Monday, August 19, 2013


The painting of our house happened several weeks ago, but I was so busy taking naps that I couldn't write about it until now.  Luckily, Mom took lots of pictures while the whole thing was going on, so that way we could remember how it all went.

The reason we got our house painted was because the old paint was trying to fall off.  Old paint does this sometimes, and our old paint had been there for maybe 9 years or so.  Mom put off getting the house painted because she knew it would be expensive, but finally it had to be done.

So the first thing Mom did was go to the paint store and get some paint chips and decide what color our house should be.  Actually, she already knew what color she wanted, but she pretended to consider some other colors.

The color Mom picked was called Clary Sage.  I didn't know what "clary" was, but it turns out to be an herb in the salvia family that is used for seasoning.  The last time Mom got the house painted, she meant to pick out sort of a sage color, but she made a mistake and got a weird green instead.  So we have been stuck with that green for many years.

The next thing Mom did was she got the names of some people who paint houses, and she asked them to come give us an estimate.  All the estimates were around $5,000, so Mom decided to use a guy who has painted several houses in our neighborhood.  His name is Tim Fitzwater.  He is tall and has a shaved head and a funny-looking goatee.  He asked Mom if she wanted some kind of "super paint" that would last forever, or if she wanted another kind that would only last 25 years.  Mom thought 25 years was plenty of time because she figures she will be in a retirement home long before that, and the next people can worry about repainting the house.

Then Mom emailed her financial planner and told him she needed to spend about $5,000 out of her mutual funds account to get the house painted, and the financial planner said he would make sure the money was there.

Mr. Fitzwater put us on his list to have our house painted, but we did not know how soon he would get to us because it kept raining, which made the painters not be able to work.  And also, we didn't know how many people were on the list ahead of us.

So we went to Austin to visit Aunt Cheryl, which I already told you about, and a couple of days before we were going to come home, Mr. Fitzwater emailed Mom and said he could start on our house the Monday after we got back.

The first day, not much happened except a couple of men moved lots of tools and equipment to our house and put it in our shed.  But the ladders had to stay outside because they didn't fit in the shed.  Mr. Fitzwater asked Mom if she had picked out some colors, and she said she mostly had, but she talked to him about the choices to see if he had any suggestions.  He did, but in the end, Mom stuck with the colors she had already picked out.  She only changed the color of green from what it was before, and she kept the same colors for the trim and shutters.

Okay, so the first thing that the painters did was something called "power washing."  This knocked all the really, really loose paint off the house.  After that, they scraped the rest of the flaky stuff off by hand.  Then they put primer on the places where there was no paint, which made our house look kind of spotted like a giraffe.

There were some places where the wood was all rotten, like some of the window sills, for example, so the men had to cut new wood to replace them.  And then, after that, they painted the trim, and we could not even use the front door for a day or so.  We had to go in through the garage.

The view from inside the house was not very good.  It was like night or else like a snowstorm, where there is snow stuck to all the windows.

Finally, the painters starting putting the nice sage green color on the house.  This paint had some kind of adhesive stuff in it that is supposed to make it stick to the house for 25 years, like Mr. Fitzwater said. You can definitely see that it is stuck on much better than our old paint, and also it looks very smooth and nice.

After they finished everything, the painters went back and did some touching up to make sure they hadn't missed anything.

The wood shutters on the front of the house turned out to be really old and in bad shape, so they did not hold paint very well.  Mom decided to get new shutters, which are plastic, but they had to be ordered because the ones in the store didn't fit our house.  So we waited about a week to get the new shutters.  Our house looked sort of naked until we got the shutters.

It took 3 weeks or more for everything to get fixed and painted.  Sometimes we thought it would never be all done, but finally it was.  It ended up costing more than we thought it would because of all the rotten wood and shutters that had to be replaced.  Mom kind of stopped keeping track of the cost, but she thinks it was pretty close to $9,000.  Some people probably didn't even notice that we got our house painted, since it went from being one green to being another green.  But we can tell, and that makes us happy.


  1. Phyllis Steitz HenryAugust 19, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    Looks really nice.

    1. Thanks! Mom and I totally agree with you!