Saturday, June 11, 2011

Everything's Up to Date in Pasadena

Sorry not to have posted for a while, but I've been busy painting, and I've found that the only thing more boring than watching paint dry is reading a blow-by-blow account of it. I decided to wait until I was done and then bore you all at once. And so, since brevity is the soul of wit, let's get stupid!

The wood was clearly quite thirsty after so long a drought, because the first primer coat was substantially absorbed into the wood.


Fearful that I might need a pore hole key, I sprayed a second coat.


This was much better, but still insufficient in those areas which have seen the most weathering, one of which is pictured here. It illustrates the one distinct weakness of a paint sprayer: it applies paint from a distance, in a straight line, depending upon great velocity to bond the paint with the surface of the wood.. Here, the wood was so deeply contoured from weathering that the sprayer, powerful as it is, couldn't get the paint into all the nooks and crannies, even though I came at the problem areas from several different angles. The droplets, traveling in a straight line, couldn't get into the places that were protected by overhangs.

So, I enlisted Lydia's help, and together we applied a third primer coat the old-fashioned way, with paintbrushes. We were able to scrub and grind that modern, inadequately-fluidized acrylic paint right in where it belonged.


At last, I had a uniformly-colored surface to evaluate. It was clear to me that I'd gone about as fur as I could go towards my goal of fixing only what was necessary for the health of the house, plus any additional glaring cosmetic flaws. I did miss a few of the latter, but these were quickly dispatched with some lightweight exterior spackle, which I applied pretty much with my fingers in order to get it to blend in with the surrounding topography.

I saw no sense in tearing off all that masking only to have to re-apply it later, especially since masking is my single least favorite task related to this whole project. So, I decided to spray the finish coat now, and touch up as necessary with a brush after I finish the trim. This, happily, I was able to do with no further brushing; it only took two coats, one sprayed from an upward angle, and one from below.

Here is the result.


The side of the house, which before looked like a disheveled mess full of cracks, holes and general infirmities, now looks like . . . well, it looks like it's supposed to. It looks like a wall. A nice, solid, flat, unitary wall. The difference is startling; driving up the street, it really hits you in the eye as soon as you see it. I can hardly wait to finish the rest of the side.

Before I get back at it, however, I have to take a day or two to do something about the garage. I can't find a danged thing!


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The wily Forest Cat returns to his lair with the day's catch.