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I’d hoped to avoid a big jump in the progress posts on the U.U. bungalow, but honestly, 90% of the work these past few weeks has been painting. One weekend was devoted to whitewashing, because even though it’s a glorified roombox, the house has a goodly amount of white trim. If anyone ever makes this house in the future, I certainly won’t begrudge them just getting a can of white spray paint. It took a layer of gesso (thanks again GOLDEN) and two layers of paint to get a crisp white.

So much white...

So much white…

The color theorists must be right about hues and moods, because I could paint white for extended periods and feel sort of meditative or vacant, but if I spent more than an hour layering red paint on the front door I became noticeably testy. I wanted a strong red because of the Asian elements I plan to put in the house, and because a red front door signifies welcome and hospitality in many cultures. Part of why I picked the title is the red also likes to rub off on things, and even under a layer of polyurethane, it has turned the inside of my nice white doorframe pink. C’est la vie.

The next weekend I got to move on to colors in earnest. I fought a lot with the inside wall color, adding more and more white until I was sure it was just shy of pure white, but every time I put it on the walls it was still darker and stronger than expected. At about three coats I had to call it done, and aqua is my favorite color, so I was going to be like it regardless.

beforeassemblyWhile it looks like Santa’s after-Christmas vacation home, I did have a reason for the deep green exterior. The original Hawaiian plantation cottages, while inhabited by the workers, still belonged to the plantation owners. Not surprisingly, they looked for what was available on the islands or could be sourced cheaply from the mainland. During WWII, “battleship grey” was plentiful surplus from the military bases and found its way to these houses (which I’m guessing looked a bit drab in the tropical landscape). Dark green was also a common color, and a couple of sources I found described the workers making the paint themselves with linseed oil or tar and “shingle stain green.” As we near yule, mine is an appropriately festive mix of holly and evergreen acrylics.


Insert sound of jingle bells.

I kept coming to the question of how weathered the house should look, and my final answer was “a little bit.” Since I’ve imagined it on a beach, the salt spray would be rusting the nails. The green has some age on it thanks to pastel dust, but the trim received a fresh coat when the current owner moved in.

floor1I also did the floor, which I think turned out pretty spiffy. The porch is bedecked (tehe) in unfinished teak wood, since teak is a classic choice for surfaces that see the elements. The inside area is covered in real Hawaiian koa with a natural tung oil finish, and while my iPhone pic didn’t do it justice, it is a very pretty wood.

The walls are actually vertical now, but that’s another story and shall be told another time :-).

Also, you may have noticed some changes with the site, like actual header images and some widgets moved around. If you see something you like or don’t like about the new look, please tell me.