Sunday, April 13, 2008

Vacuuming the gravel driveway

You know how you move into a place and there's this one project that you're determined to take care of right away? Well, almost two years ago, that project was painting the badly peeling garage and garden shed. Finally, today we started scraping. We're doing the garage first, and doing one side at a time, start to finish, starting with the front. Even though it's hard to really see anything, I'll post a picture of our progress -- Everything below the door rail is scraped, top part still unscraped:

We'd hoped to scrape all of the loose paint off the front today, but a cold front moved in and it was the wind and not the dark-gray clouds that convinced us to stop - we're trying to keep the paint chips as contained as possible, so even a moderate wind is bad news when scraping from high up. We put tarps down, but still some blew away a bit or got behind the tarps. I have NO idea what folks driving by must have thought about seeing us out there as we were cleaning up: We were vacuuming our gravel driveway with the shop vac, trying to pick up runaway paint chips! Next time I need to also put tarps over my nearby garden beds, though -- definitely not a place where I want lead paint chips to land.

So now we need to scrape the top part, then strip or heat-gun the rest off. Visually I'm totally find with painting over odd layers of paint that don't choose to leave the wood surface -- it's a 75 year old garage, fer cripes sake, not a piece of fine furniture. But there's so much wood that's been exposed for a long time that we definitely need to sand before we prime. And I'm just not really keen on sanding lead paint; even if we took appropriate protections for ourselves, there is no way that I know of to keep the lead paint dust from getting everywhere. After we get the last of the paint off, we'll sand, prime with oil-based primer, then paint. I read some places about how we should treat the surface with a turpentine-boiled linseed oil combo before we prime, but other places that say that's not necessary, so I need to do more research.

Plus we need to figure out a color. Here is where we're stumped, but we obviously need to decide soon.


Green Fairy said...

How about barn red?

I've been doing some paint scrapping lately, too; I know how tedious it gets. Nice progress!

EGE said...

God, and here I am congratulating myself for cleaning my attic.

We decided yesterday that we really have to paint the house this summer. Same as you, we've been meaning to do it since we moved in. We, too, are thinking Barn red...

Leslie said...

Green fairy, you're not the first to suggest barn red but it wouldn't look right in our neighborhood. We're probably going to end up going with the same color as the house, which is boring but will at least tie the two buildings together.

And Ege, you should congratulate yourself on that attic mess! This scraping honestly only took the two of us 1.5 hours and it would have only taken 1 if Partner had started at the same time I did. This was just scraping paint so loose you could almost blow it off. Tacking the disaster that's inside is going to be MUCH much harder.