The Garage Door

One of the many apartments we’ve lived in was a townhouse. When we arrived, the front door was a little worse for wear, so I decided I’d go out and paint it. I hadn’t got an hour into it, when a voice behind me said “What do you think you’re doing?”
I turned to find a, previously friendly, neighbour glowering at me menacingly. “My door looked pretty grungy, so I’m just freshening it up with a coat of paint” I explained.
“You can’t do that, the condo board has to approve it!” He said.
“Well, it’s too late now,” I said, since I’d already had a good third of the door painted, “I’m going to have to finish.”

He stormed away, and later that day a small crowd of people gathered in the parking lot outside our house. I was sure there was going to be a lynching. Instead, two weeks later, professional painters arrived and painted every front door in the complex.

As I began scraping our garage door last weekend, you can imagine that I was looking over my shoulder a fair bit. But no one stopped me, or interrupted my work. A neighbour did, in fact, come over at one point, though. He brought a can of a substance called “Circa 1895” which is a paint stripper that made the job much easier.

Our garage and front door were apparently given a hurried coat of paint, and we were not terribly happy with the color, or the work done. It was a peach/orange color, done with a dull, flat paint, on top of the existing paint job (which appears to have been yellow) — basically we had the worst looking garage door on the street. I set out, last weekend, with the goal of re-painting before Thanksgiving. An hour or two of slow scraping (after I discovered that sanding just wasn’t going to cut it) and I’d revised my target date signficantly. Once the paint stripper arrived, however, with much thanks to our pretty cool next-door neighbour, I was able to catch-up to my original goal.

Two coats of semi-gloss paint went on first thing Sunday morning, in beautiful, sunny weather. It looks 100% better, although I’m not 100% sold on our color choice. Both Nicole and her sister approve, though, so I guess that’s good enough. I still need to do the trim around the garage door, but I think I’ll be painting the front door to match first.

It was a ton of work, but there’s this sense of satisfaction that comes from improving your own home. Its a wonderful feeling, made all the better by the fact that no one can tell you you’re not allowed to do it…

Supplies and Tools Needed:

  • $20 – Used hand sander (that broke just as the project was nearing completion)
  • $35 – Circa 1895 paint stripper (owed to neighbor)
  • $10 – Gift card for neighbor for saving me hours of labor
  • $8 – Cheap paint brushes and paint tray for applying paint stripper
  • $7 – Paint scrapers
  • $3 – 3 Putty knives
  • $8 – Wood filler to fix cracking wood
  • $28 – Assorted kinds of sandpaper, trying to find stuff that would work
  • $70 – High quality outdoor paint, self-priming
  • $15 – Good paint brushes, medium sized roller, paint tray

Total: $204, and one week’s worth of work — with enough supplies left-over to do the front door at no extra cost.

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6 thoughts on “The Garage Door

  1. The only way that I’ll buy a house with a homeowners association is that they have no rules on what I’m “allowed” to do to my own house. I’ll chip in to the pool and clubhouse fund or whatever, but don’t tell me what color my house has to be or that I can’t have a satellite dish.

  2. @Brooke: Suprisingly good! Although my wrists are killing! Manual labor is much easier when you can sink into the hot tub to relax afterward!

    @Jon: Agreed!

    @Dave: Join usssssss… A house, a couple kids, a cute little wife… financial stability, a plan for the future… it turns out, its all pretty good stuff!

  3. Keep the house, wife and kids. Financial stability I got, could use a bit of financial excess though. Couple of months at this job should accomplish that and then some.

  4. You start developing a taste for Bob Dylan and a love for canoeing and you are going to weird me out. Nice job on the door though!

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