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MAY 09, 2021

Painting Project

Hard to believe in that busy day I had yesterday that I finally wrapped up my painting project. Stilts caulked and painted, stairs painted, house exterior painted, and finally the canal side deck was painted yesterday. I also put a nice coat of white semi-gloss on the deck rails and the place looks like a new penny, even if I say so myself.

Right when you top the stairs that lead up to the house, there was a well worn path on the deck that leads to the front door. Even outside of that well-worn path, the existing paint job was in dire need of a new coat.

As much as we are big fans of Walmart, I can't say the same for their paint center. Hate to be negative, but they never had the paint that I needed, didn't know when it might come in, and had big problems tinting the paint to the shade that it was supposed to be be.

All of that led me to pay a higher price at Ace Hardware and the difference has been night and day. I'm using a custom color in my best effort to match what was already on the house. Ace color matched it perfectly when they upgraded to a new base and every time I buy more, it matches perfectly.

I also learned that I prefer to buy a gallon at a time instead of the five gallon lot that I tried. Just too hard to handle and too much trouble to use, especially considering that I wound up pouring it into one gallon paint cans to make it more usable with brushes and rollers.

On a side note, the twinkle lights on the ocean side of the house were old and dying and it was nice to order and install a new string over there. It really adds to the romance of the place!


APRIL 21, 2021


I'm the world's worst when it comes to remembering to take a 'before' and 'after' picture of a project. So, as I was about to finish painting the last outside wall of the house, I decided to snap the picture above for the 'before' perspective of an old paint job that had been incredibly bleached out by the Florida sunshine.

I'm not sure I understand why the old paint job looked 'patchy' but, either way, it was time to put on a new coat. There's plenty of 'after' photos on the April 14th post that reflect the incredible difference a coat of paint makes on the house.

I was able to combine the leftover paint from the gallon used for the front of the house and the gallon used for the east side of the house to provide almost 3/4ths of a gallon to be used for the west side of the house. It took almost every drop to paint that last side.

There's probably just a few ounces left for the always necessary next-day touch up job and then, at some point, I imagine I'll buy one more gallon to put a coat on the front deck, hit a few odds and ends on the middle level, and touch up a few of the deck spindles on the upper level. No rush on any of that and then it will be time to call this project completed!


APRIL 20, 2021

Paint Wisdom

While we were headed to the gym, I dropped by Ace Hardware to pick up some more paint and a couple of cheap brushes. While there, and while the attendant was preparing my custom paint shade, I asked her about the maximum time a paint can should be allowed to sit before it is once again shaken to keep the color consistent throughout the batch.

Her response shocked me!

I had a can that was prepared and sat only 24 hours before the tint started to separate from the base. I noticed enough of the tint on the lid of the can to actually concerned me, especially with my less that stellar track record with paint shades.

And when my Ace paint expert offered a maximum of 12 hours, it all finally made sense. From now on, I plan to have my paint tinted and shaken the day I intend to use it and not a moment sooner. That's what I did today and it worked out perfectly. I plan to do the same thing tomorrow.

It took a full five hours to paint the east side of the house and should take the same tomorrow for the west side. All that will remain are a couple of minor things on the second level and the front and back deck. I should have enough paint left to hit the middle level and the front deck (on the canal side) and will probably, at that point, consider my painting project completed. The south deck should be okay for the time being.


APRIL 14, 2021

We're supposed to have storms arriving tomorrow. So, I thought I would take advantage of the beautiful day today and squeeze in some more painting before the weather moves in.

Sometimes the storms and rain sneak in late afternoon the day before they're supposed to arrive. I was hoping that wouldn't be the case today. The winds are already picking up but the paint is dry enough now that any early rain won't be a problem. flag

In addition to our trip to the gym, we picked up groceries at Walmart and Patty had included in our order a new American Flag. It was great to put that up today and to enjoy the patriotic sight as part of the old homestead.


You can see in some of the pictures the (cypress) shingles I've been talking about. The new coat of paint sure does a nice job of improving their look overall.


I was particularly pleased with how well the new coat of paint cleaned up the flights of stairs leading up to the house.


I love the contrast of the white semigloss I used for the trim and the flat gray used on everything else including some of the panels that are part of the architecture of our home.


I mentioned some repairs where we had some bad wood replaced. With a coat of paint, they look great and just like part of the original structure.


APRIL 13, 2021

Brushes or Rollers

Well, today was supposed to be a rainy day or at least an overcast day leading into an early rain on Wednesday. However, and as usual, the forecast changed (it's Florida!) so I was able to squeeze in some more painting ahead of the projected weather.

I wondered if I would be able to use a roller on the shingles or if a paint brush might be required? After finishing the stairs yesterday, I decided to attack the raw wood from the repairs I hired out. Painting over the repairs led me to some shingle painting and the bad news and good news came quickly.

Turns out I would have to use a brush on the shingles, but the shingle work went quickly and there's not that many shingles on the front and the back (just mostly on the sides) so I should be able to knock out the over-all house painting pretty quickly. Of course the deck around the house will be another matter entirely, but we'll get to that when we get to it.

I was able to paint over all of the repairs and a section of shingles (and a gutter spout) leading up to one of the sliding glass doors. As I mentioned, it went faster than I had hoped for and was very encouraging in terms of the time left before completing the entire project.

Tomorrow the forecast calls for mostly cloudy, leading up to more rain on Thursday. So, I might be able to get some more painting done on the house before the precip arrives.

We'll see...


APRIL 10, 2021

Paint and Rain

Well, the good news on the painting front is that I've painted the places that I was concerned would be the most difficult to paint. In particular, that includes the outside of the deck, rails, and spindles at the top of the second flight of stairs leading up to the house.

I should be able to move to that same area on the interior portion of the stairs and paint on up to the top of the last flight of stairs. From there I will paint the shingles on the house and then tackle the front and back decks. Having finished the stilts and the diagonals was a big step, not to mention the panels on the canal side of the house. It's good to have that behind me and to be moving into a much more readily manageable area.

My greatest challenge at this point is finding a window of good weather. We've had quite a bit of rain lately and when it hasn't been raining the wind has been so strong that it literally blows the paint right off of my brush.

There's a lot of rain called for on the 10-day forecast so I'll be watching closely on the daily forecast for any openings that might allow me to squeeze in some painting. It's not that I just can't wait to paint, but I am looking forward to finishing this project!


MARCH 31, 2021

Fear of Heights

If you look at the top of our roof, in the picture above, on each end there is a sizeable area that needed scraping and painting. I'm talking about an area on each end immediately below the roof line that can't be seen in the picture.

I hired the guy and his son, who we call on for all of our home improvement projects, to paint those two areas. I'm just not up to attempting any work in a place where I don't feel safe and in those two places that was the case - I just didn't feel safe climbing around on a metal roof, especially without any costly safety equipment.

In may seem odd to some folks, but in Patty's and my morning prayers we prayed together for both of them on the days they were up there. I was quite honestly scared for them the entire time they were working in that dangerous area.

I was in my office immediately below them when I heard a loud rumble above me. I dashed outside to see if they were okay and found them climbing down ladder that led from the roof to our upper deck. You guys okay?, I asked. Turns out they had a safety equipment failure and had a very close call for one of the two on what would have surely been a fatal fall to the ground over thirty feet below.

Other than some spilled paint and some painting equipment that took the fall, everything turned out to be okay. I'm so grateful for that outcome considering what could have been. The project was safely completed and everyone's back safe on the ground below.


MARCH 15, 2021

Happy Pi Day

Yesterday, I managed to get a first coat of white semi-gloss on two old Adirondack chairs. I have no idea how much life they have left in them, but they sure are comfortable and it's a beautiful view to the gulf from the location on the seawall where we've placed them.

After lunch today we got in our daily three mile up-tempo walk, and when we got back I applied a second and final coat of paint to both chairs. We're giving them a full day to dry and then looking forward to putting them to good use.


MARCH 13, 2021

The Finish Line

Today I crossed the finish line on the first phase of my painting project.

I finished up the stilts and diagonals and there were a lot of each! In fact, I've finished up everything on the ground level and second level. And, as I mentioned before, I finally painted the bottom of those 2 flights of stairs.

Next, after I catch up on some much needed rest, I need to paint the top of the steps on the third (top) flight of stairs. And, then it's off to the third level where I need to put a coat on the outside of the house and on the decks around the house. I've already done all of the (white) trim, so it's going to be all about gray the rest of the way.

I've got two gallons left of the gray remaining, and I have no idea just how far that's going to take me.

I guess we'll see.


MARCH 12, 2021



1. A state of extreme physical or mental fatigue.

2. The action or state of using something up or of being used up completely.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Including a quick run to the store I put in 10 hours of painting today and a bit of heavy lifting for one of Patty's garden projects. She has an amazing eye for what looks good out on our canal side and gulf side decks. She also has the necessary green thumb for turning a wonderful vision into a beautiful reality.

Besides being completely spent after a long day of painting, I have some new aches that I haven't been left with on any of my prior days of painting. You see, I did an unusual amount of painting with a roller attached to my 20' extension. And, with that setup, I did a great deal of looking straight up in the air and am left with a very tired and sore neck.

I'm guessing I have about half a day's worth of painting to finish this particular phase of the project and look forward to moving on to the final few phases which shouldn't demand such a high level of physical effort.

Bring it!


MARCH 11, 2021

5 Gallons of Paint

Well, it looks like I bragged on Ace Hardware a bit too soon. I needed some more gray paint and they were out of the base that I needed in the one gallon size. I almost went with a different base but realized I was going to need a lot more for all that I want to get done and asked them if they had the base I needed in the five gallon size.


And with that I took my first step into what felt like the commercial world of painting. As a newbie to the world of managing those large (and heavy!) five gallon containers, I decided to pour some of the batch into a few of my empty and more manageable one gallon containers.

Cue the chicken noises!

I couldn't help it. I imagined trying to clean up a spilled mess in the storage room or on the concrete foundation below the house and opted to put the yard at risk instead. I was much more at home killing a patch of grass and a few bugs than setting myself up for a complicated clean-up task!

Did I mention those five gallon containers are heavy?! I bought the little spout that is easily installed in the top of the container and attempted to make my first pour. Wow, no airhole in the container meant that the pouring process started out very slowly. Oh, and did I mention those five gallon containers are heavy?!

After placing the five gallon bucket spout directly above the first empty gallon container and finally turning the five gallon container completely upside down, the glugging sound kicked in and the pouring process jumped into hyper speed.

Moments later the glug, glug sound came to an end and the task was finished. Other than sacrificing about a tablespoon of paint, a few blades of grass, and a potential bug or two, I thought the pour went pretty well.


MARCH 10, 2021

More Painting

Well, it looks like I'm going to be in house painting mode for a while now. I dropped Walmart as my paint supply store and picked up Ace Hardware. I should have done that a long time ago. While more expensive, Ace stays well stocked and has a big advantage over Walmart in the technology they use for things like matching paint colors, which came in very handy when trying to get ACE to match the Old Monterey Gray from Walmart.

Today, Patty and I dropped by Ace to pick up 2 more gallons of gray paint, and some extra supplies such as brushes, rollers, and paint roller pan inserts. Patty picked up several packs of seeds to plant and it was a pleasant surprise when one of the ACE employees came out to the car to take our buggy back into the store. You just don't see service like that much anymore.

We also picked up two applications for our new doctor, dropped off books and DVD's at the library, stopped by Goodwill, and made a grocery run to Walmart to follow through with Patty's new plan to buy for two weeks at a time.

On the painting front today, I painted the detail around the stilt that contains most of the utility connections and I also knocked out two big goals with the unpainted area beneath two of the three flights of stairs and the large panel on the canal side of the house. That large panel covers an outside wall on one of the large second level storage rooms and it drank 2/3rds of a gallon due to the rough texture and its dire need to be painted. It also required the 20' roller extension poll which made the job a good bit more taxing after already taking on a long and busy day!

On the health front I did a weight check and was back in my goal range after 10 days of being one to three pounds above it. Patty and I also got in a nice 3 mile up-tempo walk in the beautiful weather before attacking the painting tasks.


MARCH 09, 2021

House Painting
Wow! Did I think I had challenges painting the stilts under our house? I don't think I could even live in the house on stilts pictured above!

Well, our routine has become more and more refined toward the things that are priorities in our lives. I've said it before, but it really is interesting to see how much there still is to learn about life in this senior season.

Other that a visit to the Walmart optometrist to pick up some new contacts for Patty, and some paint for me, today is going to be all about painting the house. I made great progress yesterday with nothing more than a paint brush used on all of the shorter stilts under the house - the ones that support the second level.

Today, I pick up where I left off yesterday, but with several gallons of new paint, a roller for the lower part of the longer and higher stilts, a 20' extension to attack the higher portion of those stilts and diagonal supports, and finally, the same roller and extension on some of the higher stairway supports.

All of the stilts have been caulked. As such, the place should look like a new penny from the street when all of that gets covered with the gray paint. That's a sight I really look forward to seeing.

Not sure how long all of that will take, but when I'm done with that part of the project I'm headed up toward the main level. I'll start with painting beneath the stairs we had replaced, painting the top flight of our three flights of stairs, painting the cypress shingles, and finally painting as much of the deck as I can stand and feel led to paint, and one or two iffy looking spindles on the deck rails.

So, here goes...


FEBRUARY 28, 2021

Home Maintenance

Well, the milder weather has finally begun to arrive and I promised myself I would start some painting projects when warmer temperatures started to move in. I guess it's time to follow through and get the jobs done!

First order of business will be to use my pressure stick and some bleach to get the dirt, grime, mold, and mildew washed off of the house. Next order of business will be to get some scraping done in just a couple of locations.

I purchased some white semi-gloss primer and paint and will probably start with all of the rail work on the steps, around the deck, and on some of the trim located around the low hanging roof in the back. I'll also probably hit some of the white around the back doors as well.

Next big project will be to get out the long handle paint roller and paint the stilts under the house in order to cover up the caulking I did and to get them protected and looking good again. I haven't made up my mind yet, but will probably start a trip around the house to put a new coat of gray on the cypress shingles.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I've got some guys coming by to replace a few pieces of wood that need to be replaced. They've already done the repair work on one or two of the deck rails, so all I need is for them to replace a few things closer to the house and to paint two areas at each end of the house and up high where I'm just not able to go.

Should prove to be a busy spring.


DECEMBER 12, 2020

Deck Lights

I got out late yesterday afternoon and added three strings of twinkle lights across the back of the house. Even though it's the Christmas season, it was not our intention to add them just for the season. We plan to leave them up year round and it's just another added touch toward the romance that I wrote about back on December 2, 2020.

There's something quite magical about being out on the back deck at night with light provided solely by those twinkle lights. They provide a warm glow that makes the back deck and the view of the gulf a more inviting place to slow down and relax.

Next step is to pick up a timer on our next visit to Walmart in order to reduce the effort necessary to ensure they are off during daylight hours. They also tend to double as security lights which is never a bad thing.

Copyright © 2021 Hutch DeLoach

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