Painting a job worth doing every 18 years

I’ve been talking about painting my house for 18 years, but never really got around to it. But with some time off and a promise of a couple of weeks of nice weather, I decided to paint the house.

When I bought my house 18 years ago, I thought it could use a coat of paint. Any of my family, friends or neighbours will tell you I’ve been talking about painting for 18 years, but never really got around to it. But with some time off and a promise of a couple of weeks of nice weather, I decided to paint the house.

I could paint it the same colour but it seems to me if I’m going to do all that work, I should brighten things up, update and make a statement. I picked up a colour chart for stain and drove through some of the new townhouse developments to view some of the new subtle combinations and blends of trim and accents, all of them much more sophisticated than my Oxford brown. Consulting the chart, I chose Butternut with a Cappuccino trim.

The chart also recommends four different products I should apply first; a stripper, a mildew/stain remover and a two-step wood prep product. I am not painting my house six times, so I brush it down with TSP, replace some loose boards and I’m ready to paint.

I bought only a small quantity of each colour to apply to the back of the building first. This was a good decision as the paint has been named wrong. Butternut is actually Army Barracks Brown and Cappuccino is actually Red. I decide to go a couple of shades lighter on one and a bit darker on the other so I settle for Natural Cedar and California Rustic.

I need some brushes and I find there is quite a selection. There is one box containing five different size brushes displayed so nicely it would make a great wedding gift. There are synthetic or natural brushes, polyester or poly/nylon brushes; there are flat or angular choices and different widths with ergonomic handle designs.

I read all the info and settle on two from the $4.99 bin. I don’t think people will drive by saying, “Look Martha, he used polyester brushes, what nice even strokes.”  But I do discover that the more expensive the brush, the less brush hairs you have to pick out of your paint.

I also need some masking tape for the stucco. Again, I’m not paying big dollars for something I’m going to throw away. However, another lesson I learn is that the more expensive the tape the more adhesive they apply to it. The product I chose will only stick to my fingers, the ladder, or the fresh paint but it doesn’t want to stay on the stucco.

I’ll admit I was less meticulous with my masking the higher I went. I have only one friend that will criticize my work, and she is very short. So if I take care the first five feet up or so, I’ll be home free with any slip-ups.

The first coat covers well and I have been told that it will dry darker. The second coat goes on easier and after it dries I’m wondering how many days it will be before it starts to look darker. My house looks nothing like any of the buildings that caught my eye or the colours on my chart. I have ended up with a distinct local flavour, Brookswood Beige with Fraser Valley Hay Barn trim.

But if nobody likes it, be patient. I paint every 18 years. At least that’s what McGregor says.