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A Facelift for the Cottage

March 26th, 2012

Last summer, painting the shutters, doors, and foundation of the house was on the to-do list. Then we purchased the lot next door and spent our time getting a new edible garden space ready instead. As a result, the painting never got finished but we enjoyed a lot of great homegrown vegetables.

Since we have had such warm weather here in NE Ohio this past week and the soil is still too wet to work, we decided to get a jump on painting in order to mark a few more items off the “to-do” list. Off came the shutters, down came a few doors, and we were off.

We found this fantastic little sprayer that hooks up to an air compressor. It uses pint jars for the paint. That way you can use a few different colors, or in our case, primer and paint. Simply close up the jar when you’re not using it. It’s called the Critter Paint Sprayer and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It turned a job that would have taken me hours with a paintbrush into minutes. It’s also made to be repaired and comes with a parts list for each part, I can certainly appreciate that!

Our current shutters were painted green by me the first year we moved in (10 years ago). They were starting to look a little dated, not to mention they were faded and shabby looking. I settled on black as my color of choice for the shutter/doors a few years ago figuring it would be a classic look with our tan siding.

The foundation was also given a fresh coat of paint. I’ve always read that using a dark color on the foundation anchors the house to the garden. After one coat of paint I stood back and was amazed, it’s completely true. Not to mention, the plants and flowers look fantastic up against the dark background. I think the green was competing with the plants all along.

The exterior doors on the house were also in need of a fresh coat of paint, most of them were peeling and they were getting quite faded as well. Most of our exterior doors aren’t covered with porches and thus they take quite a beating. After a fresh coat of paint and some new knobs I couldn’t believe how nice they looked.

The weather has once again turned too cold to paint, so I turned my attention to scraping the loose paint on the exterior door trim. Not a fun chore, but a necessary chore. I’m all about getting the job done right, even if I don’t plan on being here forever. We inherited a lot of “good enough” jobs when we purchased this place and I’d never want to pass any of those along to someone else. (if you don’t have one of these painter’s tool in your toolbox I’d highly recommend getting one, I love it and use mine all the time and not just for painting).

There are still four more doors that still need a coat of paint (I know we have lots of exterior doors), when the weather wArms that will be the first thing to get finished so it can officially be crossed off the list. In the mean time, we will be replacing all the porch posts as a few of them are completely rotten. It’s a good thing they’re not structural! We’ll be going with square posts painted in white with a little bit of trim detail.

Overall, things are shaping up nicely. It’s nice to see the house getting whipped back into shape. We’ve spent so much time focusing on the gardens the last couple years that the house has been slightly neglected. My neighbor even stopped by the other day to tell me how much she liked what we’ve done. If I had to pick a favorite house color it wouldn’t be tan, but you live with what you’ve got. I’m more of a cedar shake, dark bluish gray, or a crisp white when it comes to the color I most like to see on a house.

What’s your favorite house color?

If you’ve got a lot of painting to do – invest in these tools. For not much money you’ll save yourself tons of time and a lot of hassle!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.