The Devil Is in the Details

Walking through my Brookline neighborhood with Huey the rescue-but-what-have-you-done-for-me-lately dog this weekend, I stopped to admire the rehabilitation of a historic mansion that had been neglected for many years. The developer seems to have done a decent job, at least when viewed from afar.

IMG_1785But a closer look revealed some classic shortcuts and mistakes we often see in the painting industry, when budget is the driver, not attention to detail.
Lets start with the gestalt; a beautiful and stately four square, slate roof with a widow’s walk colonnade above the 2 story portico. – See more at:

IMG_1786Copper used on the downspouts add decoration to the already decorative bracketed eaves.

IMG_1776Copper flashing over this window is historically true, and functional.

IMG_1781Newer window openings lack this flashing however, an unfortunate oversight. I don’t think these will last very long; the band molding sits on top of the casing; the seam separating the two will shrink in the winter and become an effective water trap.

IMG_1777Shutters are a nice detail; for some reason the tails and tops of all the stiles are unprimed and unpainted.

IMG_1778Knotty pine was used to rebuild the portico columns; tannin bleed from the knots is already apparent. I’ve railed against the use of any #2 pine on exteriors for years now; it absorbs water like a sponge and fails prematurely.

IMG_1780Harder to see here is the careless stripping of this window sill; its covered in chatter marks from the scraper, leaving an uneven finish.

IMG_1782The paint on some of the clapboards is filled with dust and grit.

IMG_1783Another example of poorly stripped trim; the riser looks chewed it is so gouged and scored by careless scraping.

Here’s hoping the folks in charge catch all these issues on their punchlist. My dog Huey and I will be sure to assess final condition.

Learn more about Catchlight Painting’s exterior home painting service.

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