Patrick's Barn: Painting a Big Building--Fast - Fine Homebuilding

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Editor's Notepad

Editor's Notepad


Patrick's Barn: Painting a Big Building--Fast

comments (4) August 3rd, 2012 in Blogs
patrick_mccombe Patrick McCombe, Associate editor

My choice of vinyl siding for the upper reaches of the barn was driven more by running short of wood siding, but it really made painting the exterior much easier. I was able to get a topcoat on nearly everything in about two hours. I just have a little cutting-in to do on places where I need a ladder.
Heres my setup for rolling. The 5-gal. pail has about 3 or 4 in. of paint in the bottom. I submerged the roller fully into the paint and then ran it over the screen a few times to clear the excess.
This fiberglass extension pole makes covering the upper sections fast and easy. It also means less stooping when loading the roller with paint.
Since the barn was already white with primer, passersby might not notice any difference, but I like that the nails are now hidden by paint, which makes the beautiful texture of the rough-sawn boards more obvious. My helper especially liked gooping paint into the countersunk nail heads. He also liked using the long roller, which I found somewhat anxiety-inducing.
My choice of vinyl siding for the upper reaches of the barn was driven more by running short of wood siding, but it really made painting the exterior much easier. I was able to get a topcoat on nearly everything in about two hours. I just have a little cutting-in to do on places where I need a ladder.Click To Enlarge

My choice of vinyl siding for the upper reaches of the barn was driven more by running short of wood siding, but it really made painting the exterior much easier. I was able to get a topcoat on nearly everything in about two hours. I just have a little cutting-in to do on places where I need a ladder.

Photo: Carol Collins

It's really a pleasant surprise when one of the barn's construction stages takes less time than I had expected it to. Usually, stuff takes twice as long as I anticipate, so when I was able to get a topcoat of paint on nearly all the wood siding last night in a little over two hours, I was thrilled. Of course, I had my star helper to speed things up, but minimal prep is likely what made things go faster than normal. It also helped that we spent considerable time priming the boards before nailing them up.

I also had a good rig for painting outdoors. I poured about a half-gallon into an empty bucket and used a roller screen to clear the excess from a dunked roller. Indoors, the setup would likely make a huge mess without heavy tarps and drop cloths, but it worked great outdoors, where I could do little damage. I generally hate painting, but the speedy progress on this particular paint job made for more fun than normal. It also helped that I had my favorite helper giving me a hand.

You can read more about my barn here


posted in: Blogs, patrick's barn

Comments (4)

Bruce_29 Bruce_29 writes: I love that you encourage your son to help!

Great work; all the best!
Posted: 12:24 pm on February 22nd

TimR TimR writes: I agree about trying to paint them... Probably not the best idea.

You could build some planters out of scraps and place them along the front.

You could try to find so large stones to place in front of them.

You could see what they have laying around the Project House ;-)

... Or you could add the water table sometime down the road.

Again, the barn looks good!
Posted: 9:17 pm on August 6th

patrick_mccombe patrick_mccombe writes: Thanks for commenting Tim. I'm definitely considering a water table to hide the above-grade sections of pier, but I'd have to buy more stock.

My coworker suggested a series of potted plants in front of the piers. I'm pretty sure he was kidding, but I think he's right, plants or shrubs would also solve the problem of the visible piers.

I almost painted the piers white as an interim solution when I was top-coating the siding, but I chickened out at the last minute. I got concerned the paint would peel and look worse than the bare concrete.
Posted: 2:16 pm on August 6th

TimR TimR writes: Patrick,
The barn looks really good (Thanks to your helper!!) I was just wondering, do you plan to put up a 'fake' water table to cover your footings? I know it's just a utility building, but it does look really nice.

Maybe you've covered that in a previous post... if you have, sorry.
Posted: 9:47 am on August 6th

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