Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Painting windows, or, as I like to call it, hell-on-a-stick

Now that the new windows are all installed (and they’re looking gooooood), it’s time to prime, paint, and caulk. We had Marvin prime them for us at the factory, but being the cheapskates we are, we decided we’d paint them ourselves. Maybe that was, in hindsight, overly ambitious.

Saturday was painting day. Yippee. I started early in the morning and worked until it was dark. First, I pulled the sashes from their frames and gave the sashes an initial coat of paint. While that was drying, I worked on the exteriors of the frames. Because I was too lazy to get a ladder, I used a stepstool to get up onto the windowsill and then stood on that. Thank goodness for thick, old-growth-wood sills! I planted one foot on the interior sill, and one foot on the exterior, and used the interior window trim as a handhold (it’s got fantastic depth—about 5 inches—and has lots of curves and cuts that make lovely fingerholds). Then I’d dip my paintbrush and paint away! Made the neighbors a little nervous, I think, but if you can’t freak out your neighbors, where’s the fun in home improvement projects, right? :-)

Actually, it was probably safer than being on a ladder up all that way since my extension ladder does not have a stabilizer on it. Trust me, though, it’s on the ever-growing, never-ending list of “Things I Need for the House.”

After the first coat dried, I slapped on coat #2, waited for it to be bone dry, then put the sashes back in. Thankfully, I did in fact wait until they were dry enough—I’m proud to report that as of Sunday I had no painted-shut windows!

One funny thing—or maybe not funny so much as, ummmm, lazy—when I first started on the sashes I taped them so very carefully before beginning to paint. MAJOR pain in the you-know-where. Gotta get nice even tears to make nice even square corners so it's a nice even paint job. Bleah. To add to the frustration, when I pulled the tape back off after painting the first couple of panes, I could see that it didn’t really do a stellar job of keeping the paint where I wanted it. So I decided to scrap the tape and just paint very, very carefully. What a difference! I saved the time I would have spent taping and used it to take a smaller brush and carefully paint the muntins. In the end I’m positive that it took less time, and I was much happier with the results. If I slipped a little (and of course I did!), I just cleaned it up after the fact. I believe I may have read of some other HouseBlogger doing this....EnonHall, maybe? Anyway, I will never again tape a window to paint it!

I thought I took pictures, but now I can’t find them in the camera. Maybe I used the other camera. Maybe I just took pictures inside my head. Hmmmmmm.

5 comments:

purejuice said...

i love your house and i'm so happy you got real windows. i hope you'll post more often 'cause the house really seems like it's happy to reveal all kinds of good secrets to you.

nc roofer said...

Com´on... everbody can paint the windows. 5 - 6 houses and you´re excellent in it...

Sandy said...

Hope the painting has gone well.

Sandy said...

Hope the painting went well.

Sandy said...

Hope all is well with you and your Victorian farmhouse. It looks so lovely. Happy Holidays!