Saturday, October 05, 2013

This old foreclosed home: a coat of paint covers all sins

So maybe a coat of paint doesn't cover all the sins of ignoring exterior maintenance, but it sure helps. This poor house sat sad and alone for who knows how long, so it's safe to say the exterior was ignored. Since we finished 98% of the interior build/projects, this summer has been all about the outdoors. We've taken back control of the landscaping, laid a bunch of rocks and torn out a lot of weeds, but we still have finish work to do like leveling out areas and planting grass.

Our shed and barn need a majority of the work as well, and at this point we're still trying to decide if we keep and repair the old, or we knock it down and replace it with something we really want, that functions the way we need it to. Tough decisions like that usually get weighed on the budget scale...

Another glaring problem was all the ignored wood around the place. Our back stairs off the sunroom were about to be replaced until we decided to try a product called 'Deckover' by Behr. You can find it at Home Depot. It's like painting with cake batter. Thick and stinky, but it goes on well and fills in gaps and holes. Once we did that, it seemed like the steps were fine! They'll last a few more years anyway, until we've stopped hemorrhaging money and a couple hundred dollars to fix some steps doesn't seem like a big deal.

Since that worked so well, I decided the front porch could use a coat. Plus, it was a nice color that matched our brown trim{not my favorite, but oh well}, Dark Walnut. After a good wire brush scraping to remove built-up mold and peeling old paint, I shopvacced the area, removed all the leaves and went to work.

Here's a quick before and after comparison. I should have taken a few close-ups to show the worn out state of the place, but this will have to do. Trust me, after your porch/deck has been ignored for probably ten years, it's going to look sad. So now we have this updated and clean porch to walk onto every day! I love that the exterior white primer/paint combo I used for the railings really makes them pop. You didn't really notice there was a porch there before! Another side thing happened during the project that affected the look as well. Our oil tank leaked and we had to have it replaced. At that time we decided to move it across the basement like we wanted {if we're paying for it anyway!} and remove the ugly stinky pipes from the front sidewalk. They're now lovely and tucked away on the side of the house behind a bush. Not sure why they were in the walkway in the first place anyway! For now my potted mums are hiding the patch of concrete and the chopped pipes that we'll have to fix.

Another quick project I decided to tackle while I had all the supplies handy was painting the front porch columns. It wasn't that time-consuming, but I think it makes the whole mix of white and brown trim look a little more planned. Plus, they were worn as well and needed a little tlc before they became too bad to save. So just an hour or so and a few coats of white paint freshened everything up a bit. Now the sidewalk just needs a good powerwashing and we'll be ready for winter...

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