Friday, October 24, 2014

Lessons learned...

The first coat of paint is now on the upper railing.

I am hoping that I will be able to get the second coat on this weekend.  Very much so hoping.

In painting my first railing, I have learned quite a few lessons.  The first is to hire a painter if you can!  If not, then consider the following:

  • Resign yourself to a lack of perfection in your end result.  A good job is a success.
  • Unless you completely cover your standing surface, resign yourself to having to clean up splatters.
  • Resign yourself to having bugs land on your paint.
  • Allow yourself the freedom to not hand brush the balusters.
  • To roll the balusters, use a trim roller for greater control and less splatter.
  • If leaning over a railing to roll the balusters, use a 1 foot extension pole.
  • Painting hastily will result in greater splatter and take longer than painting with a slow and smooth rhythm.

As far as painting a railing goes, I found the following order to make today's painting to go much faster than the priming of the day before.  In fact, I finished more than an hour less than priming, even though I was painting more carefully.  The proper roller and the one-foot extension pole I found in my basement utility closet did help immensely, but the following order of painting had me zipping through each section with only one splatter of paint that missed the brown paper I put below the railing to catch drips and splatters:

  • Work only on one section of railing at a time.
  • Lean over the top of the railing and paint the underside of the edge of the railing.
  • Return to your starting place, lean over the top of the railing, and paint about two inches of the top of the back of each baluster.
  • Return to your starting place, sit down, reach through the balusters, and paint the outside of the bottom rail and about two inches of the bottom of the back side of the baluster.
  • Return to your starting place and paint the front side of the bottom rail and about two inches of the other three sides of the bottom of the balusters.
  • Return to your starting place, lean over the railing, and roll the back of the post and the balusters. 
  • Return to your starting place, sit down, and roll the other three sides of your balusters, as well as the front and inside of your post.
  • Return to your starting place and brush the bottom railing.  As you move along, brush the outside edge, turn the brush to the side and cut along the top edge of the railing in front of the balusters, and then finish by brushing the middle of the railing between each baluster.
  • Return to your starting place, stand, and brush the top railing.  Brush the entire outside edge, then brush the entire inside edge, and then finish with a smooth brush coat on the top of the handrail.
  • Move to the next section and repeat.

I am feeling far less despairing about finishing.  I hurt so very much on Thursday, following Wednesday's priming.  I wept quite a bit about finishing the job.  However, now I know that it is possible—weather permitting—without as much pain and distress as the priming.

I really needed to prime and paint the outside of the door to the airing porch, but I "cheated" and used the paint left over in the tray and on the roller and brush to get a light coating over the greyed and weathered old paint.  Maybe next Spring I'll do a proper job.  But, for now, I no longer have to look at the dirty door.

Since the gutter downspout will (hopefully) be reattached soon, I also primed and painted that one side of the porch support.  That way, next spring I will not have to ask Firewood Man to remove the gutter downspout again to paint.  I am fairly confident having just one side of the post will not affect its ongoing drying process.

I still need to prime and paint the post caps.  I have thoughts of priming them tonight, after a bit of a nap, but I have already showered and am in my pajamas.  I also have yet to figure out how to set them up off the painting surface so that I can paint the bottom edge.  I really, really, really do not want to wait to paint them in place.  Because, if I wait, then those posts are never going to get trimmed.  Something will come up again and again and again.

[I should get brownie points for not getting out my handheld circular saw and trying to trim them myself.]

My inordinately expensive glasses broke today.  I've needed another prescription since June-ish, but I am frustrated that my "new" glasses were only effective for about six months.  Right now, I have tape around the nose piece, along with a clear twisty tie holding the two halves of my glasses together.  I don't have another $600 for a new pair.  SIGH.

I didn't even weep.  I am so resigned to breaking things now.  I did manage to superglue the antique bone dish that I was using for a soap dish in the half bath. I refuse to throw that away.  I also repaired my hummingbird pot that was a birthday gift from my realtor.  Firewood Man first broke off one of the hummingbird's wings.  Then, after moving it to a safe place, he broke off the handle.  I just laughed.  At least, I was not the one doing the breaking for once.

Okay ... I stopped typing and got to priming.  Once I did, I realized that I actually do want to paint them whilst they are on the posts because painting one half, then waiting for it to dry to paint the other half would take eons with that special paint.  Just splitting the priming has taken all evening.

Don't they just look all lovely, eh?  Ready for paint on the morrow (hopefully) for those five on the right.  As long as Firewood Man makes it bake here and as long as he has time to trim down the airing porch posts and as long as the weather holds.

I wasn't going to do the ones for the steps handing rail, but then I figured that I might as well.  Less priming later.  Maybe a set of primed post caps will be a promise of a finished porch next spring ... paint finished that is.  Surely ... surely by next weekend everything on the back porch will be done.


If I really want to drive myself nuts, I will start thinking about the trim board for the lattice on the airing porch.  It has yet to be bought.  So, it has yet to be primed and painted.  That, at least, I can do in the garage.  And that, at least, Firewood Man should be able to then pop over and put in place in an hour or so.


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