Norm has been working very hard these last few weeks on the prep work for the house painting project. He tries to put in at least an hour every day between breakfast and getting ready for work, and as long as it's not too hot on the weekends, he puts in quite a few hours those days as well.
He spent a long time prepping the front window next to the front door, because that's the main window the public sees as well as visitors to the front door. It had a lot of little nail holes in the frame back from when this place was a rental and people would tack up plastic over the windows in the fall to keep out the cold (the previous owner seems to have been a bit of a slumlord). Norm filled in the holes with wood putty and sanded it down, then applied several coats of Kilz primer and sealer to seal the wood and cover up the old rose trim color. He then put several coats of the off-white trim and dark red counter trim on the frame. He also has cleaned and prepped the aluminum storm window and primed that frame with Kilz. He needs to finish painting the frame and after the porch has been rebuilt, he'll put the storm window back in place. He only has a couple more windows to do; most were done last year or the previous fall when he first started working on this project.
Norm has also applied a coat of Kilz to the entire first floor of the south side of the house (including the aluminum screen door), since it receives so much direct sun, as a way to preserve the paint he'll add later. He also has put Kilz on all the other sides of the house from the ground up about 3 feet, where the water has splashed off the roof or from the sprinklers and has taken the old paint and primer off the siding.
Another thing he's done is borrowed a Dremmel tool and clipped off all the roofing nails that protrude through the underside of the eaves so that it will be easier to scrape and paint them. Speaking of scraping, my very small part in all this has been to begin scraping the porch ceiling using a scraping pad attached to a drill. It's a lot harder than it sounds, because the steps on the ladder are either too high or two low for me to reach the ceiling just right. So I either have the power tool very close to my face or have to reach and operate it with less control and more discomfort to the shoulder. It takes me about an hour to scrape a 2 x 5 foot area. And by the time an hour's up, I'm hot, sweaty, and covered with tiny flakes of paint...more than ready for a shower!
Tomorrow my brother-in-law and nephew will be coming over to rebuilt the front porch. It will be so nice to have a safe, nice-looking porch for really the first time since we've lived here (10 1/2 years)!