101 Spindles: Not As Fun As Dalmations

I think the technical term for these may be balusters, but whatever name you use, my front porch contains a lot of them. A lot.


I’d hoped to get the entire porch repainted this weekend (including the floor) but I seriously underestimated ALL THE SPINDLES! and the sheer number of hours it would take to paint them.

I believe the final count was ten hours of strictly painting. That doesn’t include the pressure washing, scraping, patching, or priming. So it’s safe to say I’ve gone a little spindle crazy. It’s also safe to say I’ve always been willing to trade a little sanity for some progress on the house though, so I probably came out ahead this weekend.

Here’s what the front porch looked like a few weeks ago:


The hunter green… it’s everywhere.


It didn’t look like it was in horrible shape, but apparently things weren’t working out between the paint and the wood, and they decided to go their separate ways. (Sorry kids, these things happen.)


I decided to help them make a clean break with the aid of the neighbors pressure washer.


That was a couple of weeks ago, actually, and it’s just un-American to have your front porch in this state all summer. Plus, you know, the bank. So I started out Saturday morning by scraping off all of the loose paint left behind by the pressure washer, then I used a triple-thick primer– which was essentially like painting on glue– to coat any bare wood.

By the end of the day Saturday I’d hit about 40% of the balusters, but made some impressive progress on the stairs.


My original hope had been that the paint on the top of the stairs and porch decking would be pretty easy to remove and that I could just stain the wood, similar to the back deck. I actually tried a couple of sections of paint stripper on the floor, and it was just not happening.

Given unlimited time I definitely could have gotten the paint off, but I’m under a deadline here. And, upon closer examination, there are quite a lot of warped and disintegrating floor boards and sections of railing. She’s sturdy enough to hang on for a few more years, but– as with many things on this house– there will need to be an overhaul sometime in the not-to-distant future.

So I took my grandmother’s advice and decided gray was the way to go. (White and gray are getting to be a bit of a theme around the house, and I’m kind of loving it.)

Here we are before:


And Sunday evening… 101 spindles later:


I had them take the color I’d matched to the exterior of the house and tint the porch floor paint at 50% of it, which keeps everything in the same range without being too matchy-matchy.

To wrap this project up I just need to finish some of the trim around the top of the inside and outside of the porch, and then paint the floor. And, just for the record, it took all of my willpower not to remove those very fancy trim pieces.


I don’t love them, and they aren’t even used consistently on every post, but it wasn’t the time. See that? Iron. Will.

I’m desperately hoping I’ll be able to finish this one up this week so that I can focus all of my energy next weekend on not falling off the roof of the donkey barn while I attempt to reshingle it. Hey, a girl’s gotta do…

21 Responses

  1. I admire your iron will regarding the spindles (I live in a historic district and am a sucker for anything Gingerbread on houses). I have the same issue, except it’s inside the house and I can’t use a pressure washer there … blah.

    Then again, the “After” looks so pretty, it might just be rewarding enough to get these suckers done, once and for all!

    1. Oh, god, I didn’t even think about the fact that I’m going to have to do this to the stairs inside too… but I am. Sigh. The spindles never end.

  2. Looking Good. 101 spindles is a lot of work for one weekend,considering the hot weather we are having. Stay cool.

  3. Now that porch is starting to look like an epic place to have a party! Where are you putting the beer bar?

    1. I was just looking at it and thought, I’m totally having a dinner party on this porch! It definitely has room for a beer bar, the thing is huge.

    1. Funny story… I totally have one. I thought about trying to mask the house of to use it, but with the wind I was so afraid of getting paint on the brick, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it!

      1. I think you would waste way too much paint trying to paint something like that. And a sprayer around that brick could sure cause a lot of damage.

  4. Looking good! The prep is the worst part. Feels like you’re never going to get to the point of painting. I’m just starting the prep to paint a porch floor that should have been done last year! Powerwashing is done, scraping is next.

  5. It’s looking so clean and fresh – what a difference! White and gray is a classic combo, I think, from coast to coast and I’ve rarely seen it go wrong. You can always add some funky painted planters with bright flowers (next spring) to give it a uniquely you twist!

  6. Admittedly, it’s hard to tell from a picture, but I actually really like the very fancy trim pieces. From the look of the picture, they seem to go with the feel of the house and the porch. Good job on the spindles. The paint makes such a difference!

    1. Have a spindle party! Invite 10 of your best friends and serve them snacks and free beer and have each paint 10 spindles. be done in 2 hours!

  7. i think the last post on the left of the photos is just missing the gingerbread.
    in the photo where you show the ceiling, there’s a spot that’s a slightly different color from the rest. it’s a little more yellow. i think there was gingerbread on that post, and it got knocked off somehow.

    nice painting job though. spindles are a bear to do.

  8. Fantastic job on the porch. I love a front porch.

    p.s. as an owner of white dogs with black spots I just wanted you to know (ugh I can’t believe I’m going to do this) that it’s Dalmatian, not Dalmation. Sorry, I hate when people do that, but it’s my breed. 🙂

  9. 710261 423287Extremely man or woman speeches require to seat giving observe into couples. Brand new sound system just before unnecessary individuals ought to always be mindful of usually senior general rule from public speaking, which is to be the mini. greatest man speaches 483715

  10. Hey I am so glad I found yourr blog, I really
    found you by accident, while I was browsing onn Digg for something else, Anyhow I am here now
    and would just like to say thank you for a fantastic post and a all round entertaining blog (I also
    love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look over it all at the
    moment but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds, so
    when I have time I will be back to read more, Please
    do keep up the great jo.

Comments are closed.

I'm not interested in a mediocre life. I'm here to kick ass or die.

(formerly DIYdiva.net)