Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Master Painter gets it DONE!

This past weekend I swore I would accomplish two projects: paint the lattice on the front porch, and paint the second-hand steps for our back door.  Weeeellll, things don't always go as planned.  I've been pretty darn sick, plus had a teenager who had to get ready for her 8th grade school trip to DC, and another teen with a bad foot and two doctor appointments.  Still, I tried.

So, here it is TUESDAY morning.  All was not totally lost because I did manage to paint 1/2 of the lattice and, with the help of my 4 year old Master Painter, the second-hand back steps are done, even though it was 90 degrees in the shade.  Not too shabby, as the Master Painter mused.

Today, however, the heavens have decided to open, so I'm not going to be able to show you any pictures of our handiwork.  However, I am going to give you a few words of advice on painting lattice and second hand steps.  Notice that I didn't say whether this was going be good advice or bad advice...

I googled "painting over weather beaten wooden steps".  The results were overwhelmingly ambitious. Quite frankly, I wasn't feeling too ambitions.  Our back door to nowhere (eventually it will be to the patio) is hardly worth ambitions.  We were given a set of steps that happen to fit the space pretty well, but they had been sitting in a hedge row, and needed some attention.  On Saturday, I spoke to the paint guy at Home Depot and explained that my steps are old and are only going to be used in the interim until we put in the patio.  Therefore, I wasn't inclined to put in too much work.  Even the Home Depot guy wanted me to put in a little more effort than I was really prepared to do.  So I smiled politely and pretended to head in the direction he sent me.

The four year old Master Painter and I considered our options.  This is what we decided to do:  We bought two 3"  "economy" brushes (read: $1.30 each).  We bought 2 quarts of outdoor ultra pure white paint and left Home Depot before the Home Depot guy could spot me not following his advice.

First things first - my handy hubby did power wash the steps and that did clean off a lot of loose paint chips, which are now firmly planted in the grass. After the steps dried, I took a paint scraper and went over any rough spots. I then took out my broom and just gave them a good sweep, to get rid of any dust and/or bugs.  Prep work done!

The Master Painter and I each grabbed a brush and got to work.  I put the paint on pretty thick, but tried to make it fairly even.  The Master Painter had his own unique way of putting on paint - which was to press the paint brush bristles flat onto the wood, and push the paint around.  This is more of a "brush mashing" movement than a "brush stoke", and is surprisingly effective.  (A tutorial may follow.)  Once our first coat was done, we waited a couple of hours and put on a second coat.

To jazz things up, I think I'm going to order rubber stair treads something like this.

Now, similar to the stairs, I googled "painting lattice".  Holy Moly!  Here's what most experts wanted me to do...

1. Take the lattice off the porch

2. Power wash it or wash it with soap and water with the hose

3. Dry

4. Primer both sides

5. Buy a paint sprayer

6. Spray one side

7. Dry

8. Flip over and spray other side

9. Repeat 6-8

10. Re-attach lattice

Well, I probably don't have to say this, but really?  That's a lot of work, or at least too much work for something that is going to be covered up  by foundation plants!  Sometimes in life you just have to either A.) fake it or B.) get it done.  I'm not even remotely suggesting that you should follow my advice or that my way is the right way to do things.  Cuz I'm pretty sure I'd get in trouble.  But here's what I did:

On Sunday, I bought 2 more 3" economy brushes, and a gallon of stain, we happened to want to try the black.  I waited til the Master Painter's nap time, and I took my trusty broom and brushed the lattice to remove any unwanted bugs, dead leaves, and dirt particles.  Whatever refused to move, got painted over. I took my cheap paint brush and slapped the stain on as fast as I could.  It was 90 degrees out and not only were my shoulders burning, I could barely see cuz the sweat was dripping in my eyes. Well, I got it half done, and I have to say it looks pretty darn good!

This week am going to finish the other half of the lattice when the rain subsides, and then I can cross off another task on my to-do list.  Which, I have to say, is a pretty satisfying feeling!  I just hope that my "cheating" to get these projects done doesn't come back to bite me!

What projects do you feel you "cheated" on?   Did it backfire?

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