At Country Living magazine we learned to appreciate the beauty of distressd finishes, like weathered shutters, hand-worn knobs on dressers, and the look of aged shutters, doors and lawn furniture. But, the peeling paint on my front porch—now visible from the road—was anything but attractive. (For the record, my house was painted a couple years ago by a professional, and while the clapboard siding has retained its paint finish beautifully, the old shake shingles on the front and sides of the porch have not.) So, this weekend, I grabbed the rotary sander, goggles and dust mask, and began the process of removing the peeling paint.
Sanding is not fun. It's messy and tedious, and a lot of work. In the beginning, I tackled the project with full conviction; even contemplating taking the shingles down to the original cedar. It didn't take me long, however, to realize that the work was already more than I bargained for. (By removing all the paint I was also flattening the subtle ridges that give classic shakes their appeal.) I needed to make a decision—to sand down to the cedar or sand just enough to prime and repaint? If you've ever tackled the job of sanding a house, you'll know the option I chose.