Technical Feature: Flat Shoals Avenue
In East Atlanta Village along Flat Shoals Ave, there is a section of the street just outside of the village center known to many as millionaire row. Some of the houses have been fully restored, some not so much and some are in the process!
We arrived at our meeting on Flat Shoals Ave to find the siding in fairly decent shape – clearly very old and lacking curb appeal. As we discussed the project with the homeowner, it came to light that the current siding was actually the original pine that was put on the house in 1920. This seemed impossible because there was only one coat of paint and very little rot. Yes, you read correctly, ONE COAT of paint. The owner explained that at some point early in the lifespan of the home, the original siding had been covered with another layer and ultimately yet another vinyl siding layer was installed. All of these layers protected the original siding and its one coat of paint. Exciting!
So, here we were with 95-year old siding that had a single coat of chipping paint and we were going to restore it. It doesn’t get much more exciting than this guys and gals!
First, we covered the area around the perimeter of the house – ground and plants – for protection and lead-based removal compliance along with daily containment and disposal. We began with a gentle pressure washing. Coinciding with pressure washing, we also needed to scrape away the chipping areas. For this, we used the Allway Tools 2.5″ scraper. This is a physically demanding process and will wear out your arms and the blades at a consistent rate. We used a series of various grit sand papers ranging from 80-grit to 220- grit to ensure a smooth surface without damaging the grain. Then, we gently pressure washed again and repeated this process two and three times throughout on the siding, windows and trim. With a responsibility for maintaining character and making things new, we were able to have the siding, trim and windows clean and green – back to the bare wood after several days. Taking siding back to bare wood is a tedious process that when completed improperly, will ruin the wood and yield a need for total replacement.
Upon extensive cleanup and proper paint removal testing, we took a walk with the owner and received approval to move forward with the process, having satisfied the desired level of preparation needed for both BRUSH and owner quality standard. For the second phase, we chose to apply a high-build primer coat for proper adhesion of the topcoat and also to fill in gaps and low areas naturally associated with old wood. For this, we applied The Sherwin-Williams PrimerX, a high-build primer to help achieve a smoother surface for the finish work. After the priming phase, we were ready to begin the finish phase. We ensured that everything was still covered properly and began to spray the siding using The Sherwin-Williams Exterior Latex Superpaint brand line. Spraying can be much faster, but is important to ensure proper pressure and settings for the equipment are being utilized to prevent overspray, runs or low areas. For fascia and soffit trim as well as the windows, we BRUSH. These are areas that need detailed attention and unfortunately, over-spraying is a mistake too easily made.
The result? Well needless to say we’ve been getting compliments from neighborhood on the new siding work we completed for the old house on the corner. I just smile and say, “It isn’t new siding, let me tell you about this one…”
When the details are important, use your BRUSH!
*Special thanks to the homeowner (you know who you are) for allowing us the opportunity to serve you well and take responsibility for this painting restoration.