Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Back Porch Progress

The back porch is really starting to take shape. Since buying the house we have repositioned the water heater, washer, and dryer to maximize the usable space of the back porch. After doing this, the porch looked like this:

The dark circular area is where the previous water heater was located. The dark rectangular area is where the dryer was located. The washer was between them, but I did experimental painting over that area prior to taking this picture. Disclaimer: I have no idea how to paint. And neither does my husband. This was my first time painting a house. I did not sand or use a primer. I do not even know if I should feel bad about not doing so. I just scraped the loose paint from the really bad spots where the appliances previously stood. Then I swept and hosed the whole porch down with a water hose. I also do not know if this was a reckless thing to do since it did end with large amounts of water falling into my basement. Anyway, this is what it looked like when I finished:

During the process I also removed duct tape which was covering holes and an electrical receptacle which was no longer wired.


Before painting over everything, I tried to note any clues which might give an indication to how the porch might have looked originally. Underneath the previous appliances, I noticed a layer of orange/gold between the raw wood and the gray paint:

This gold/orange wood color looks similar to other woodwork in the house:

This is the baseboard in the living room that I have started stripping. Though I knew all the woodwork was originally stained/shellacked this color (based on my own findings and based on the Pearson house next door), I did not think the exterior woodwork would have ever been stained. I figured it had always been painted, but I believe the preceding pictures show that the back porch decking was likely originally stained rather than painted. I find it interesting, but we will definitely keep it painted. I doubt that it is in good enough condition to be sanded and stained at this point. In fact, I have not ruled out the need to replace it in our lifetime. The wraparound porch was replaced around 20 years ago and seems to be doing well. This back porch (sometimes called a service porch) is rather weak in places, especially where the washer and dryer were. Even though they were on a piece of plywood, the wood underneath seems to have suffered. 

But for now the back porch is on hold for the winter. We are now focusing on interior painting because the downstairs wood floors will be restored in February. I am also trying to strip the paint from most of the trim in the house. Everyone, and I mean everyone is telling me that this is a bad/impossible idea. Whatever. People on other house blogs I follow do it as a rule rather than an exception. I am baffled that people in  real life tell me that it is impossible or not worth it to strip paint from woodwork. Now I have a point to prove.