Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A work in progress

Remember the unhelpful friend who pointed out that five sets of dishes are probably the reason I keep thinking I don't have enough kitchen cupboards?  Well, he's been back in action.  Behold:

This is a shutter on the front of our house, newly painted in 'fresh start' primer.  (I know you love to collect images of shutters in progress - don't we all - so I thought I'd give you this huge treat today to make up for being away for several days again.)

The backstory about the shutters is that they have been on the house since it was new, and have been painted many, many times.  Usually badly, judging by the number of low-lying areas where whole huge sections have been peeled away and painted over again.  The architects we worked with at the beginning of the project pretty much hated the shutters since they are non functioning and therefore serve no purpose, but we love them because they give colour to the front of the house, which would otherwise just be a brick slab, and relate our WWII house to the much older, more dignified houses in the neighbourhood which also have non functioning shutters.  So: in spite of the objections we were always going to keep them, or maybe replace them with the same thing.  We may yet do the latter - I did find a few local companies that produce wood shutters to this design - but over the last few weeks Ray and I have been looking at them and saying Ya know.... they aren't so bad.... maybe if we just paint them....

Hence the primer, because they can't be the grey any more that they've been for the last ten or so years.  We are still using that shade on the porch floor, but it's in the form of stain now, and the 'stain' ship has SO sailed for the shutters.  I don't particularly want to buy a can of grey paint either, when I have left over black paint to use up from the side door.  And most importantly, everybody else in the area who has a black door and with columns either side, and a white window with shutters either side, paints the columns white and the shutters black.  Decision made.

And here with go with the black.

I was so excited to get this first coat of black paint on.  It felt so DARING.  Because I did not even try to use DAP on the low lying areas to build them up for something resembling a new shutter.  And I had Ray's blessing on that plan.  His point was, these shutters are never, ever going to look new again.  They are geriatric and much loved and they show it.  No matter how good a job I do with the DAP, which is probably not going to be 'Very', they will look lumpy and unkempt.  So, he said, why not embrace the distressed look?  Not to mention that black recedes and the leftover paint is not high sheen, so the low lying areas probably won't show a lot anyway.  What's to lose, we decided, if I paint them black?  If it still looks bad, I can still do the DAP, and if that looks bad, I can buy new wood shutters in the spring.

Done and done.

Enter the unhelpful friend.

"Hey," he said.  "Did you paint those shutters today?"

"I did!" I said, beaming, willfully ignoring the pained look on his face.

"Because they look like you just painted right over all those bald spots without making any effort to sand them down."

"I did!" I agreed, beaming less.

"Yeah.  It's really bad.  Especially with the sun hitting them from the west, now that it's setting."

I went out to look and Dang, he was right.  It doesn't matter that the paint is black and the sheen, low.  When the sun is blazing across at those shutters, every imperfection is visible all the way from across the street, and to every driver that goes past on the facing road... and with traffic so heavy in our neighbourhood these days, there are a LOT of end-of-day drivers creeping slowly past as a detour from the even busier street to the north.  It's a pretty pathetic end to a long renovation, having patchy terrible shutters right there on the front of the house.

So... back I go, the next good-weather day we have when the DAP will cure properly so I can paint another coat of primer and another few coats of black.  Huzzah!

(but MAN, do I ever need to scare up some more helpful friends.)


Kathy said...

In France every house has shutters and the minute the sun dares to poke its nose out or dusk is fifteen minutes away Bang! the shutters are closed. I was considered very weird because I only ever closed mine when I went away, which was an insurance requirement. Because of the 2-hour lunch break villages deserted from noon until 2 are and are like a graveyard if it's sunny. It's quite depressing actually. But my sky blue shutters looked lovely against the creamy stone of my house!

Mary Keenan said...

Ohhh that combo of creamy stone and sky blue sounds fantastic! I'm with you, my shutters would be mostly open. Though I did like the total privacy of the condo, where the windows looked out on a private terrace and even that was separated from us by trees... sigh. I see my drapes in a whole new light now but they look so ugly from outside when they're drawn, compared to the way they look inside when drawn :^)