Monday, September 15, 2014

Sneak Peak - Painting our Victorian House

Oh man, we've been scraping, priming, and painting on the old Victorian all summer long!
Will this job ever end?

I'm not ready for the big house painting reveal yet, but can give you a sneak peak "how" we do it.


My ride - The Condor Lift.  It has a arm lift, a turret, and a boom lift/extension.  It goes up 45 ft.

Thanks goodness we only have to go up 30ft. to reach the top of the gables to scrape, prime, and paint.  

Every time I use the Condor Lift I learn something new, or may be I should say I re-learn something new.   Today, I re-learned where the gas gauge is.  Ooops, I was lucky I had 1/4 tank of gas.  Good deal.  

Last time we painted the house (2008) I ran out of gas and a couple for hours stuck up in the air, sitting in a light rain, until Jon came home and rescued me.  

Let's take a ride, ok?

Ah, good angle.  I see I need to get the broom and sweep away the paint chips we scraped off the east gable.  This photo shows the 5-window east bay (interior is the living room)

Living Room, 5-window East Bay -  taken in 2007
At this point I had stripped the wallpaper, Jon installed new ceiling drywall,  we were ready for  taping, mudding.  Jon bored golf ball size holes in the outer perimeter walls and blew in insulation. 

What is the toughest part of restoration----all of it.  But big lesson I learned right from the start is that restoration is time consuming dirty work--its hard to keep work site clean enough to live through it.  Sometimes its hard to keep motivated.  Oh yeah, and I forgot the big one . . . restoration is expensive.  Educate yourself, be fearless, move forward and do what you have to do.  

Living Room - East Bay - 2008

Ok, ok, - back to the ride on the Condor Lift . . .
New color, is a deep green and same ivory trim

Up, up, up,  Little brown ancient building across the street was once a pickle factory.
From the Condor lift--this is the front yard and long driveway, looking north

Still going up

Ok, we're at the top of the east gable.  This is the third trip this summer at this gable.  First trip was scraping, second trip was priming, and now I'm ready to put first coat of ivory top coat.  We're using Sherwin Williams Super Paint.

Yesterday, it took me a couple of hours to paint the gable trim and soffet.  It's been a tough year to paint a house.   Seems like it rains a couple days each week, making it difficult to get our work done.

We are blessed to have a great painting helper, Becky Stevens, a most fascinating person.  

Halloween Weekend
Fri Oct 31, Sat and Sun Nov 1 & 2
10:00a until 4:00p

I'll be sharing more details in another post --but here are some highlights:

Jon and I will offer guided tours of the house, talk about its architecture, previous owners, and the good, bad, and ugly of doing a whole house restoration.  

During the house tour, the downstairs will be filled with a dozen artisan friends demonstrating, displaying, and selling beautiful handmade items.  
Featured Artisans: 
Jerry Johnson - rug weaver
Claire Nordness - wool spinning
Linda Durrant (me) - quilting
Barbara Johnson - basket weaver
Sue Moerke - gourmet dog treats chef
Kay Durrant - wood carver
Sue Martin and Doris Weed - water color artists/humorists
Becky Stevens - repurposed furniture designer
Amy Powers - The Village Hive Bakery Amherst (delicious samples)
Tom Spoerl - Trout Bum Bakery Scandinavia (bringing more delicious samples)
Scandinavia Library Group will serve chili and brats on the front lawn
Admission is $2 per person--donated to The Humane Society of Waupaca County
Entertainment: ghost stories--my favorite actress Donna Rickel, and fortune telling by Madam Sams

I'm am busy handing out flyers about the event, interviewing our artisans so I'll have some great information for a radio program I'll do with WDUX   Thursday Oct 30 8 a.m..  


  1. Hello, Mrs. D.,

    I can imagine that your tour will be a great success, not just for all the artists who will be sharing in the day, but also because by now you have become so experienced in restoration that you will be able to tell a lot of interesting tales. I find your huge lift alone fascinating!

  2. Oooh! Someones' been BUSY! I can't wait to see the reveal! :D

  3. Looking forwatd to your Victorian House Tour on Halloween Weekend!