Archive | 6:53 am

Stoop prep

20 May

I’ve finally started on the stoop. Here’s some stoop-n-me history: One day back in 2004, I was sitting on my stoop. I noticed a piece of paint flaking off, so I picked at it. I saw that the stoop seemed to be a nice solid stone underneath. I thought I’d scrape all the paint off and leave it bare stone. This was the first of many poor decisions.

I became obsessed with removing the paint from the stoop. I used scrapers, razor blades, and a power washer. I spent MONTHS trying to get it bare. NB: This was in the era when I had all my photos on my now-dead laptop, so no extant pictures of this long and pointless process.

Anyway, I finally got it all off and realized the “stone” was sandstone (fancy concrete, but made of sand) and was in really bad shape, plus my baring it had made it more exposed and more damaged. Sigh.

So I hired a guy to paint it over. I asked him to use some special masonry paint or something. “Yeah, yeah” he said, “absolutely.” It started peeling in two years. So it has looked like crap for quite some time, and I’m finally doing something about it. You can’t rush into these things.

So yesterday, I did my best to seal the large gaping cavernous cracks — I got some foam stuff for just that purpose, and then covered it with masonry silicone caulk. Then (after waiting 3 hours for caulk to set) I gave it all a coat of Drylok Masonry Waterproofing Paint (oil-based) in grey. This stuff SMELLS HORRIBLE, but is supposed to really waterproof. It has Portland cement mixed in, and so far, it looks pretty solid. I have to wait 12 hours to re-coat with it, and then (next weekend) I’m going to go over it with masonry paint. So let’s see what happens.

Window Boxes

20 May

The winter of 2010-2011 was the worst one we’d had around here in a looooong time. When the snow finally melted, I was seized by the need for flowers and went nuts looking for flower boxes that would work in my front windows. I finally settled on some open metal basket types with that coconut husk thing that goes inside (thinking they’d be light weight and would match the overall black metal situation). I had no way to install them properly and jerry-rigged something crazy with wires and brackets hanging out of the storm windows. I thought they were lovely and definitely gudenov, but the neighbors across the street had other ideas. “Crooked.” “Do you want me to straighten those out for you?” “Those are going to fall.” “And they’re crooked.” Whatevs.

So this year I decided to reinstall them more securely (last year’s method was in danger of popping out the storm windows). I got some big eyes (from hook and eyes) and carefully (ha ha ha) installed them in the wooden frame. put some black metal link chain on s-hooks and roped it around. The screens don’t close all the way, but they’re much safer and I don’t have all that wire everywhere. I left them a little crooked anyway. 🙂