  • He patched the bad spots.
  • He rented a paint sprayer and sprayed two coats. The color we choose is very bright, but the other white shades we looked at seemed already dingy before they were even applied, so we decided to go bright…a move I am not quite sure was our best idea, but we’ll see.
  • He revisited spots that he missed. It happens.
  • Removed all the shutters to be scraped and painted. For another post.

We also had the columns on our porch scraped and repainted, that was done the day those painters were here, though even then, they only did one coat of paint, and the scraping was not great especially since they missed some spots where our gutters connect…so we’ll need to revisit them sooner than later. Blergh.

It clearly looks so much better, but up close, it’s pretty rough. The new paint really accentuates how old the wood is, and that it’s time we start budgeting to have all the wood siding replaced. Our home is 126 years old, and the siding has never been replaced, so this is how it goes.

Remind me again why we own an old home? I am sure that a professional could have gotten more paint off, but no matter what, you can’t sustain wood siding forever, and we really should have painted sooner, a lesson I wish we hadn’t needed to learn but did.

However, how do you find the time or money to replace so many things in such a short span of time…in the 5 years we’ve lived here, we’ve replaced our roof, the gutters, added insulation, added an HVAC system…and that doesn’t even cover all that we’ve done inside or all the landscaping!

We’re only human and we can only save so much so fast…so I think for me, I am relieved to have made headway but I feel a bit defeated too. We still have 3 more walls to do, and I am frustrated we can’t finish them before winter.

Also, the realization that we need to start saving to replace all the siding, when my kitchen looks the way it does, is not the worst problem to have clearly, but one that bums me out. So I end this post with, Andrew did a great job and there’s some relief in our progress, but blue wood siding blues.

After scraping came the sanding…and p.s. yes, outdoor scraping and sanding is loud enough to wake a baby.


This was one of the 3 walls, but I didn’t get a picture of Andrew painting it, only scraping.


At least it was a beautiful day!


I don’t want to talk about how much I worried about him on that ladder and yes, we do know what scaffolding is.


If you’re distracted by all the leaves, don’t worry, with all the trees we have, they fall non-stop and we don’t rake them, we mow them back into the ground where they belong. Don’t rake, feed your lawn 🙂


The sun went away and we feared it would rain, but luckily it didn’t. Do not wait until November to paint your house. Also, while Andrew was busy painting, our attic window fell out and glass went everywhere. We’re replacing it, but that’s the clearest representation of old homeownership I can think of. As you work on one project, another one literally falls on top of you.

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