Putting it on thick | Front Porch | Indy Week
Pin It

Putting it on thick 

I painted the porch last weekend. When I bought the house in Hillsborough five years ago, the porch looked great. The wood floor was a glossy burgundy, the same color as the kitchen floor. The banisters were a clean, bright white. Less than a year later, the paint started to peel.

The porch flooring has two distinct sections: The original is made up of narrow pine strips, while the other section is treated two-by-fours--more like an open deck. By the time I got around to the job, almost all of the paint was gone from both sections.

A friend with some painting experience told me that the previous owner must have just thrown down some paint on bare wood before he put the house up for sale. When you ask Craig for advice, you better have a paper and pencil nearby. He tends to give a lot of information in a short amount of time. Although I had done some painting before (I vaguely remember doing it professionally for a day), I needed to get the scoop, from start to finish. Three steno-pad pages later, I felt I knew all I needed to know about the mechanics of painting.

"You're gonna have to put some primer down," Craig began. "That wood will soak it right up. But first, you're gonna have to scrape the *&#&$ out of it."

We walked over to the deck portion, which receives a lot of direct sunlight.

"Use a wire brush on this part. Use the five-in-one on the pine." A five-in-one is a tool that painters use to scrape wood and wring out paint rollers. (I'm only aware of two of its five official functions.)

I dutifully used the wire brush on the two-by-fours, and began with the five-in-one on the pine strips. Things went well until I scraped up a splinter. I couldn't just leave it, so I started to pull. Wrong decision. I was left with a huge cavity that I'd later try to fill in with pools of primer and paint.

After two half-days spent scraping that floor, I remembered why I dropped my painting gig for a job selling suits at Carl's department store in Schenectady all those years ago. My neighbors, Don and Dot, enjoyed the sight of me doing some work outside. Dot especially got a kick out of it when I could barely straighten up to say hello to her.

"See how old John's getting, Luke," she told her grandson with a smile.

When I'd finally finished, I pulled up the masking tape I'd put down and found various insects sticking to it, still alive. Some of the bugs came off easily--their backs were stuck to the sticky tape. Others were attached by their legs and/or antennae. To free them, I had to brace myself in a chair.

After ministering to all the bugs I could, I looked up and surveyed the finished porch. It was then I realized I should have asked Craig's opinion on color choice.

Latest in Front Porch

More by John Delconte

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Front Porch

  • One vote

    • Nov 12, 2014
  • Box of one

    Was I paying to be helped or to feel important, a bona fide expert on only myself?
    • Sep 24, 2014
  • The Old South (Hills)

    The Old South (Hills)

    • Sep 17, 2014
  • More »


Twitter Activity

Comments

'Anna Lee' is a truly beautiful song, Ms Dossett. And I love Levon Helm's rendition. You are blessed with a …

by Byron Miller on A song for Levon (Front Porch)

Just now seeing this....Liz and I were super close friends in the early 80s. She was so special. I had …

by RoBert 1 on In memoriam: Liz Holm, 1959–2013 (Front Porch)

Most Read

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation