Thursday, August 12, 2010

15 windows

Our house has 15 windows.  Compared to some in our neighborhood, that's not a lot.  Some of them are grouped in two's or three's.  I know some are you are thinking, "why does she know how many windows are in her house?"  Square feet?  Sure.  Rooms?  Yeah.  Windows?  Nobody knows that.  Well, I decided that I was going to paint them.  On the outside.  Did I mention we have two floors? 

Sometimes we hire out big jobs around the house.  It's always nice to have big jobs just finished!  Of course writing the check always hurts though.  I got a few quotes on getting them painted.  It just isn't in our budget.  They REALLY need painting.  I mean you can see the bare wood.  They haven't been painted in 8 years!  Since before my son was born.  So of course, I decided I could do it.  Did I mention there are 15 windows?

I knew I couldn't do them all in a weekend.  With two little ones running around it would have to be several weekends.  Sunny ones at that!  So last weekend I started this project.  I originally wanted to get two windows done.  Once I got started I realized I could do 4!  Of course these are on the ground floor.

Here are the basic steps that helped me get this done.  I broke it down into Saturday and Sunday tasks.
Saturday:  Clean.  I didn't want to use a pressure washer.  Just too much to mess with.  I used a bucket with hot water and Oxyclean and a bathroom scrub brush.  I just slopped the mixture on and scrubbed the trim.  Since we have vinyl siding this seemed to work well.  I then just used the garden hose to rinse it off. 
I had some rags to dry it off and let the rest dry overnight.

Sunday: Paint.  This became less difficult because I was painting the same color (white).  There are lots of ways to cut in windows.  You can just scrape it afterward or use painters tape.  I chose to tape because our windows have no outside mullions or grids.  I primed using Zinser all house primer.  I used it because I had it on hand.  Kilz would have worked just as well.  I primed each of the four windows first.  By the time I finished all four, I could then paint.  Because I took the time to prime, it actually only took one coat of exterior paint.  After the paint dried, I removed the paint and cleaned the windows inside and out.

Now I only have 11 more widows to go.  The next 4 are all downstairs.  I'll tackle those this weekend.  I'm still researching how best to do the upstairs.  Our windows pop out, so that might be the best option. 

I did have to spend a little money (counting what I already had on hand): primer, paint, new GOOD QUALITY brush, painters tape, oxyclean, sweat equity.  All total, less than $100.  Now, I may have to buy a new ladder for the upstairs, but this is still cheaper than paying someone.  Although God bless those men and women who build and rebuild our houses!  If it were in the budget, I would be hiring you!

Give me some encouragement!  Leave me a comment about a project you tackled that you thought would take forever, but was totally worth it!

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