The Cross House

The Art of Deception

Via the artful positioning of the crepe myrtle bush, the NE corner looks done!!!!!!!!


Of course, the NE corner is not done. Not quite. Not yet. But it will be soon! Very soon!

In the above image though, I hope you will appreciate that the restored long bedroom east window sashes are back in place!

See the before:


As well, the lower walls are now painted. Tomorrow, I start on the unpainted window trim, and the water table (the trim at the bottom).



7 Responses to The Art of Deception

  1. I was just recently struck by how pleasing an effect the canvas(?) tapes on the Venetian blinds give your enormous restored windows–emphasizing their depth, and preventing the dreaded vacant-stare look of an empty house being restored. Mind telling where you source the blinds?

  2. I’m getting tantalizingly close to painting my cornice, and I’m reading about paint peeling off of old dried out wood and it’s making me panic. Can we talk painting and prep technique?

    • We all sit at the feet of the master of the Cross House, of course, but an OHJ-recommended method has worked well for me: Sand off fibrous exfoliation as possible, then apply generous coat of 50/50 mix boiled linseed oil and turpentine. let dry (24 hrs+) then paint with oil-based primer, then after that dries, latex. Hill House, my restoration project of going on 40+ years, was pretty desiccated, almost as bad as Wilderstein I find that my trim, of rock hard, close-grained oak, is hardest to keep paint on.

      • Thanks! Yeah, I’m thinking of using linseed oil, though I also read that it’s mildew food and that Penetrol is better, but Penetrol only recommends using its product straight on metal. And I’ve read that paint technology changes like as fast as electronics. I’m probably overthinking it anyway as my wood has had aluminum siding over it and most of it retains a very thin film of well adhered paint after I strip it.

    • When I restored the exterior of our last house, I stripped all trim and siding down to bare wood, sanded it and treated rotted or deteriorated areas with Rot Doctor CPES and epoxy putty as needed. I liberally coated all sound, bare wood with Wolman Woodlife Classic wood preservative, then primed, then filled nail heads and holes with Dap53 putty, spot-primed them, then finished with two coats of high-quality latex paint. A retired forestry professor at Purdue had done some paint and weathering research that showed a wood preservative before priming extended topcoat life, but it has to be a non-waxed variety (Wolman is one of the few I found that met this criteria). I used alkyd primer on the first half of the house, then switched to latex primer (except for on top of the Dap53 putty, which is oil-based). Some of the Purdue professor’s research showed that modern latex top-coats last longer on latex primer than oil.

      The first side I did was in 2013, and 5 years later, it still looks perfect. We have since sold the house and moved, but have friends across the street, so I am going to have them keep tabs on it for how well it holds up.

      Ultimately, the most important step is removing, or consolidating any weathered (gray) layers of wood, as although the paint will stick to the surface of it, it easily pulls away from the wood below. You need to sand to clean, yellow wood, or in areas with deeper deterioration, use a penetrating epoxy to consolidate and harden it.

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