April 21st, 2021


front porch

I'd like my livejournal to provide a consistent series of examples proving that home ownership sucks.

Marc and I were sitting on the couch enjoying our relaxing coffee Saturday, and he said "it's really too muddy to till the back yard, but maybe we could get josie started power washing the front porch so we could stain it? she likes doing it, and it needs it BAD."

he was right. a few years ago my father-in-law surprised us by painting our front porch while we were out of town. he likes to do those favors for us. sometimes they are really nice. other times the methods leave some things to be questioned, which I think is why he does it when we're out of town. on the porch, I tried to be very appreciative. but then the paint started peeling off all over the place. it's about 10x10 with a few steps down, not huge, but half of it is uncovered and the exposed half was just a mess. wood starting to crack and come up, paint flaking off down the street.

we went to the hardware store and bought deck stain and application supplies: $80

came home and started josie on the power washer to get the paint off but you know... for paint that's been flaking off for several years, it sure didn't WANT to come off. so we scraped a little but that was frustrating. so I did some online research and found this stripper stuff that should help. marc wanted to rent a bigger power washer, but that'd be $70... I was hesitant.

then marc threw his back out picking up a shoe for olive. dammit. he hasn't done that in a while. but he could barely walk. so this project was now all me.

trip #2 to the hardware store to get stripper and mineral spirits and some plumbing stuff for another project: $80, again.

the stripper was an environmentally friendly gel format that was slippery as hell and barely covered half the porch, it was so thick, and frustrating as hell to get on. it was cold outside. I let it try for an hour, came back, and... it wasn't magic. slightly more paint could be power washed off. I was angry and frustrated and tired, it'd taken all day to do this. no staining would happen. I was exhausted. I just wanted a damn shower.

so I dropped it for the evening after a LOT of venting about how I hate everything and need to just hire this out.


sunday morning I got my palm sander and went out to sand/scraped at least the steps. I figured maybe we could rent a big sander for the top part, but it wouldn't work on the steps. I made progress. then josie and her friends were hanging out with me, and I told them to peel paint off the top of the deck, so they helped. a lot, actually. it was warmer and sunnier and I had three fifth graders chatting and peeling paint of my porch.

my neighbor across the street told me not to try the mineral spirits. you need 100 grit sandpaper, he said.

okay. so we went back to the hardware store and rented a floor belt sander thing: $70

we haven't stained yet. it's sanded, and looks like it has potential. it is totally supposed to rain this week but it won't kill it. Saturday night when I was angry I googled around to see if I could just abandon this whole project and really, I can for a bit.

I'll stain next weekend. there were some good parts of this project but as always...

- everything takes longer than you think
- everything is more expensive than you think
- everything takes more trips to the hardware stores than you think