Friday, September 14, 2012

Feeling Blue ... In a Good Way

It's been a long, hard, three-day project, but the painting of the ceiling of our front porch is finished!  Those of you who speculated that I would be painting it blue were absolutely correct (you know me so well.)  I again consulted my trusty Farrow and Ball brochure color and decided that "Parma Gray" was the paint color closest to the color of the summer sky ... and it coordinates really well with our front door, which I painted last week using the color of F&B's "Oval Room Blue".

Why did this seemingly simple paint project take three days, you ask?  When we rebuilt our porch in 2005, the only parts of the existing porch that we could save were the roof itself and the floor framing (neither of which were original to our 1848 house) .  Rotten beams and joists were replaced or reinforced.  Trim and beadboard overhead (which were old but , again, not original) were replaced with Azek (pvc board). 

Azek is supposed to take paint very well, but it must be cleaned to remove any dirt or greasy film.  My painter recommended that I use denatured alcohol to scrub the ceiling down thoroughly.  Working overhead scrubbing the ceiling was exhausting.  I worked in shifts and finished the job over the course of an entire day.

Here it is ... all clean and ready for paint.

(pay no attention to those spiderwebs in the doorway)

The manufacturer says that primer isn't necessary if Azek is painted with a quality acrylic paint, but I wasn't taking any chances.  I primed the ceiling with bonding primer ... rolling it on with a hot dog roller and following with a 4" brush to remove any roller marks and to work the primer into all of the grooves of the beadboard.

By the time I had spent an entire day scrubbing the ceiling, and the next afternoon applying primer, I assure you that my neck and shoulders were really, really sore.  I was on a roll, however, and I wasn't going to let pain get in the way of finishing this project in a timely manner.

Day Three was the pay off ... I finally was going to see some COLOR!

Just like I did with the primer, I applied the first coat of color with a roller and followed behind with a brush.  When painting things like beadboard (or siding) it's important to work in long sections from one end of the ceiling (or wall) to the other, to keep a wet edge and avoid lap marks.

I applied the second coat of color with a 3" brush ... no roller this time.  I wanted the look of a hand-brushed finish, which brings out the subtle satin sheen of the paint I chose.

It feels wonderful to step outside onto the porch and see this new ceiling color.  There is still a LOT of work to be done before I can say that our porch is finished ... so I'm breaking this job into small, easily accomplished mini projects so I can wallow in a rewarding feeling of instant gratification after I complete each one. 

In some of the photos above, you see glimpses of one of my most important tools for working on any project up high ... my little rolling scaffolding. 

I bought this scaffolding at the beginning of the renovation of our house in 2003, and it has been one of the best purchases EVER.  Any time I have to work on a ceiling or high up on walls, this gives me a large, safe platform from which to work.  Without this, I cannot imagine how difficult it would have been to paint the porch ceiling.

Project Checklist:

Front door?  One more coat of paint to go, after I remove the hardware and caulk the cracks.

Ceiling?  Finished!!

Next?  Crown molding.  Going shopping for that later today.


  1. Looks great Connie! I love blue porch ceilings. Hope you don't have a crick in your neck today!

  2. Nice! Looks like a whole lotta painstaking work and a pain in the neck and shoulders. It's going to be beautiful when all done though. Perfect choice of color, Connie!

  3. My neck, shoulders, arms and right hand, are screaming in pain just thinking about this job!

  4. Quoted from our friendly information highway: "A friend recently told me that if you paint a porch ceiling a blue color, it wards off spiders, spider webs, wasps, dirt daubers, bugs, etc. from nesting in the ceiling corners. Seriously?! She had me at “wards off”.

    She explained how they painted their porch ceiling blue (at the advice of a home-remodeling contractor) and they haven’t had any spiders or webs on their porch in 3 summers. THREE summers.

    I Googled around and found this porch color blue is called “haint blue”. It started in the South decades ago, and for various reasons. Some said it warded off evil spirits or ghosts (called “haints”, or haunts). Others said it seemed to make the daylight hours longer when they sat outside on their porches. Others say bugs will stay away because they aren’t attracted to the color of sky."

    I'm past the age of overhead painting. Oh how I remember that aching neck. I love your scaffold!

  5. Very nice job, Connie. I do love the color. I would love that scaffolding too. Looks really handy.

  6. The blue ceiling-ed porch is very popular in New England, love it! You're super woman, I'm tellin ya.

  7. Connie, It looks wonderful! I love your front door.

  8. Thanks, Anne! It's really nice to come home to a porch that is in the process of getting all pretty. (your email isn't visible when your comment was emailed to me, otherwise I'd send a private reply.)

  9. I love this blue...historically a great color for porch ceilings. I'm so glad you didn't paint the door red (as mentioned in an earlier post), and excited to see the trim painted out. I really like your idea of doing a step at a time and relishing each accomplished result...Looks beautiful!

  10. I LUV painted ceilings!
    It looks gorgeous!

  11. Great color! What a fun detail I've never thought to look for -- painted porch ceilings!

  12. You go, girl!!! Great job! I love the color you ended up choosing! Ceilings are the pits to paint, aren't they? Ugh! But....well worth the extra effort! :)

    xoxo laurie

  13. Pretty, pretty, love blue ceilings on old houses!!! :) donna

  14. You tackles some amazing projects, and all have terrific results! I always appreciate the inspiration you share at Potpourri Friday!

  15. My porch ceilings are painted the most beautiful color of blue, which I absolutely love and I have to say...yours looks great as well!! I idn't paint mine...the kids did and how glad I am of it. I couldn't have tackled all that work. I hope you didn't suffer terribly for persevering to get the job done. :/
    And I didn't look at the spider webs...I promise ;)


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