Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Painting the porch

A few months ago, I mentioned that our porch needed to be painted.  Let me remind you of why:

Right.  Sad peeling paint.  Plus the last painter chose to end the foundation paint color and begin the porch paint color in a really random spot.  Don't know what happened there....

I started by grabbing a painter's tool and scraping off the loosest of the paint.  Nothing crazy (or even thorough)--just the really loose stuff.  Which yielded this lovely porch:

And that's when project creep set in.  Wouldn't this look so much better if I took some concrete caulk to it?

It's just a little caulk, right?  And we've been carrying a tube around with us for over a year, through two moves!  (P bought it for a project we did on a house we used to rent, and then didn't need it.  But why we bother with the moving is another question...)

Neither of us had actually used concrete caulk before.  Fun fact--turns out it's gritty, but still acrylic--sort of like if caulk and mortar got together and had a baby.

The grit means that you can't wipe it as smooth as you can regular caulk.  Luckily I wasn't going for perfection, because I had taken my traditional "glop a lot everywhere and wipe off the excess approach."

The problem came when I started reading the directions.  I put the caulk on mid-afternoon Saturday (after scraping the paint, washing the porch down, and waiting for it to dry).  Turns out that, unlike the nice indoor caulk, this stuff needs 24 hours to dry.  Bummer.  Guess painting would have to wait until Sunday.

Then I read the paint can.  The paint suggested 8 hours between coats (not the 4 I'm accustomed to with interior paint).  Even worse, it needed to be applied at least 12 hours before rain or heavy dew.

Heavy dew is a nightly phenomenon for us.  As is, so heavy that the time I leave for work in the morning is determined by what time the fog lifts--I don't like to bike when visibility is low.  And that's the way it is every day.  The dew burns off between 9 and 10 AM, and falls around 8 PM.  Anyone doing the math here?  That's right, we never have a 12 hour window without heavy dew.  What's a girl to do?  Clearly, just ignore that part of the instructions.

So P and I popped out of bed on Sunday morning and raced out to put the first coat of paint on the porch--even before coffee and breakfast.  I never do anything before a nice leisurely breakfast.  He rolled and I cut, and we were done in no time flat.  P kept looking at the paint going on and saying, "Doesn't it look awfully light to you?"  And I kept saying, "Oh, you can't judge it until it dries."

Well, it dried.  Way too light.

I'm used to paint turning out to be a different color than I expected.  Usually what happens is I go, "Really?  I bought that?"  And I hold up the paint chip, and what do you know, I did buy that.  It just looks really different on a wall than in a 1-inch square sample.  But this isn't even close to the paint chip!

But we have some time to think about it, because here's the local forecast (as of Sunday morning):

I think I'm going to get the paint re-tinted for the second coat.  Same thing, just darker.  We'll see how it goes.  We'll then use this too-light color on the foundation, which we want to be lighter than the porch--you know, create a sense of architecture and all.

Just so long as I get it done on Saturday, this time.  Sunday is Halloween, and there aren't enough "Wet Paint" signs on God's green earth to keep candy-crazed children off of our porch then.

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