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Want to borrow our house painting tools?

The last few weeks we’ve been talking about ways – big and small – to spruce up the look of your home and yard, and therefore the look of our community.

If you haven’t had a chance yet, make sure to admire the downtowns in Hoquiam, Aberdeen and Montesano, who have groups of volunteers dedicated to beautifying the towns with flowers, decorations, signage etc. New sidewalks are also making a difference in these cities as well as a fairly recently re-done downtown Elma.

If you are out and about traveling this summer pay attention to what draws you into a small town to eat or shop? Bring these ideas back to your city council or perhaps become a volunteer in one of the many local committees.


As we pointed out last week, it’s not just the public areas of a town that make a difference to its overall appeal, it’s also individual houses and neighborhoods. In fact, we mentioned the possibility of giving your house a good scrub or consider painting it this summer. Today we are reminding you that we may be able to help.


Thanks to a generous donation by COSMO Manufacturing in Cosmopolis, we have plenty of equipment we loan out for free. Sorry, but no ladders, paint sprayers or power washers!

So, if you are planning to wash or paint your house and would like to borrow our pump sprayers and long-handled brushes for the job, give us a call. We also have tools such as rollers and roller racks, caulk guns, putty knives, scrapers, wire brushes, drop clothes, buckets and ladder stand-off attachments for safety.

In this climate, most houses need to be painted every five to seven years, especially on the south and west faces. Those homes near the salty beaches typically need more care and painting more frequently than those inland. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – a good paint job not only approves the appearance of your home and your neighborhood, it also protects your house from mold, rot and bug infestations, lengthening the life of your major investment!

Just call us here at NeighhborWorks of Grays Harbor from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday at (360) 533-7828 to reserve the equipment.


Even though painting can be one of the most inexpensive ways to spruce up – and protect – your house, the price of paint isn’t as low as it used to be, but it is a much better product. So, before heading to the paint store, take a closer look at your paint job. If the surfaces are intact, maybe a good scrub and a little touch up here and there will buy you another year or two.

That’s right, not only will a good scrub cost much less than paint and make your house look bright, it actually lengthens the life of your paint job! That’s because with the dirt and grim gone, moss and mildew don’t have a good place to grow and slowly eat away at your house paint.

To wash the house, we like “30 Second Cleaner” for siding with mold-mildew on it. Apply it using a soft boat type scrub brush on a broom stick and extension pole and a garden hose to spray it off. It’s great for vinyl-siding, too. Follow the directions carefully. Remember to rinse each section and any plants in the overspray zone. You will be happy and surprised how quickly this cleaning chore can be accomplished!

We do not recommend the use of a pressure washer for this job! Over the years, we’ve just seen too much bubbled paint from saturated siding damaged by overzealous owners who ended up doing more harm than good. A soapy boat brush and a hose are your friends!


If you have cracked and peeling paint, a simple wash will not suffice this time. Summer is the time to think about painting and with this great weather you’re right on time to start the prep. Not everyone is a DIY-person, so you may need to hire-out the job. If that’s the case, we suggest getting two or three bids.

Once you’ve settled on your contractor, make sure to have a short written contract addressing such issues as total cost and tax for prep; body colors and trim; type of paint sheen, (satin, flat, etc.); when payment is made; who is buying the supplies and paint; and when the job is to be started and finished.

Ask around and see which professional painters your friends and neighbors have been happy with and invite those companies to bid.

Whoever you ask to give you a bid, you’ll want to get going on it soon. This, of course, is the busy season for painters, and you want to get on their schedule before the weather turns into our typical rain.


For DIYers, before you begin the tedious prepping of your siding, first take a look at other things that might affect your new paint job if done out of order. For instance, do you have a mossy roof or plugged gutters?

If you have a mossy roof, take a stiff broom and remove as much as possible. To kill the roots, use the powdered or liquid variety of Moss Off. If you use the liquid hose-end sprayer application, you may want to cover plants below roof edge with plastic tarps. Then, simply follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Once that’s done, clean the gutters, downspouts and fascia with soapy water and a soft brush. Don’t forget to rinse thoroughly. Does the siding or trim need repairs, too? First things first, prep is 90 percent of the job.


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