As you know from my post last week, we have intended to paint our dormers for a while. We finally had the chance to do so yesterday. I am glad that we got it done after all this time. It is a great relief not to worry about it any more. The house looks great.
I debated for a while about telling the real story of how we did it or skipping a few details. I am afraid that if I tell all, then you will think that we were unsafe or reckless. I truly was not in danger at any time. However, if you are not comfortable with heights or have not had experience with them, then you should hire a professional. Climbing around on the roof is highly dangerous and should not be undertaken lightly. That being said, here is the whole story.
Our friend Mike showed up at 10:00 am to help with the project. We would not have been able to do it without him. That 32-foot ladder was very heavy! Mike and Douglas were able to maneuver it without much difficulty, but it was nearly impossible for Douglas and I to do it.
Once they had the ladder resting on the roof, it was my turn. It was decided that I would be the best person to do the painting. Mike has had a bad experience on a roof, and Douglas is scared of heights. I spent my childhood swinging from the very tops of the trees, much to my father’s chagrin, and also rock climb. These experiences make me much less afraid than either of the guys. I was pretty comfortable up there.
I wore my old climbing shoes just in case. I am not sure if they really made things easier or safer, but I felt better with them on. They gave me a good grip on the ladder and roof.
I started by scraping the loose paint on the first dormer. Then, Douglas passed me the paint. I put a thick coat on. Then, the guys would move the ladder, and we would repeat the process on the next side. I made a few touch ups on the fronts of the dormers, but they did not need a full coat.
We were planning to do more than one coat, but it did not seem necessary. We bought a really good paint and primer mixed, and it was sufficient to cover. It is also supposedly mildew resistant, so hopefully we will not have that green mold growing on the northern side any more.
The dormers are covered by a textured asbestos tile that was hard to paint, especially along the bottom. I could not avoid getting some paint on the roofing tiles, which of course I could not wipe off. I do not think that it is terribly noticeable from the ground. Most of the white you will see on the roof in the after pictures is what I scraped off of the dormers before painting. That should fall off in the first rain.
Here are the before and after pictures.
We were done with the dormers by 1:00 pm. I was impressed that we were able to do it that fast. I did most of the work. Douglas and Mike only had to move the ladder every half hour or so. The rest of the time they were supposed to be holding it steady for me, but it seems that fantasy football was more important. Nothing makes you feel more secure than being up on a tall ladder on a steep roof than looking down to see this. They were really watching out for me.
They also consumed a couple of beers. These were the behaviors I was scared to tell you about, least you think us irresponsible. I really was safe up there. I promise.
So, now our dormers are done, and I used the rest of the paint in my cup to touch up the railings on the back porch. We are planning to repair and repaint the porch this fall, but I thought this would be a better use for what was left of the paint.
I feel much better now that my house is looking more respectable!