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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Our National Folk Farmhouse Updates

Back at it.

Honestly, we have been so crazy busy I haven't been taking any time to blog. And I really should!

Thank you, to all of my blog readers, for still supporting my blog even though I took this hiatus. By you readers taking the time and reading through my past blog posts, especially the ones on motorhome modifications and house projects, you are clicking on my ads and helping out to support my blog. I just got a monthly check from AdSense again and realized that I had better get back to it and do some more blogging.

We have been really busy... 
and this is the result so far:

from this when we bought it in April:

One of the first exterior changes I wanted to make was to remove the funny plastic lattice that was covering the porch rails and spindles. It was really tacky and although I had plans for the lower wooden lattice, I am not a fan of lattice whatsoever.

This is the plastic lattice I am talking about:

Here is how it looked after removing it. We know the spindle spacing on the railings is incorrect and not up to code. We have added it to our building permit and we are going to take care of the railings at a later date. For now they are grandfathered in as they are. We do have some real original two-by-fours that are actually 2in by 4in that we are going to be able to cut up and replace all of the missing spindles that are also exactly 2in by 2in.

As for the exterior transformation, the process took me a couple weeks. I started with painting the red lattice underneath the porch as fast as I could. I wanted to get it painted before disturbing all of the flowers that started growing in front of it.

I started with a white primer spray that soaked into this old and dried out unstained lattice wood. I could never understand why people let lattice turn gray instead of painting it. To me, any of that pressure treated wood looks funny when left to turn gray and look weathered.


Now for the red. I did not want to use a sprayer because of the overspray drifting onto any of the white surfaces. Instead, I patiently set on a bucket --- working section-by-section with a brush --- getting it into all the nooks and crannies of each little piece of lattice.

I had soft Celtic music playing on my little MP3 player and worked my way across the entire 45 ft long veranda and around both corners too.

While I was doing it, all I could think about was that I was giving our Folksy Farmhouse some "love"!

The window boxes were brown but I used this really good Dutch Boy paint called Max Bond Exterior that works on plastic surfaces (Use on properly prepared exterior siding and trim of previously painted or bare vinyl, aluminum, masonry, stucco, wood, galvanized metal, and primed steel.)

We added the window boxes along the porch edge, and the potted plants on the front porch as well as the front porch furniture. I covered my blue and white front porch fabric cushions with red plastic checkered tablecloths for water proofing!  We may have plans to use that porch furniture in another place, so I am not ready to recover them permanently with waterproof fabric. This will "do" for now.

The next major improvement that we have made is that I have scrubbed and painted the front facade of the house, and we added shutters.

The old white wood siding looked awful and grubby and actually even moldy. I sprayed it down with the garden hose, and then I gave it a light misting of Tilex bathroom cleaner. Yep, that's right. Bathroom cleaner! I put a couple bottles worth in a pump up lawn sprayer jug and lightly misted the entire house on the west and north sides.

Within a few minutes all of the mold and dirt disappeared!!  I gave it a light brushing with a soft-bristled brush on an extension handle. We use that for washing our motorhome.

 Then I gave it a spray with the hose 
and all of the dirt just came right off!

What a satisfying project to work on. It was like night and day to see all of the dark gray and black slide off and  leave fresh white siding underneath

Our original plans were someday replacing the wood siding with Smart Siding. But now after doing these two portions of the house that came out amazingly well, I think we will keep what we have.  Best to retain the historic charm of a National Folk Farmhouse with real wood siding.

I let the siding dry for two days and then picked a cool morning to roll on some fresh white paint on the front of the house siding. I worked a little section at a time.  The results were very satisfying to paint something and have it look so much better as you go along. You see your immediate accomplishment as your roller and paintbrush transform the exterior.

The sellers left us brand new shutters for every window. The only problem is they were black. I chose red for our accent color on this house. Up the street there's a white house with black shutters, and down the street there's a white house with black shutters. I repainted these two coats with the red paint.

The sellers also left a 5 gallon bucket of thick gray porch and floor oil enamel paint so I was able to pressure wash and do the porch floor surface --- as well as the side cement of the foundation to spruce that up to look nicer.

The front stairs will be painted too, 
but not until we bring them up to code 
and correct the rise and tread and railings 
with our newly acquired building permit. 

There was a very tall oversized colonial looking front porch light. I really didn't care for the style of it.  The tip of it almost reaches the beadboard ceiling. It didn't look right and was quite large for the space it was occupying.  The red wreath is covering up a funny yellowed outdoor electrical outlet.

I was nosing around at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore the other day. I found this much smaller and more "farmhouse" looking front porch light for only $10. It was a funny mauve/dusty rose color. Out came my red paint and it was soon transformed into an adorable accent light for our front porch.

The grandkids have been coming over a lot and sharing in some of our projects. Here is Jameson helping Grandpa to install the front porch light. He learned Lefty Loosey Righty Tighty. He helped with the bracket part of screwing the light fixture on, but Grandpa did the electrical connections, after turning off the breaker. So Jameson is learning to respect electricity and also that you can recycle and repurpose something to look good.

(and it matches his new hair color)

We will later attach the oversized colonial looking coachlight onto the side of the big garage. It has a motion detector sensor on it which will be nice in that dark portion of the yard. The larger size will look okay on the long tall side of the garage. So nothing is going to waste. Just moving around.

So far, here is what the exterior front of the house looks like. I'm quite pleased that we got it this far along, while working on other projects with Steve on the inside as well.  Most of the painting and cleaning and sprucing up is my doing... because Steve is working on something else I will start blogging about in the next blog.

We really love this front porch now. 
The family comes over and we sit out and visit...
the kids wander up and down the stairs, 
back in the yard and around to the front. 
With 2.5 acres now, they have room to roam. 

I'm very pleased with all of the amazing perennials that are popping up around the house as well. There are flower beds that almost completely encircle the entire house that are chock-full of perennials carefully planted over the years and arranged by the previous owners.

As for the grandkids, they have also been helping me with watering my flowers and hauling around items in the wheelbarrow and the Little Red Wagon to help us out with projects. It is delightful to have them come over and spend time with us.

I think in the next blog series,  I'm going to talk about what we're doing each day .... and also add one project at a time of what we've done since I last posted a blog. That way I can catch it up slowly.

 We have been doing a lot of little jobs and now we are tackling THE BIG ONE!!!

SOOOOO what is the big one?

It's my She Shed!!!

(stay tuned)


  1. Your home looks fantastic!! You and Steve are such hard workers.

  2. You guys have all been busy transforming a home that looked run down into a reel eye catcher.
    Great Job. Looking forward to seeing more changes.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your new home.

    It's about time.

  3. WOW What a fantastic job you have done with the house. I just love the red it makes the place stand out and loved. I know that was lots of work. You and Steve had so much talent and always make a place home. Will be looking forward to the next posting.

  4. Wow, the curb appeal of the house has gone from 2 to 10! It looks amazing. Looking forward to seeing the other projects.

  5. Very impressive! You two make a fabulous team. Everything so clean and fresh it's a joy to see.


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