Sunday, December 8, 2013

More House Painting

In my last post I said that we'd be finished with the house in a week or so.  As it so often turns out, I was overly optimistic!

We had a deer control hunt here last week, and helped with taking hunters out and bringing deer back.  So that took up the middle of the week.  On the last day of the hunt (Thursday) a big cold front blew in and iced the entire park up.  The water is shut off at the house we're working on, so we've been holed up in the trailer since Thursday.  The final straw is that we need two additional gallons of paint to finish, but the park has been placed on a spending freeze so we don't know when (or if) we'll get more paint.

However, we've made a lot of progress and thought we'd share more pictures.

Starting at the beginning, they got us 10 gallons of paint and we rounded up whatever brushes, rollers, etc. we could find.  They had no masking tape at all, so Teri and I donated a roll that we had with us from a previous project and ended up buying two more just so we could do a decent job.
Paint and Supplies
The first thing that we had to deal with was what we call "The Green Monster".  It seems like each house we've painted has been customized by a previous owner to include one or more very dark walls.  And the park/refuge always wants the walls returned to a neutral eggshell color.  Covering up these dark walls is a challenge. It seems like there should be a policy on leaving the walls white!!
The Green Monster
The kitchen shared the dark green color, along with a lighter green on the cabinet and drawer fronts.
Kitchen Cabinets - Removing Doors
Our first task was to tape the edges so we didn't paint the floor.  They didn't have any type of masking material but told us we could use boxes of plastic bags that they didn't like.  They actually worked pretty well. Here is Teri using the plastic bags and our own masking tape to get us started on The Green Monster.
Teri Taping and Masking
They had five gallons of Kilz primer left over from a previous project.  This thick primer is used to cover stains and dark paint. It took us two coats of Kilz and two coats of paint to cover the dark green areas.
First Coat of Kilz
Teri and I make a good painting team.  She is more detail oriented, so handles most of the taping and tedious work like the kitchen cabinets.  I am less patient but fast, so I do a lot of the higher, bigger work.
Working up High
The bedrooms and living area were carpeted, but we knew that they intended to re-stretch and shampoo the carpet once we finished painting.  So I just pulled the carpet away from the walls so we didn't have to mask the bottom of the walls. That saved us a lot of time.
Carpet Pulled Back for Painting
We decided to leave the kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts their original light green color. The doors have a wood panel insert that we didn't want to paint, and Teri thought that the light green would work well with the eggshell.  She was right and it gives the kitchen a bit of color. Teri applied two coats of primer and two of paint to all of the cabinet frames, shelves, and surrounding area.
Finished Cabinets
Finished Kitchen
We have most of the house done and are anxious to finish before we leave at the end of the month.  We may just go buy the last two gallons of paint ourselves.

We have found a significant difference between our Fish & Wildlife Service volunteer sites and the Texas State Parks. When FWS says they don't have money to spend, they still manage to buy everything they need for a project. Here at Enchanted Rock there is a lot more scrambling around to find older materials, mix paint from old cans (remember our deer blind project) and make do with (or without) whatever you can find. There may be a message in there somewhere...

Stay tuned for (hopefully) final pictures from a completed house.



  1. Too bad they had to shut the water down. The last few days were best for inside work. :(

    I came to Texas to stay warm, and so far it's been a challenge. Brr!!

  2. You two sure make a good team.... and do a beautiful job. I agree totally with you about buying stuff... we've been at too many refuges that throw away partially used paint cans, left over lumber and on and on. Then we hear the "woe is us" at the end of the fiscal year... but magically the budget is approved. I'm not saying all are wasteful and maybe it's just that Bill & I are too frugal...

  3. What good work you guys do! Someone will be very happy to get this house. Has the park hired someone for it yet?