07 February, 2018

Spiffing Up the Mennonite House

A good pressure wash and a couple of coats of marine spar varnish is just what the Mennonite house needs to bring it back up to par. it was looking kind of dingy on the outside.

A good marine-grade spar varnish (we use Helmsman UV-protected polyurethane Spar Varnish) will help add years to wood's life, in addition to making it look good. The down side of this, is that here in the tropics, even a top grade of spar varnish, like Helmsman, will only last a smidge longer than a year. We generally sand and re-brush the wood of the Mennonite house every year.

Kane Getting the Ladder Ready
 Part of painting or varnishing a wooden house that's nine feet up in the air is like only working on the second storey of a house. Up and down the ladder all day long. That part of the job is plain getting to be too hard for this old fart. Much better to let a younger man, like Kane here, do it. Besides, I know he appreciates the work too.

Results of Pressure Washing
 As you can see from the photo at left, the results of pressure washing. It removes all the grime and deteriorated varnish, leaving a nice clean wood surface for varnish to be applied. Of course, after the pressure washing, we let the wood dry out for a day or two, then a light once over with the sander and it's ready for a coat of varnish.

Brushing and More Brushing
 We've found that the only effective way to apply varnish is the time-tested brush. We've tried using Wagner sprayers. They just don't apply varnish thick enough, nor is it easy to control over-spraying, contrary to what the manufacturers say.

vive la différence
The difference is simply amazing. A good coat of varnish really brings brings the wood to life.

Altogether, the pressure washing of the whole house took Kane one day. The varnishing of the exterior with two coats will take about three days. Then there's the front and back porches that will each take a coat of varnish. A good week or so of work and it looks wonderful.

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