screened porch update


You know how New York Fashion Week in the spring is all about fall styles, and the fall NY Fashion Week is all about spring? I’m starting to think the fashion gurus are on to something.


Wanting to take advantage of the season, the GC (Kyle) and I put outdoor projects (most of which revolve around the screened porch) at the top of our to-do list when we moved in in April. But now that moderate spring temperatures have moved into chart-topping highs and intense humidity, the last thing we want to do is be outdoors, let alone work our butts off on outdoor projects. I’d rather be relaxing in our cool, cool basement, but we have no plans to tackle that behemoth until winter, maybe fall if we’re lucky. You know, right about the time when it will be freezing downstairs.


Looking back, maybe we should have worked on spring items in the fall and fall ones in the spring? Oh, hindsight.


Anyway, we are finally making some progress on the porch, so I’m still hopeful I’ll enjoy a few mornings and evenings out there before the real hot, sticky summer-in-DC weather begins.


The porch was the first project we started after moving in a month and a half (!) ago. Yup it’s taken this long to go from this:

Screened Porch Before

to this:

Screened Porch After

Why? you ask. Because of the insanely thick layer of mastic that awaited us below those hideous green tiles. Seriously, the layer of this was so thick, I’m surprised we didn’t uncover the body of a wooly mammoth preserved within it like the La Brea tar pits. If any of you are unfortunately faced with the job of removing this stuff from somewhere in your house, try Bean-e-doo. It didn’t work quite as magically as it did in some of the videos we watched, but it was the best product we tried, and it’s a plant-based, EPA-DfE-certified product — important considering the amount of time the GC spent with it.

Mastic Removal

After several rounds of spread Bean-e-doo, wait, scrape, repeat, we finally got down to an acceptable layer of concrete, which was also dyed green — seriously, builders could not get enough of this green back in the 60s!


Our spirits were a bit crushed after applying the primer, and waiting not one, not two, but three weeks for it to dry. We don’t know if it’s just the humidity around here lately (another check mark in the “work on outdoor projects in the fall” column), residue from the Bean-e-doo, inexpensiveness (aka cheapness) of the primer, or some other reason altogether. But at the three week mark we threw caution (and our patience) to the wind and just painted the darn thing. Luckily our super-nice Benjamin Moore paint (Pebble Beach) dried almost completely in 24 hours.


After the second coat here we are:

Screened Porch After

I’ll admit it’s a bit lighter than I imagined when I picked out the color swatch, but it is in fact gray, not white, when you look at it up close. I have some decor plans that include a big 8′ x 8′ rug, so I’m going to let it settle for a bit before I make up my mind.


And that’s the current status of our screened porch. A bit wordy, I know, but a 66 days and counting project will do that to you.


Question: What project are you working on that’s taking much longer than you anticipated?

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