Re-Painting a 120 year Old House’s Backyard.

Summer Service

During my Extended summer holidays in the Czech Republic due to the current world situation. I had a little more extra time that my grandma saw that she could utilize. So during summer break, she had the idea of repainting her fences and gates around the house. For some context, the house hasn’t been worked on appearance-wise since World War 1. So we decided to paint the fences. All these fences keep in mind were rusty as could be. They endured a century worth of weather and 2 cars in the winter sliding and crashing into them.

What my brother and I didn’t know was how long painting actually takes it doesn’t just mean slap some paint on a metal suffer and be done with it. We started off by going to our “Wallmart” equivalent in Czech called Obi. In Obi we had purchased a variety of things. We had to buy Paint(Red and Green), Primer, a lot of sandpaper + attachable sandpaper device for a drill, Paintbrushes, gloves.

My Brother and I Painting the fence

As a tester, we first started with the gate in the backyard of my grandma’s house. My brother and I severely underestimated how dirty were going to get. Just in the sandpapering. We spent around 3-4 hours fully sandpapering the entire gate. We had to make sure to sandpaper each and every surface of the gate which took us hours. Making sure no stone was covered after sandpaper we started painting. The painting process easier but 100x messier and took us in a total of 2 days to complete because we had to do multiple coats to make sure that the paint set and strong enough to stay for the 20-30 years. You can see on the image to the right that my glove in the image was initially red so you can how messy it got. Furthermore, my brother’s bare hand was completely green. It took us days before we got rid of the paint.

As a tester, we learned many things that we were gonna take onto the pieces we needed to paint. Next, we were tasked with painting a 60-year-old stole that my grandma used whenever we had lunches outside while my brother started painting a pole where we hung our clothes.

I was tasked with sandpapering the table and the pole as I found it easier and was less time consuming because I was using the machine sandpaper, but how naive I was. Soon I realized that the machine was the best option for these bigger objects and I had to go back to good old reliable sandpaper. the sandpapering took me around a day and a half. Mainly because the pole was huge. But afterward painting the table and Pole were easy but messy (VERY)

The Pole that we painting and sanded ( Tooks us Around 2 1/2 days to complete the whole thing with double coats)
The Table took in total 1 day of work including the double coat The Gate took us 2 days because of the learning curve we experience trying to paint for the first time.


Our final task was to paint the fences upfront. This took us the longest, I underestimated how much work was needed into painting and sanding the fences. The fences required a lot of sandpaper as it had serious rust and algae on it, unlike the other things we had painted. It totals we spent around 3 weeks sandpapering and painting the fences. But in total it took us probably 2 months to actually finish it as Hot weather and raining weather prevented us from painting and sandpapering. Days, where it was really hot, didn’t allow us to paint because the paint would hard to quickly and we would be able to paint and during rain, we weren’t allowed to paint either. The sandpapering took us forever because not only did we start running out of sandpaper but it also just took forever because we had to sandpaper the same fence over and over to make sure there was no rust and any other oxidation and materials on the surface of the metal.

My brother I painting and sandpapering
Sandpapered the last fence which was now ready to paint.

All photos credited to Hana Hettiaratchi.

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