Friday, July 13, 2007

The Threshold

Yesterday I finally painted my front door threshold. My motto on this outdoor stuff is "I never ever want to have to do this again...or at least for not for a really long time." To that end, I went to the paint store and asked them to suggest a heavy duty porch floor paint to use on the threshold. The woman suggested a Benjamin Moore (the only brand of paint I use) Porch & Floor Urethane Reinforced Alkyd Enamel.

The only catch was that it comes in high gloss. I wasn't too sure I wanted high gloss anywhere near my front door. I debated for a few minutes and then decided it was such a small strip of horizontal wood, that it wouldn't be very noticable.

Holy cow, this stuff is nasty. It is oil based, so you have all of that.....but on top of that it's just plain goopy. I managed to get two coats on. Amazingly, once it dried it was a smooth coat.

Here's what I like about my neighborhood. I'm out there laying on my front step trying the get paint on the underside of the threshold...and I hear people politely shout out......"It's looking good!".....and "Nice job".....as they walk by on the sidewalk out for their evening stroll :-)

Finally, a little walk down memory lane. What my front door looked like shortly after I moved in (note the lack of side insets and the fine pressure treated step). What it looks like now (sorry for the sun & shade).



11 comments:

Ranty said...

Wow, what a stunning difference!!!

You really did an awesome job.

El Paso foursquare said...

That is sweet! I have a question for you.. did you use oil based paints for everything you did on that front entrance? I've heard conflicting theories about what's better for exterior paint. I was thinking an oil based primer followed by a latex paint. My bro-in-law says it should all be oil based. I don't know. I've heard putting latex over oil isn't a good idea and the windows where it would really be easy to get down to bare wood are few. So now I'm leaning towards all oil based. I don't really want to take all the windows down to bare wood if I don't have to. Thoughts?

StuccoHouse said...

Thanks, Ranty :-)

El Paso - Here's what I have been using: For the exterior - I use a Zinsser oil based exterior primer. Then I use Benjamin Moore Soft Gloss Acrylic exterior house paint (it's a 25 yr paint). I'm doing the extreme and stripping my exterior woodwork down to bare wood, treating with a borate (and epoxy where needed) and then painting.

However, I used the same paint on my storms (which I did not strip). I removed anything at all loose...sanded the old paint (I always assume lead, so take precautions)...cleaned it well...applied the oil primer & then the paint. You should be ok as long as you prep the old paint properly and use an oil primer.

On the interior, I use oil based semi-gloss paint for all of the trim. I like the look. For walls, I use BM Regal Latex in eggshell finish. I'm striping down to bare wood here too, but not bare plaster.

I have a really good paint store not too far from me (Abbot Paints)...and they become my best friend right before any painting project. Who knew you don't use primer with porch paint?

As a final thought - working with oil based paint sucks. It looks great and there is nothing like it for interior woodwork, but the hassle factor with clean-up is huge. Look for a lot of whiney posts coming from me when I start my interior trim ;-)

El Paso foursquare said...

So that Benjamin Moore acrylic exterior house paint is oil based? Sorry I'm kind of an ignoramus when it comes to this stuff.. :)

StuccoHouse said...

Nope, it is acrylic latex -water clean up (thankfully). It's very nice to use.

Josh @ Bungalow '23 said...

Ditto the compliments on the porch, Stucco-- it looks fabulous!

Thanks for the tip about Abbott Paint, too.

StuccoHouse said...

Thanks, Josh. Abbott Paint rocks. They really, really know their stuff.

Dulcie said...

Love it!

p.s. We might be postponing any exterior painting until '08 or beyond.

Ellen said...

That looks great. The depth of color is wonderful - so much more inviting!

Abbot is my favorite paint store, too. They were a big help when we were painting our kitchen cabinets. Using oil based paint (and primer) sucks mightily, but it leaves a really great finish. That's pretty much what the Abbot guy told me, and he was right. Those cabinet doors have not stuck once.

Jeff said...

Not to sound like a broken record, but Great Work. If you get bored on your house, you would be welcome to come work on mine...I pay well.

I agree completely with your choice of paint. The oil base is quite a pain, but so worth the final results.

I think my steps are looming in the near future, and wanted to ask about your railing. It looks like from your "after" pic that you only have a rail on one side? Is that correct, or is the shadow hiding it? Also, looks like you had only half iron rails when you moved in. What, if anything, did you do going from the top step to the house?

Keep up the hard work, it will all pay off!

StuccoHouse said...

Dulcie - How I envy you....'08 sounds so good right now.

Ellen - Abbot is good...and they didn't say a word when I walked in...stocked up on yellow paint samples....and left :-) Absolutely oil for kitchen cabinets! I ask them every time I go in there...if its time to start hoarding oil based paint.

Jeff - Thanks. I'm afraid I've been trying to figure out how to pay someone to finish mine ;-) The overhang is next to get some color. That reinforced urethane was oil based on steroids....very goopy. As far as the steps....there is a metal railing up the steps on both sides. Originally (as far as I can tell) there was a stucco railing that came out from the house on either side of the top platform. Someone added the rails. Long story short, there was a mini-enclosure added at one point...and the stucco was removed. Then the enclosure came down and someone put up a fine pressure treated wood top step & hand rail. The metal remained throughout. So, now I'm back to just the metal. At some point, I'll probably have to put something back up on the top step...I have a few ideas simmering but that's a ways off. I kind of like it without rails - even though code disagrees. If you do a search on my blog for "steps" you can see close up photos of what used to be there.

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