back yard

Primer Failure

Posted by Steve on Fri, 06/24/2011 - 1:49am


I know it's been six months since my last update here but there hasn't been much DIY stuff to blog about at Brooklyn Row House... not even something worthy of a Facebook status.  Fact is, most of the work here is done but now I'm facing Phase 2 -- maintaining all the new stuff which has begun to show the wear and tear of the years and the many boisterous animals.  For that reason I think I'm going to jog this blog into slightly different direction, beginning with this post.

Three years ago, I had the back of my house professionally prepped and painted by Wallcoat. While I'm not thrilled with the color that I chose (my fault) I'm happy to report that it's lived up 100% to its claims.  There's not a scratch on it, which is more than can be said for one of my neighbors' Thoroseal jobs done roughly at the same time.  I give Wallcoat five stars.

Far less impressive however was the paint job I did on my back deck.  With my new, blue wall I wanted something other than a black steel deck.  So I went to my local Home Depot and had a custom light gray Rustoleum mixed for me. After I pressure washed and wire brushed the deck, I laid down a coat of rusty metal Rustoleum primer.  Because of the ornate metal railings, it was a lot of work with a 2" brush but it looked great.

Fast forward one year and the deck didn't look so great.  There was definite foot traffic wear down to the primer, especially on the stairs.  To me, this showed a failure of the paint.  I knew it was only going to get worse so I repeated the clean/prime/paint ordeal, this time with a stock Rustoleum gray color.  Perhaps the failure was the fault of the tinting.  Who knows?

Well, that one started flaking off last fall too.  WTF??  This is Rustoleum paint, after all.  It's the stuff that professional painters use on steel fire escapes every 20 years or so.  It's among the most durable of retail paints.

So last weekend I once again power washed, brushed and carefully laid down yet another coat of Rustoleum rusty metal primer.  But before painting on the top coat I decided to check Rustoleum's web site to see what I might have overlooked.  It was there that I found the source of my problem.   Note well: you won't find this information posted on the can nor on the product page on the web site.  You have to dive into Rustoleum's FAQ to learn it.


Odds and Ends, Excuses and Alibis

Posted by Steve on Fri, 06/27/2008 - 12:40am


By now, I was supposed to have posted about the successful completion of my stained glass construction projects. Maybe because I was coming off that year-long second floor renovation I needed time to recharge before throwing myself into another marathon. Instead, I got obssessed with maintenance, humdrum projects and pontificating on the Old House Web forums.

The correct answer is: a ghetto blaster.

Posted by Steve on Thu, 06/19/2008 - 12:36am


I'm not saying anything that battle-experienced home renovators don't know. Sometimes, the simplest little task can consume gobs of time and a bucket of money before you realize you made a tragic mistake. Not always, of course. That's how you get suckered into doing it over and over again.

It started as a simple idea: I wanted to have music in my back yard. I could have bought a boombox a/k/a ghetto blaster for a hundred bucks and kept it under the deck. Problem solved and, when all is said and done, that actually would have been a more flexible solution than the mission I set for myself. Even if I wanted XM Radio (which I did) they make XM blasters too. The bonus would have been that I could have had XM in my car as well.

Instead, I wanted the speakers fed by the big, honkin' Denon home theatre system in the living room. Why? I don't freakin' know. Probably because it was there.


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