De-Siding

In September I chose to stain my siding using a blend of vinegar and steel wool. I was so proud of my swift decisive action that on the first Friday of October I declared that “I was the best decision maker of all time this month!” I then proceeded to spend the rest of the month agonizing over this decision.

On my first October work day, I applied a top coat of transparent stain to the wood. First off, I would like to have a discussion with the manufacturer of this product over the meaning of words like “clear” and “transparent.”

 

I thought that maybe it would dry clear (purple glue sticks had taught me this was possible) so I tested it on a few boards. It did not dry clear at all but instead turned my gray stains a distinct burnt orange.

What’s more, when I looked at all my boards after having let them sit for a week, I saw that they were wildly different colors and not just between boards but within the boards. Overall they had settled into a deep redwood color, not at all the cool gray I had hoped for originally. I didn’t hate how they looked but they didn’t look like I wanted my house to look.

 

Logical response: That’s cool. I’ll just paint over them.

Actual response: If I paint over these boards I am a failure who has wasted an entire month’s worth of work days. I better waste all of this month’s work days worrying about it just to be sure.

So that’s why there’s no first of November post.

anxiety cat meme

Good news though! This month I am back on track and have real progress to report!

Once I decided to paint my boards instead of sticking with my stain, I had another daunting decision to make. What color? Or I guess just which shade…

img-8246.jpg
I only tried out three, not 50.

I battled indecision and quickly settled on the middle shade. It’s called Chrome.

My dad set up a way better work station than my brain had come up with for my solo painting. Instead of using saw horses to paint three boards at a time and transferring them to ladders to dry, we used an elaborate series of ladders to paint almost all the boards at one time.

We decided to spray instead of roll the boards and it went so fast. It took three short days to get all the boards painted with primer, first coat, and second coat!

IMG-8451
CHROME

And I got to wear this super cute suit!

 

Next I paint my trim, prep the boards, and start installing

IMG-8249
FULL COLOR SCHEME Left to right: ash roof, gray-white trim, lime drop door, chrome siding!

One last piece of exciting news is that I dropped a day at one of my jobs so now I have double the tiny house time!

OK, it’s thank you time! Thank you to my dad for his superior painting strategies, to the guys at the paint stores for answering my many many questions, and to my wonderful friends and family for putting up with my tiny house related worries, especially Jonni, who knows there is no stress that cannot be cured by sushi and fried potatoes.

 

 

 

 

How to Stain Siding and Everything Else

This month it was time to make some decisions about siding aesthetics. Now if you know me, you know I hate to make decisions. Seriously, never take me to the ice cream parlor. But I am super proud of myself! I was the best decision maker of all time this month!

If you recall, at the end of my last post I had just discovered a way to age wood with steel wool and vinegar, and by discovered I mean watched a couple videos on YouTube about it. I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to do this with my wood so I bought a semi-transparent gray stain to compare, cut a couple samples out of one of my scrappier boards, and tested out the two methods.

IMG-7635
Ma’am, you’ve been standing in line, starring at the board for 20 minutes. Do you want Cookies and Cream or Birthday Cake? No, you cannot try another sample.

To be honest, I wasn’t completely sold on either but I liked the natural stain better. I could have gone back to the paint store and tried another gray stain but they only sold them by the quart. I imagined myself going through $25 can after $25 can of stain to find the right one and decided to just decide. I would use steel wool and vinegar with a transparent top coat to protect the wood. I still wasn’t totally sure I wasn’t about to eff up $1500 of siding.

 

Going industrial.

The staining took up my next couple of work days. I set up a station and played around with the stain. I wanted a variety of tones in my boards so I played with the ratio of steel wool to vinegar, with how long I let the mixture sit before painting, with how long I left the stain on the boards, and with how many coats I applied.

IMG-7896.JPG
All aboard the staining train ‘cuz this is the work station!

It was messy work. At one point I went to reapply sunscreen and gave myself a very natural orange glow. I also noticed that I started coughing and getting headaches while I applied the stuff. It didn’t 100% occur to me until the last day of staining that I was basically breathing and bathing in rust, at which point I masked up and slipped on a set of gloves. Just because it’s “natural” doesn’t mean it’s good for you!

Overall, I am really pleased with the results! The boards are all in different shades of gray and brown, and all of them have a rich, natural look.

IMG-7967.JPG
Ta-da! I present to you… Slightly darker, shittier looking wood!

Most of the month was just me and the wood as both my parents were off cruising through Europe like good retirees but just in time for my last work day of the month, Dad got back and started mapping out the studs on the house while I stained. Next step is painting the boards with the transparent stain and then it’s siding time! This is all happening people!

stud mapping
Mapping those studs.

Thank you to the guys at Kelly-Moore Paints in Petaluma for their helpful advice and patience with my staining questions, to my roommates for letting me keep a big bucket of vinegar and rust in our garage, and to my dad for helping me out once he had recovered from all the fun he had on his cruise. And of course thank YOU for making the difficult but correct decision to continue reading this blog!