Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Porch Restoration Part 1: wash, strip, sand, fill, repeat

Finally...FINALLY, we got to work on restoring our porch this weekend.  Remember all those Porch Paint Possibilities?  Well, we chose one...sort of (more on that later) and with the perfect collision of gorgeous weather and a long weekend, we (nearly) finished returning our 120 year old Victorian porch to a more dignified state.

And remember when I said the work needed on the porch was mostly cosmetic?  Ha!  Not quite.  It took a full day and a half of washing, stripping, sanding, and wood filling before we even started painting.  I suppose that's not so bad in the grand scheme of things...but man, it was so tempting to just start slathering on shiny new paint.

After a light power washing, it was time to scrape.  Thankfully we bought a '14 in 1 Universal Tool for Painting and Projects'.
I'm not entirely sure of the other 13 things this tool does, but as far as scrapy things go, this tool was among the scrapiest.  After a good 6 hour scrape-down, it was time to bring out the big guns:
What?  Your drill doesn't come with a medieval torture device attachment?  Upon closer inspection, it turns out that this is actually an 'Original Easy Stripper'. (as seen on TV, so it must be good, right?)
I was hesitant to go at it with my easy stripper (as one should be), but somehow, the easy stripper doesn't damage wood, even 120 year old wood.  Just look at this before and after of one particularly nasty section of wood soffit:
Yeehaw I said.  Yeehaw indeed.  Now some of that paint just wasn't coming off.  I'm sure we could have gone out and bought some toxic paint eating chemical...but that's just not our thing.  Instead we accepted imperfection, and cleaned up the worst of the 'topography' with some 'Dap Drydex Spackling'.  It goes on pink and dries white!
Thankfully, this stuff dries fast.  So after some serious sanding (followed by some serious damp mopping), we were ready to paint!

Oh, and I almost forgot, check out our ugly mailbox and the amazingness we discovered behind it:
Needless to say, we decided not to put our mailbox back up, opting to stick with this original mail slot.

Now I know, if you've read this far, you must be patiently awaiting some sort of reveal of the finished product.  Well, as I mentioned, we're not quite done.  After 50 man hours (I mean person hours), we still have to put a second coat on the base of the porch, paint the actual porch floor, and touch up some of the details.  We'll get there soon.  In the meantime, to quench your curiosity, here's a sneak peak:


Bill and Nicole said...

looks great! I'm excited to see it! What a lot of work

white collar | green soul said...

I do not envy you right now. Though I do envy your porch.. mine is not so original, unfortunately - at least not the roof portion (with it's beautiful faded metal soffit and matching skirt).

I'm really like that bright yellow though! Can't wait to see the rest!

- agata.

Anonymous said...

So, the Easy Stripper came out of retirement and was put to good use - sounds like it actually worked amazingly well! We sure had a chuckle and can hardly wait to see the finished gleaming porch - what a lot of work!!

~ jbs