This is actually a subject I discuss briefly at the introduction to my latest YouTube video. It’s fair to say that you will quickly come to learn how I feel about painting and why it took me five-months to complete the laminated capping rail for our T&G gate… Oddly enough, I’ve spent the afternoon undercoating my hands a glossy white as we’ve been partitioning off a new section of the shop floor ready for the installation of two new metal cutting machines (it has been nice to be able to put of some stud walls and drill holes in the concrete floor, even if I’m not too satisfied with some of the gaps around my own joints, mostly cut on the bandsaw as well…).
We moved in to our current house back in 2004, not long after Christmas and, within days of moving in (in fact, it might have been the day itself), a now-ex-neighbour pointed out that flakes of white paint were
ing off from under the eaves at the front of the house, surrounding the large bay window. It’s a project that’s been on my mind for so long. It’d been glaring at me each day I arrived home. Even when I lived elsewhere, it became unmissable, with each and every family visit. I don’t know what possessed me but I finally got up there to tackle it, last weekend.
(All photos were taken on my smart phone – a Samsung Galaxy SII.)
It needed to be scraped off and sanding back, even before I could think about how many drips were going to land on the block-paved driveway. This did, however give me an excuse to use a ‘toy’ I bought myself sometime before Christmas, when Toolstation had them on special offer (I actually want one of these kits to melt PVC plumbing for my dust extraction setup).
At one section (in receipt of all the water and debris travelling down one of a valley in the roof), I could see that the uPVC fascia board was sagging below the level of the rest.
We’ve had trouble with this section of the roof in the past, where debris has been allowed to build up around this junction (we’ve been too lazy or careless to keep the guttering clear) and then, as the water overflows, it eventually finds its way through the timber and drips in to the living room, just ahead of the bay window (it was actually worse at the other end of the window).
I managed to brush, sweep and clear much of this waste by removing the end sections of the guttering run but, without climbing up on to the roof, I was unable to do anything about this plant that appeared to have sprung up and in to life!
Anyway, after prying the Polytop nails away and removing the rusty screws that held the bracket in place, I was able to take a look in behind the gutter, where I discovered that the timber fascia board was severely rotten by almost one-third of its total portion.
It needed replacing and, without wanting to head out and to try to find a new length of tanalised 7x1in, I found a short length of 7x2in (leftover the suspended floor I fitted in the workshop in 2011) which was just long enough for me to cut away some large knots. My bandsaw blade’s been getting duller by the day and I couldn’t be bothered to change it so, I sent approximately 24mm-worth of its thickness in to my extractor as a collection of wood shavings!! That just about over-filled the collection bag as well.
It also needed to be re-treated with all the previous chemicals having been planed away and so, I treated it to a quick bath of the same stuff I used to seal the cut ends of boards when we replaced the bathroom floor in February.
I estimate that I spent a good 90 minutes of a Friday afternoon off, heating and scraping away as many flakes as I could psychologically contend with. It even started raining lightly but, that didn’t deter me. I did about as much as my arms could take before declaring that it was ‘enough’ (no-one ever arrives at someone’s front door and immediately admires what’s directly overhead – we’ve had no other comments in the past nine-years). So, I reached for my random orbit sander equipped with some Abranet discs and I gave the surface a quick buzz through the coarse grades. I was reluctant to do this for too long because of all noise and vibration, with the neighbours being home at this time as well.
I chose to use Sadolin Woodshield (leftover from other painting jobs), as it’s water-based and, on the tin at least, they claim that you can paint over old and broken finishes. Perhaps that still requires more prep work and care than my own attempt here but, with a couple of thick coats on to finish off the tin, no-one’s like to notice without shining a torch across the surface.
I don’t appear to have any finished photos at this stage but, even with two coats and a lot of over-painting around the edges (…Cutting in???), it’s been one heck of a transformation and it no longer even catches my eye, unless I’m determined to examine the paint refurbishment too closely. I tried taking a couple of photos last week but the weather was against me and it all came out too dark on my phone.
Please do head on over to YouTube to check out my latest video (only about 6 minutes long). Here’s a quick teaser of the completed capping rail in position:
Thanks for reading.