Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Epoxy Revelations

As you can see, I've finished spraying the body top coat. From the time I finished preparing the surface, it took all told about twenty minutes of spraying and untold hours of masking, filling the sprayer, cleaning the sprayer, cleaning what I used to fill and clean the sprayer, and unmasking. A real labor- and time-saving device, that sprayer.

I sprayed the primer coat over the weekend, and when I came out Monday morning to spray the top coat, I saw the primer coat studded with insects.

Here are but a few of the many hapless victims of chance. This kind of thing is why you can't put too fine a point on an exterior painting job. I made sure I sprayed some insecticide around the area before I sprayed the top coat.

While removing the masking, I discovered something that I should have noticed long ago: a large wedge-shaped gap between the wall and the eaves at the far right. It is revealed in this picture by the line where the green paint ends; the gap is between that line and the wall below.

Lovely. I'll have to plug this, probably with some foam rod and caulk.

No matter how carefully I mask, there's always at least one place I overlook. Drat!

Now I return to the east window casing, which is in almost as bad a condition as the west casing.

Actually, in some regards it is in worse shape. It has sustained more physical damage, probably from the same errant pine boughs that did the damage to the belt course and shingles above. You can see by the dark areas along the sides and the sill where I've already epoxied some of the damage; now that I have a new supply of LiquidWood, I can continue to do so.

Speaking of epoxy, I believe I've finally figured out why I've had problems with its degrading in storage before I can use it: I've always left it outside in the garage. This batch of LiquidWood has new labels that bear in red the warning: "Store above 60 degrees F." Now they tell me. So the problems I've always had with the Abatron epoxies going stale are apparently the result of exposure to cold weather. By the way, I checked, and the warning was not on the old labels, but it is on the new WoodEpox labels, printed too small for me to notice readily. The moral of the story is, as always, read the product labels, and if they change, read them again. Another moral, perhaps more pertinent, is store your epoxies in the house.

I'm not going to perform as thorough a restoration on the east casing as I am on the west one, because I don't have the time; I'm just going to do enough to make it weather-tight and presentable, and do the rest next time around. One task I can't avoid, because it is so obvious, is the replacement of the missing scallop in the cap trim.

I've gone over every method of repair I can think of, and I've concluded that the simplest fix is to splice in the missing part cut from a piece of wood of the same thickness. I will execute it with the same coping-saw kung-fu I wielded so effectively in trimming the casing piece for the new window. Working in my favor is the fact that the original pieces were also coped by hand, and none too smoothly, either. Any small irregularities in my work should blend right in; for large irregularities, there's always putty.

The left cap piece is in fine shape, and only needs some remedial puttying. The right one (shown above) is in much worse shape, nearly as bad as the pieces of the west cap, but since it has stayed within its original dimensions I can restore it. I'll have to remove it, however, because it is studded with ill-placed nails that keep it from being in proper alignment, and even with all those nails it is still loose.

* * *

I invented awesome.

1 comment:

  1. Looking great! Bold and awesome kitty:-)


Please don't let the "Comment as" dropbox annoy you:
Simply choose "Anonymous," and no one will check your papers.
Feel free to leave your name in the comment if you'd like.
I will be moderating the comments to keep out the spam.