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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.


But 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.

Let’s 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: http://blog.catchlightpainting.com/the-devil-is-in-the-details/#sthash.HwnZbdvC.dpuf


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


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


Newer 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.


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

Knotty 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.


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


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


Another 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.

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