Thursday 17 March 2016

Paint Job

People who've stayed in out cottage will know the road outside is quite busy and close to the front door. I noticed the paint on the door was cracking just a couple of years after we had the place redecorated in preparation for us opening for business. So over the past month when the weather has permitted I've been sanding off the old paint  on the door down to the bare wood to prepare it for repainting. At the time I wondered if it might be better to remove the door and replace it with a temporary door.  I could have then taken the door to my cellar where I have good workshop facilities to perform the stripping and repainting.  

However I didn't think it was worth the effort /cost of a temporary door so I did the work in-situ. It took a lot of sanding, chemical stripper and dust to achieve the desired result over a period of three days. The glass windows and glazing bars in the door made the work more complex - I could not use a heat gun.  As I'd been working to remove the old paint I'd realised the previous decoration had not properly sealed the door windows allowing the rain and spray to soak the underlying wood. In turn this caused the paint surface to crack and allow further leakage.

Just as I had completed the first stage of the work the spell of fine weather was coming to an end so I had to quickly seal the windows to prevent leakage. I then had to apply a coat of of primer/undercoat paint to protect the door.  Literally as I finished the undercoat and it was touch dry, the icy weather, rain and snow returned for a week or so.  After a week's further wait the weather improved and I was able to return to the house to apply a coat of red top coat gloss paint to the door.

As the gloss paint was drying I noticed the next problem. Dust and debris from the road was whipped up by passing vehicles and it was landing on the sticky paint surface. I knew I'd have to sand the new surface before applying a second coat of gloss, but the problem of dust would not go away. My thoughts turned again to removing the original door and installing a temporary replacement while I finished the paint work. I came up with a better solution. 

I went back to my workshop where I built a lightweight door with a timber frame which could be mounted outside the existing door. I used polyethylene sheet to skin the temporary door. Once the temporary door had been transported to the site and screwed in place I was able to open the front door and work inside the house to re-sand the gloss door surface and apply the top coat. The temporary outer door also allowed me to leave the front door open while the paint dried. I must say the door now looks very smart with its new coat of red gloss paint and it is free from dust blemishes on the surface. It certainly looks much more weather proof than what I'd replaced.

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