20190805_174221I’ve been cited by the City of Cincinnati for the outside condition of my house.  Apparently they have been sending me letters for almost a year (they’ve been going to my old house), so their final notification to get my attention was sticking a Not Approved for Occupancy sticker on my front door.  They want any wood or metal surface painted, they don’t care about the asbestos siding as it won’t rust or rot.  Also my front porch is not to code, the side drop is more than 30″ (I guess the 1924 City administration thought differently on heights), so I have to either put a railing on that side of porch or raise the height of the soil.

This is what is prompting the painting of the foundation.  A railing may or may not be part of my future pergola for the porch, but that’s not happening any time soon and I’m not putting up a cheap make-shift railing, so I’m raising the soil level.  I want to paint the foundation before doing so.  The foundation includes the basement windows, so it also allows me to start tackling some of the wood surfaces as the frames around the glass blocks is wood.

I’ve gotten four quotes to paint my house ranging from $5000 to $16,000.  Based on in depth conversations with two of the vendors, the two quotes in the middle $7,000 and $13,000, I know did not include removing all the old paint from the windows; something I feel needs to be done as there is already too much paint on them.  Any definition in the moulding is already barely noticeable.  Both of the companies said they could remove the old paint, but they’d charge by the hour to do so.  One estimated that it would take 6 hours per window, but he said removing paint would also mean he’d have to sand the wood.  I have 34 windows in my house.  I decided to remove the paint from the basement windows to test the theory.  Schuloff Tool Rental let me buy the heat gun I had rented previously for $30.  It took me approximately 30 minutes to remove all paint from one window.   There are ten basement windows.


Doing so revealed some detail in the wood that was completely lost in the many layers of paint I removed.  It confirmed for me that the windows need to be more than scraped.  I can see why you should sand following, get them completely smooth, but I’m not looking for that level of perfection.  I see more sweat equity in my future.

Thanks to those that provided input on the foundation color for my house.  Before 20200403_163023putting out the ask I was leaning towards Lullaby.  While it was a very close vote Lullaby edged out by two, so I picked up my primer/sealer from Sherwin Williams, Loxon, and had them tint it Lullaby.

Pre-Front Door

When I first bought the house I bought a quart of Sea Serpent to paint the boards that boarded up the broken side-lights from the original door.  I had some left, so I decided to paint a strip of the siding near the foundation, so I could see how the two colors look together.  Lullaby is too light and too blue.  I took pictures right after I painted and throughout the day today.  It looked its best right after painting.

The Loxon does not go very far.  One gallon only covered about 1/3 of house.  I bought two, if I need a third I’m tempted to have it tinted Uncertain Gray.  I wish Sherwin Williams sold sample pints.  I have so many sample quarts in the basement I didn’t want to buy more.  I’m pretty certain Uncertain Gray is the best choice for the final coat.

Color Options


  1. I love that you are “certain” about “uncertain gray” for the color if the house! Go girl!

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