Friday, May 25, 2012

Today's picture s from the 1910's, and it shows a nice farmhouse scene, with a windmill. Looks like the house has a wrap around porch, and a screened in porch. I am not sure what the structure to the right of the windmill is.

Do you know what I see when I look at this picture? I see a Painting Nightmare. The windmill is all wood, including the wind vanes, which means it will need to be painted every few years. In addition the two story houses have lots of hard to get to places. Yes, these folks probably spent most of their time painting.

My goal when we built our house was to build it where there would be no outside maintenance work, with no exposed wood. It is a rock house, with a metal roof. Well, the one tough spot was the columns for the front porch. The balcony above has a poured concrete floor, so the support columns on the first floor front porch had to be structural support and could not be the decorative fiberglass columns. The columns were made of steel, and then covered in wood to look nice. Well, the columns have to be painted every two years. So, if anyone can offer me a solution I would appreciate it. Are there any decorative type porch columns that could be built around steel support columns that do not need to be repainted every few years?

Anyway, I guess my outdoor painting problems are minor compared to the people that lived in this house.


  1. To hide your steel porch posts, clad them in stone or stone look alikes. There are a number of lightweight panels that give an excellent imitation of piled stone, are light weight and zero maintenance.

  2. They make composite and resin lumber now days that doesn't need painting. Or yoou could have them bricked in.

  3. I second the vote for the glue-to-surface lookalike stones. They're marvelous, and look so real, it's hard to tell the difference unless you pick one up. They come in all colors and styles, PJM.
    I saw the newest ones at our local home improvement center, and they beat wood all the way to the wall. But that said, I did put a Trekwood deck off the master bedroom several years ago, and it lives up to its name of no maintenance. Mine's a light bluish gray. You could always stucco those columns--some chicken wire and stucco would make wood lookalike tree-trunk posts if you colored the stucco grayish brown. No nailing up "Keep Out" signs though...


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