For some time now, I've been looking at the weathered, peeling paint on my house and shed, and dreading the day I'd have to do something about it. Well, that day came, but I had help. Professional help, no less, in the form of Joel and Paul, who both work for Matthew's Painting Company. Joel rented a pressure washer for the weekend, and came over to do our house first. (Joel is trying to sell his own house, and, now that he's graduated from seminary, move somewhere and go be a pastor. If you want a new pastor...)
The first order of the day was to bleach the whole house. This is necessary to kill off any mold or mildew that's living on the house and would ruin the paint, I'm told. So I went ahead of Joel, using a "spray ranger" that mixes the bleach and water to get an even mix. Then Joel came behind me with the power washer, to rinse off the bleach and remove anything loose. (Loose items can include outdoor thermometers, peony bushes, fingers... gotta be careful with this thing!)
Joel let me try it out on the shed, where the paint was the worst. I laughed out loud as the old, peeling paint practically leaped off the wood. It was enormously satisfying, especially since I knew how long it would have taken by hand with a scraper.
(I've since gotten my water bill. It was 5,000 gallons higher than normal. Small price to pay...)
Later, once the flood waters had abated, and the wood was dry again, Paul came over and showed me how to finish preparing the wood. There was still some work to be done with a scraper and wire brush, but it wasn't anywhere near as bad as I had imagined.
We finished up the trim on the house on Saturday, and we'll be tackling the shed soon.