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Continue to October 2007


I continued with the exterior staining today, this time on the north gable end--the tallest side, and the side with the most footage of logs and siding to cover.

To reach the peak, I needed my longest ladder--a 32' fiberglass monstrosity.  It's a good sturdy ladder, but very heavy to maneuver.  At least I feel comfortable perched on top, but needless to say I was happy to get the highest portions stained and out of the way.  I had to take care of another wasp's nest up near the peak before I could begin, and as I stained additional lethargic, woozy, and dying wasps would fall out of a gap between the two flyrafters, typically landing in my bucket of stain.

It took all day to complete this side, between the height, the overall size of the area, and the time-consuming shed dormer end that was challenging to reach no matter how I placed the ladder.

Here are the before and after photos.  I could almost hear the wood sigh with relief as it hungrily soaked up the stain.


I thought the new color made the house look as if it belonged here, and gave things an established look--something that was particularly noticeable when viewed from a distance.

OK, let's see where we are on the remaining list of unfinished projects.  While no house is ever truly finished, my goal is to complete at least all the major items remaining from what I consider to be the initial construction before we reach our one-year anniversary of moving in (November 9).
  • Exterior Staining:  finish all the porch trim and posts, the bedroom dormer, and the south edge of the shed dormer, as well as the small portion of exterior wall located in the screen porch
  • Build new set of stairs at the door on the north side (I still have the banged-together construction stairs there)
  • Exterior window trim on 8 windows (front and north side)
  • Interior door trim on 4 doors (downstairs hallway)

Hmm...that doesn't seem too bad.  But I don't have a lot of available time, so it'll be a stretch to get this done within the proposed time frame.

Some winter projects that I need to take care of:

  • Balusters on interior stairway
  • Bookshelves in loft


Yes, I'm still here. 

Over Labor Day weekend, I began to prepare to stain the exterior of the house--finally.  I had four buckets of stain on hand, and knew that I had to start getting this done before the cold weather set in once again.  I did not want to allow the house to go through another winter without being finished on the outside.

On Sunday of Labor Day weekend, I pressure washed the house again; it hadn't weathered much, if at all, since I did it back in April, but I thought it made sense to ensure that I had the logs as clean as they could be.  During the months since installation, the newer log siding on parts of the house had begun to color and weather slightly so that it better matched the older logs, reducing the immediate contrast.

Labor Day Monday, I began the staining.  I started with the small wall on the daylight basement to test the color ("tawny cypress") and make sure we liked it.  We did.  Then, I continued with the front side of the house.  Even though we'd gotten used to the way the house looked, and generally thought it looked good, it was remarkable what a difference the stain made; suddenly, the raw logs looked dry and starved.


After a couple weeks, during which I had no time to dedicate to the staining, I finally set aside a couple days specifically for the staining.  I had other commitments later in the week that would keep me away from the shop and work anyway, and I decided that my time would be best spent just getting the staining done and off my mind during the other couple days of the week.  I was, frankly, really tired of the loose ends of this house project and just wanted it done once and for all to help relieve some of my guilt and the projects hanging over my head.

The forecast was for a perfect late summer/early fall week:  dry, bright sun, and temperatures in the 60s and low 70s.  Perfect for outdoor work.  So on Monday, after waiting a bit for the air to warm and to burn off the early morning fog and dew, I got started on the southern gable end.  My plan was to focus on the worst parts of the house (that is, the high parts) and  get them done, so that even if I didn't finish all the staining during this two-day period, the remainder would be easier to complete piecemeal as required.

I finished the gable end before lunch, and then worked on the back facade of the house, starting at the roofline.  As I had imagined, staining the exposed rafter ends and spaces between was a time-consuming pain, but I got it done.  I finished the second story and then moved down to the first floor, where more exposed rafter tails awaited.  By about 1830, I had managed to finish the entire back side, which felt satisfying.  All in all, a fair days' work.  Only the northern gable end remained, which I planned to attack the next day.

Here's a before and after of the back wall:


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Photos and Text 2006-2015 by Timothy C. Lackey.  All Rights Reserved.

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