Sunday, June 16, 2013

Painting Clapboards and Installing a Cat Door

As of Memorial Day Weekend, we are all officially moved into the Bangor Foursquare! It's been wonderful to be back - albeit a bit weird at times (is it a new house? an old house? is it my house? it is our house?). A few little niggling projects awaited us, however. I spent most of this week scraping paint from the clapboards outside, as some of it has begun to peel and flake. I recall hearing that the previous owner of the home would have one side of the house repainted every five years. Well, I did not keep up with that schedule and it shows. I think what I find most disconcerting is that I had to have the north side of the house repainted when I bought it in 2007 as I got an FHA mortgage and some of that paint is already peeling. So, this time hubby and I are attempting to do it ourselves. Two days ago, this consisted of a lot of hand scraping and spot painting. I found this result to be less than satisfactory. Yesterday, I converted to hand scraping and painting entire sections of the clapboard, making the paint appear to be a little more consistent in color. Regardless, however, it appears this will be a laborious task. As I attempted to tackle the cracking paint on the front porch trim today, I felt pretty daunted. It led me to asking Internet what to do. My long-term love, This Old House, showed me this post, which led me to this product - the Silent Paint Remover. I'm thinking this might be the ticket to repainting this old house. It makes me even wonder if we can do the whole thing ourselves -- which makes me daydream about all sorts of exciting color combinations. It's been an all-white house for a very long time but I know it wasn't always such. As loyal readers may recall, a few years ago I got a hold of a photo from the Bangor Historical Society of the Bangor Foursquare circa 1930, showing multiple colors. Of course, being a black-and-white photo, the actual colors are hard to identify and I can't see any evidence under the paint layers outside. So, we'll get creative me-thinks. It's exciting to ponder.

So, while I marinated in my consternation over the painting situation today, I decided to tackle another project that has niggled at me since we moved back in.  My new family includes this fine fellow, Barney the Cat.
Barney is - how should we say it? - stinky. He is a stinky, smelly cat. But, we love him nevertheless. So, my solution for dealing with Barney's eau-de-poopy is to house his cat box in the basement. My slight OCD-ness, however, has not meshed well with having the door ajar. I was loathe to cut a whole in the beautiful solid wood door but, ultimately, I am happy with the result:
As with any project I tend to tackle, it wasn't anywhere as easy as I expected it to be and it took twice the amount of time I expected it to take. I was mostly concerned how it would sit in the door given the panels. But, in the end, this $30 beauty from Home Depot did the trick (To add insult to injury, Barney is not only stinky, he's kind of chubby. The brand name of the cat door was Hefty Kat). Barney has already mastered the in-and-out of it, being the smart, stinky cat that he is. All in all, a good day's work. Time to get cracking on some Father's Day dinner. We're excited to finally have our grill at the Bangor Foursquare - I don't know how we would survive the summer months without it.

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