My 2021 House Painting Campaign: D-O-N-E!

My parents’ large, two-story house had wooden shingles and I had to help my Dad paint it a few times back when I was a teenager. Ach. Definitely not a fun job. My wife and I moved into our first house in 1979. It was aluminum sided, which meant I didn’t have to paint the exterior for the 22 years we lived there. We moved into our current house in 2004 and it has wooden shingles. Double ach! What was I thinking? I’m still trying to figure out why warning rockets didn’t go off in my head as we contemplated buying. Well, the house was freshly painted at the time so the misery seemed 100 years away. But then I waited way too long. After nine years, the exterior was starting to look shabby. I had to do a tremendous amount of scraping and priming. The weathered shingles soaked up the paint like a thirsty deer drinking at a cool stream (Psalm 42:1). One coat wasn’t enough. I had to paint the entire house with two coats. I vowed to never let things get so out of hand again. I took a three-year break and put my new plan in place. I would paint a quarter of the house every summer with a one-summer break. Sure, there’s now painting almost every summer, but there’s very little prep work and it’s a much more manageable task including applying only one coat of paint.

The southeast quarter of the house (see photo above) was due for painting this summer. I procrastinated for as long as possible, but finally took a trip to Home Depot on August 11th, buying a can of primer, two cans of paint, and a few other supplies. Our house is a ranch, so, thankfully, there’s not a lot of extension ladder work. While there wasn’t a crazy amount of prepping, I did come across some fascia board that had some water rot. How did I miss it the last time I painted that area? I must have had a lazy streak that summer.

I began by cleaning, taping, scraping, and priming as needed. I then painted all of the trim and shingle crevice areas by brush. The aforementioned is all very slow and tedious work. After the trim was done, I rolled the shingles. Boy, a roller sure beats a brush. I then worked on the rotted fascia area. I didn’t replace the rotted wood, but covered it over with a sheet of galvanized sheet metal, formed to fit and thoroughly primed and painted. Looks great!

The process wasn’t as quick and easy as the one-paragraph summary above makes it seem. I had some major obstacles like rain, the heat, and my Friday through Sunday job (including recuperation). But I finally finished on September 9th, 4 weeks after I started.

One big change this year was I switched from flat paint to satin paint. Satin is more weather resistant than flat and “should” buy me one or two extra paint-free summers.

Ah! I can now relax for about six weeks until the oak leaves begin to fall in earnest the last week of October. 🍁 Huh? What’s that, dear? The to-do list? Argh!

25 thoughts on “My 2021 House Painting Campaign: D-O-N-E!

  1. 👏🏻 👏🏻👏🏻 🙌🙌🙌

    Ugh! I’m not a painter! I feel for you having to do that job!!! We have a wrap around porch that our precious children decided they would surprise us (Dean and I) for my 50th birthday and paint it for us while we were on vacation. Needless to say when we got back they were still painting and I just couldn’t stand not helping them finish! They vowed they loved us but would never do that again! 😂That was 5 years ago! It needs it again because we do utilize it a lot! It’s a great area for the grandchildren in the summer to play in the sand box, have lunch, watch the hummingbirds, swing on the porch swing and splash around in the little blue pool ( a Little Tykes pool I snatched out of someone’s garbage 🤔)!

    I’m looking to hire someone to paint it AGAIN are you interested? 😂

    If vinyl didn’t cost so much I’d do that with the porch and get rid of the wood! But 💰 💴 💵 😳!

    We finally put a tin roof on our home because our home sits up high on a hill and losing shingles was an unending battle. It was costly but well worth it!

    Maybe when we recover from that I’ll start saving for the vinyl porch 🤔😜

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Beth! Porches are fantastic for all of the reasons you mention (I would love one), but of course there’s a LOT of trim painting involved, which I don’t need to tell you.
      We’ve lived in this house for 17 years but never considered vinyl siding because my wife thinks wooden shingles look better aesthetically plus we never had the $10K just laying around for siding. They’ve made big improvements with vinyl siding’s appearance. People in our neighborhood who still have wood shingles generally hire contractors to paint, which costs around $4K. They spray on the paint but it doesn’t cover as well as brush and roller. Our neighbor across the street had his house spray-painted and it was fading and peeling after only three years. It costs me only $100 in materials to paint a quarter of the house every summer but at some point I won’t be able to physically do it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Our house is an old WELL BUILT Sears house! The kind you ordered out of the Sears and Roebuck catalog! It was physically lifted by special equipment and moved across the street 23 years ago! It was the event of the town! Everybody showed up out in the country to watch the “Schafer house” get moved! LOL! It had a cellar basement underneath it that always creeped everybody out! But when we moved it across the street we had a full basement made underneath. It’s been very interesting. It’s been in the family for many many years! They were going to burn it down when we were looking for a bigger house as our family out grew out ranch. They told us they were going to burn the house down and we said no will take it. My brother-in-law says you can have it you just have to move it across the street so you’re not right next door to us lol which was perfectly fine with me!!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thanks for the interesting history of your house! Jacking up a house and moving it is such a fascinating process. My wife and I have contemplated moving into a condo as a solution to the house and yard work I won’t be able to do as I get older. I’m ready to move into a condo every fall after the leaf removal campaign. But of course condo living has its drawbacks also. We’re currently contemplating removing several of the big oak trees in our backyard to reduce the amount of leaves. When the time came I could pay to have the house and yard work done, which would cost about as much as the monthly condo association fee.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. My mom and dad go back and forth on that too-there yard is quite small so it’s cheap to have someone to come cut it for them.
    Getting rid of some of those oak trees would be a big burden lifted. I bet the cost of tree removal isn’t cheap either ☹️
    We have 5 big old pine trees lining our driveway and no other trees. They are slowly fading away (Isaiah 40:8) I would like to have some but then “my boss” reminds me of a list of “cons” 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s a decision that every older couple has to contemplate. My parents and sister put it off and ended up painting themselves into a corner and had to rely on others to sort through the details. Yeah, tree removal is expensive but it might be worth it if it means being able to stay another 10-15 years. We also have two semi-dead pines that need to come down very soon.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! Oh, yeah, the oak leaves are always a major topic in November. We’re talking about possibly having 4-5 of the oaks removed in the future to reduce the amount of leaves on the lawn and in the gutters. That would be very expensive. Several of our neighbors’ oaks also lean over our yard.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Tree removal can be expensive for sure. My dad has decided to pay to have his neighbors walnut trees chopped back so they “stop spewing on [his] lawn.” I had our driveway repaved today and so many birch leaves were falling. I asked Nathan to cut the branches of our neighbors birch that hang on our side but he elected not to do that. I appreciate that you do the items on your list!!!!!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I cut the branches of the neighbors’ smaller trees with no hesitation, but the realtor who’s helping us sell my sister’s house advised us to have a tree service saw off the trunks of the neighbors’ tall oaks at the point they crossed the lot line leaving forty-foot tall stumps. Probably legal but I wouldn’t do it.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I can understand their indifference. I blame myself for being totally oblivious to the negative consequences of having so many trees hanging over the property when we were considering the house.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Last winter one of the neighbor’s leaning oaks was rotted and fell over on the common power lines, which in turn pulled on our riser and cost $1500 to repair. Not to mention another neighbor’s tree limb that came down on our roof during a wind storm four years ago causing $13K worth of damage. We obviously have insurance but had to pay the $1500 deductible.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. ” The weathered shingles soaked up the paint like a thirsty deer drinking at a stream (Psalm 42:1).”
    Wow what a way of putting it!
    Glad you got this done on September 9th! That’s a lot of work…before your major home property project! The house looks nice though

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My wife and I have been talking about possibly cutting down several of the oaks to make the leaf collection more manageable rather than pulling up stakes and moving into a condo.

        Liked by 1 person

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