Friday, November 15, 2013

The Painting of the Farmhouse

My last update was at the end of August, oh dear. Which means, of course, that we have been continuing work on the farmhouse. And it's official, we moved to the farm. While we are still living with project messes and the inability to unpack completely, our pets are here, and our lives are now here. It is so much easier to do work, now that we live at the farm full-time. You know, little things, like getting the house completely painted.

Here's a reminder of what the house looked like a year ago.

 windows going in

west side

Pretty bad, right?

In order to begin, however, we had to decide on a color. We agonized over this a fair bit. Even as Alex began caulking around the new windows, we were still trying to decide on a color. We had a number of things to consider, too. The roof is steel and dark brown, so whatever paint we chose, had to compliment the roof. The new composite window trim in an antique white was chosen by Alex's mom, and we didn't want to either paint or cut in paint around the new window trim, so as with the roof, the rest of the house needed to work with the trim, and we wanted to choose something that would be sustainable, as in, easy and affordable to maintain. Hmm. Eventually, we decided to paint all the house body and trim an exact match of the new window trim (Valspar's Marble Steps ar816). While we felt this was, at least initially, a rather boring choice, we felt it would make our work much easier, now and in the future.

So we began in earnest, in the third week of September, and we worked nearly every day from breakfast to sundown. Alex did all the high ladder work, and I did all the bottom to middle work and all the extra stuff, like doors and bulkheads.

 Another week's worth of good autumn days like this one and we'll get the farmhouse painted.

I'm out here painting, too!

painting the peak on the west side

high ladder work

Painting in the near dark. #homestead #housepainting #homeimprovement #diy

lucked out with painting weather

Another sundown. Alex paints all the high stuff and I paint all the low stuff. #housepainting #homestead #husband

painting into the evenings

To make the house look fresh and a little fun, we did choose an earthy red-orange (Valspar's Fireside CI 100) for all the exterior doors (all of which have been or will be replaced).

 This is the one. #homestead #housepainting #homeimprovement #diy

In October, the ladybugs came and the wasps were wicked, so we had to get creative with our painting routine. If the sun was shining on the side we wanted to paint, we had to wait until the side was in the shade, or else fight wasps for real estate. This was especially a concern up in the east peak, as the wasps were living inside the fascia. Alex worked around them as long as he could, but in the end, he used as natural a spray as we could find to kill the nest. We definitely didn't need Alex up that high, defending himself from angry wasps.

 stay away wasps

exciting changes

As the other side of the kitchen, on the west side, had not been sided, Alex took on that project as well. He got that done in two days and we had it all painted two days after that. But first, he replaced the door. We sure weren't sad to see the old door go.

 just a bit more siding work to go

installing west side door

The latest (okay, one of many latest) project. #homestead #diy #renovations

siding the west side

The rusty old bulkhead, and the formerly teal doors on the non-matching, pale mauve garage, also got repainted in a mushroomy brown color. The garage is still a bit of an eyesore, but with the freshly painted doors, and now exterior lighting, it's looking much better. It is, right? As is the house. And that red-orange. We love the red-orange (which does show up a bit more intensely in photos. It's not quite that vibrant). See, better, right?


looking so much better

someday, new steps, new door

We do have plans to restore the front door, but it's an entire restoration project on its own, so it must wait. Until then, we live with the false wall, storm door combination. And the stoop, we have plans to rebuild that as well.


before - the front door alcove

Harvest home.

painted house with chestnut tree

A fresh look for our 154-year old (more or less) farmhouse, built by Alex's great-great grandfather. #maine

west side of house completed

new back door in Valspar "Fireside"

finished west side

So other than this one section on the north side, all the windows and siding have been replaced, and the house is painted.

 this last bit still to go on the north side

The north side, incidentally, is the home of the ell chamber. Remember?


significant progress

The ell chamber happens to be our future bedroom. That's probably our next big, big project (to be juggled around the upcoming holiday season, of course.) We have to replace the window, wrap and side the exterior, paint it in the spring, unless we get a warm stretch of late autumn or winter weather, and then there's the whole continued purging, ripping up the floor and building a new floor, scraping the popcorn ceiling, running new wiring, building the closet, moving a closet, rebuilding a closet, building an entrance, and painting the room thing. That's all.

As the days grow colder, we're rushing to finish some projects, too. The east door is painted and ready, but it needs installing and finagling, of course, in this not-plumb house. Alex has also, just this week, wired exterior lighting over both the east and west doors, which is something this house has never had, so those will get hooked up this weekend. There is a new doorbell, though, and the stoop was painted over the summer, and there's a new doormat. And we decorated for Halloween, which felt great. The little things count, too.

 before the new door

We are also working inside. Always. The downstairs bathroom renovation is still going and was largely put on hold during the house painting. But, we're getting there. The sink is installed and Alex is building the vanity that we both designed. We are using salvaged barn boards, too, so we think it's extra spiffy.

 building the barn board vanity

he sands, he project manages

(Why is Alex wearing a headset? Oh, no big deal, he just manages to do his full-time paid work while he's working on the house. My husband is just a little bit awesome.)

 I'm working on the vanity backsplash. #diy #renovations #usewhatyouhave #homestead

repurposed barn board bathroom vanity

I'll have more bathroom photos to share, soon. Otherwise, that catches us up on all the renovation work. It's certainly been a labor of love and we're proud of the work we've done. We have so much more to go, but we've accomplished a lot, too, so we're pretty content. I have more updates planned, but regarding our autumn and the land. Stay tuned.


Alex has been adding exterior lighting, which this house has never had. #diy #farmhouse #renovations

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