~ Create ~ Concoct ~ Construct ~
House projects are a never ending list, aren’t they? I love being a homeowner but sometimes the To-Do list just gets ridiculous. LOL. Especially when you want to do something and think ‘oh, before I do that, I need to do this. But before I can to that, I need to do this…’ and eventually you are at the point where you need to remodel the basement bathroom before you can get a new living room floor. Haha! That’s how I ended up painting my foundation this summer.
I bought my house in Nov of 2018. It turned out to be more of a fixer than I was expecting. On the surface things look nice enough but with every closer look, I realize lots of things need some TLC. The front facade of my house is the gable end and its very flat. It needs some jewelry or texture or dimension. So I thought I’d put some shutters and window boxes on it this summer. Then I looked closely at the siding and its pretty rough but not in the budget to replace. The least I could do is clean it though. Then I looked at the foundation and realized it was aesthetically a mess… peeling paint, small cracks, etc. that’s how I got to this project. I wanted shutters. haha!
To be perfectly honest, painting the foundation was a lousy, not fun job. I have a small and square house. The first weekend I decided to work on it, I had grand hopes for how much I would get done. Turns out, I did 1 side in a weekend… and then took a few weeks off til I could build up the will to do another side!!
Here was my process…
Step 1- Watch YouTube to figure out the right paint and what to do with cracks.
Step 2- Scrape the foundation. Any metal scraper will do. I also used a few wire brushes in places. It was sort of like picking fingernail polish off except sitting on the ground contorted into weird positions. I scraped up my knuckles several times on the cement block. This was the worst part of the project. Hands down.
Step 3- fill cracks. Step 3a was realize that my caulk gun skilz are WEAK! I used this caulk and I used a lot of it. There were more cracks and voids than i realized. I used this small plastic scraper which worked pretty well to get it into any voids and cracks. It wasn’t pretty but necessary and it was all going to get covered up anyway so…
Step 4 – wash the house and foundation. I used this siding cleaner that I got at Lowes. Its called Mold Armor E-Z House Wash. It worked remarkably well. You can see how bad parts of the siding were. Mildew, bird droppings, dirt… it all came off. I was impressed. the container connects right to your garden hose. Spray it on, wait 10-15 min, rinse with water. Easy. Pro tip- Don’t do it on a windy day because I don’t think taking a shower in that stuff is a great idea. Also, getting it to the very peak was not exactly easy. If my house was any taller, it wouldn’t have happened without a ladder or something. I used about 1/2 to 2/3 of a container per side. I’ll probably do this every year because it was easy and it looked nice when it was done.
Step 5 – paint. This was the paint that Lowes had for foundations. It’s tintable so you can get crazy with colors if you want. I wanted black and the girl in the paint dept said that for whatever reason she couldn’t make it black but would get it as dark as possible. It’s probably like a deep charcoal, but its fine. I used a wide paint guide/wall covering tool to hold down the grass so I could paint as close to the earth as possible. The paint is very thick. I used a cheap brush and threw it away at the end of the day. I painted right out of the can, didn’t pour it into a separate pan since I wasn’t using a roller. It’s worth mentioning that when I opened the paint can the 2nd time with a few weeks between, I was horrified to find a huge blob in the middle of the paint even though I had shaken it pretty well. I spent at least 10 minutes stirring with a paint stick to get that mostly incorporated back into the more liquid part of the paint. It’s not like normal paint for sure.
I should probably also say that the black, while i love the way it looks, does show dirt and spiderwebs and all the other nature-y stuff on it. I don't care though. I like how it grounds the house. I think the shutters will also be black. this house needs some presence other than its beige-ness!
Step 6 – clean up and admire your handiwork. Its one of those things where you didn’t notice how bad it looked until you see it next to the part you haven’t done yet.
Here are some before and afters...
I got 3 sides of the house done, this year. I also created an entire bed of daylillies because they were too close to the front of the house for me to get to the foundation... just another part of the before I can do this, I have to do that equation! The last side needs some foundation work that is beyond caulking. I really need to get some bids for that because winter is fast approaching. All in all this project was a win but guess what I didn’t get on my house…. Shutters. Oh well, there’s always next year!
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