fooling the eye, myself and my neighbors

by Ron Rothenberg, 4 Buyers Real Estate

The first few cool days of Autumn send me into a panic. I made so many grand plans for home improvement projects over the summer, and now summer is running out, and I’ve only done . . .  well, not too many of them.

I have to prioritize my list, and get to as many of the projects as I can before the weather makes them impossible to do.

Always at the top of the revised list is fixing up and painting the front doorway. If your doorway is well-maintained, you may be able to fool others into thinking that the rest of the house is also in great condition.

We have an old doorway and some of the wood surrounding it is rotting, so it’s been a challenge to keep paint on it. When I stripped the door a few years ago I found that over the years it had been Kelley Green, black, Hamilton Blue, orange and red. My wife tells me that red is the color of a welcoming door in Scandinavia, so our door has been red for the last few years, so we can welcome as many Scandinavians as possible.

First, I touched up the door. Two big construction projects involving moving large porcelain fixtures into the house and many smaller careless collisions have covered the door with chipped paint. Take out the paintbrush and the old can of door paint and in a few minutes your door looks good as new. Wow. That looks great. Vast expanses of unbroken red door catch my eye as I come up the stairs. If I focus only on the door, the house looks beautiful.

It’s a very satisfying job for very little effort. While I was at it, I did the back door, too, so we can welcome Scandinavians there.

Next, I tackled the front door threshold. This has always been a problem. In the winter the six residents of my house walk over it with boots covered with water and salt, and by the summer it’s in rough shape. This fall, I’m trying for a more permanent solution. I stripped the entire threshold, dried it out, primed it with two coats of primer and painted it black with my favorite paint, Benjamin Moore Aura Exterior. This paint is very expensive, but worth it.

I got a semi-gloss paint so I could do other woodwork, too, so I added Skid Tex which is a pumice that makes the dried paint grainy and prevents slips and falls. I’m very hopeful that this combination will hold up for more than one winter. I’ll let you know how it did next Spring.

When you come to my house, please keep your eyes focused straight ahead at the door, and pay not attention to all the other disrepair behind the curtain.

Next job on my panic list: Repoint the front stairs? Or perhaps replace a few more windows before it gets too cold?  Paint the downstairs porch?

I’ll let you know as soon as I know.