As far as I can figure, the last time I painted an outside building was the summer after I graduated high school. That was decades ago, when I was younger and more limber. I painted a hog house then. And I just finished painting the wooden end of what was a hog house that is now a very useful storage building on my acreage.
The 60' long building, which has wooden ends and corrugated steel sides, sits just across the driveway from my kitchen window. With the end facing the house, the looks of the old beauty were becoming more and more tired as the wood weathered and the white paint faded more and more. Even a barn quilt hung there didn't make it all that much better, although I did like the shabby chic look with the barn quilt.
So, even though it had been more than forty years since I had taken on such a project, I decided I could slap some paint up there. Now, I have done my share of interior paint in that time span-including the entire inside of this house before moving in-but that's different. While you don't have to be as careful when painting a 50-year-old structure (just a guess on the age there), it's not the same.
Or maybe it's just me that's changed? It seemed like the ladders are heavier now, the stretching is just a little farther, the 4" paint brush I used gets a little fuller and clumsier than I remembered. And it also splatters paint more than I remembered. That could be a function of the amount of paint I felt I had to use in order to fill all the nooks and bumps in the rough old wood I was painting.
It is kind of nice that you don't have to worry much about dripping paint when you're working on an outside project, though. I did find that I got much messier painting outside than I remember ever happening when I painted nice, safe, relatively easy interior walls. I wore a hat, so at least this time there wasn't white paint in my hair. Of course, since my hair is lighter now than it was decades back, the white paint would not have been so obvious. My arms, legs, and hands got more than their share of splatters and streaks and globs of white paint.
In spite of that, the wooden end of my shed now glistens blindingly white as it sits in the sunshine. The weathered, shabby chic look is no more, and the appearance is neat and tidy in spite of the rather plain corrugated steel beside it. The barn quilt looks just fine. And I figure the project was a success because I didn't do something unfortunate like fall and I didn't spill a can of paint.
It's amazing all that a simple coat of paint can accomplish.