Painting the House: Slow but Steady

I am tired. I painted all day and got only the tedious lattice work completed on the porch. I knew it would take a long time but sheesh, that was a patience eater. And it didn’t even turn out all that great. Call it good enough.

I opened up the box with a new paint sprayer today. It has a backpack tank and a lithium battery so I can climb a ladder and not worry about hauling up a power cord. I am hoping it will save me some time now that I have most of the small areas completed. The decks should be next, as they need it most. Really, the open deck that gets the sun needs to be finished, but it seems silly not to do both at once. Why clean up twice? So tomorrow I sand, then hopefully do some spraying the next day. We’ll have to use the front door.

Of course, I need to paint the wall next to the deck, so I should paint that first. That means a coat of primer, which needs to dry for a day, then a coat of paint on top of that. So best case scenario I couldn’t get to the deck until day four, if the sanding goes as planned. So maybe I just go for the deck first and use a drop cloth when I paint the wall. Seems silly. So, of course, I will do it right. Do the wall, then the decks.

So I am tuckered and I need to keep it up. Rain showers are in the forecast but not until tomorrow afternoon. I will try to get up early and get cracking. Again. Let’s hope the smoke detectors don’t start howling like last night and wake us all after midnight. I replaced the batteries in all of them, so we should be set, but who knows what strange things might be afoot in the wee hours. I just need enough sleep to be ready to crank. Early to bed for me. With dreams of oil-based primer. And hopefully ice cream.

Underestimating

So I got started early on this painting project. My idea was to get things sanded and primed, then maybe tomorrow morning I could paint. I would have time this afternoon to get enough paint to make it happen. I had the primer so I just had to crank. But it weren’t happening.

I had to fix a few boards, take off the stairs (they were starting to rot), and prune the landscaping all around the deck since it was rubbing and scraping. Then I could start sanding. And I did sand. It just took way longer than I anticipated. I had to stop and scrape at times, and change the paper on the sander. I stopped for lunch, and stopped when the sander busted. I thought the pad was simply loose, but it was, in fact, too worn to keep using. And I was missing a screw.

My wife and kids were off to the farm to collect our share of vegetables for the week, so I headed to the hardware store to get some stuff. I got a pad, and some new sanding paper disks, and some new safety goggles to replace my scratched ones, and some batteries while I was at it. But I could not get a screw. It was not to be had in that establishment. I headed home, knowing I would not finish today.

I went from painting tomorrow morning, to maybe just priming tomorrow morning, to finishing the sanding tomorrow, to nothin’. I didn’t even get the sanding done. The wood is just way too far gone. It would probably be easier to just replace all the dang decking, but apparently I like to make things hard on myself. I had the idea to at least replace the stairs today, but I had the little car, and I need a ten foot board–couldn’t carry it with that rig.

Everything is put away now. The majority of the deck is sanded, and all the wall next to it is sanded. I will finish another day. I am hoping I can order a couple screws and pick them up later this week. I won’t be able to get them for a couple of days anyway. This project will get completed. It is just taking longer than I would like. I hope the rest of the house doesn’t take longer than planned. Summer only lasts so long.

Another Christmas Tree

Weekend after Thanksgiving–time to get a Christmas tree. Maybe it seems early to some, but we figure we might as well celebrate the season as long as we can. We went to Martel’s tree farm in Williston and cut a fine fir. It is worth visiting that tree farm just to get the view. It was a beautiful day so we saw snow on Mount Mansfield and Camel’s Hump and a long stretch of the Green Mountains. Lake Iroquois rippled in the breeze down the hill. And the smell of cut fir drifted over it all. We tied it to the car and hauled it over the town line.

We had to do some trimming to get it the right size. It was just a little too tall but we managed to make it work just right. The kids took a critical hand in trimming it so the bottom third is heavier with ornaments than the top two thirds. We strung lights–pink and blue and white and decked our humble halls with other delights, some made on the spot by the children who live here. They had a fine time of it. We hauled out the box of holiday CD’s and found the holiday tracks on Pandora internet radio and we made the transition to December with only a few bumps. Here is the before and after:

 

Fresh From the Hill

Decked Out for the Holidays