Growing up with San Jose’s dry weather presented some challenges when it came time to adapt to the humid coastal climate of Ferndale. Many of them emotional, but some practical as well, such as painting one’s house.

Our house in San Jose had been neglected when we purchased it and by doing a thorough job prepping it, that paint job has lasted 16 years. Last time I drove by it it was looking a little tired, but it was still holding together.

Here in Ferndale, a good paint job lasts about 5 years, and if you’re really lucky it might hold together for 10. The combination of humidity and the salt air really does a number on these old houses. It’s a bit daunting to think that I’m going to have to repaint this house every 8 years or so. Especially when the chances to paint in Ferndale are so limited.

Ferndale has two painting seasons. In spring right after the rains stop but before the inland areas warm up. Once the heat of summer arrives Ferndale turns into a foggy mess and you only get occasional days where the drizzle lets up so you can paint. Then in fall we get a few more weeks where the inland heat subsides enough so that Ferndale enjoys the best weather it sees all year.

So given the small window of opportunity to paint in Ferndale, I was only able to get half the front of my house painted last year. While that sounds discouraging, I’m bolstered by the fact that only the front of our house has¬†extensive¬†gingerbreading and the other three sides should go a lot quicker. I use to wish the south side had more gingerbread since it is very visible, but now I’m glad it relatively plain.

Yesterday, with the sun out, I couldn’t stand working indoors at the computer, so I made my way up the scaffolding to start painting the second gable. Even with just the monochromatic coat of primer, it looks fresh and renewed. I can’t wait until the whole front is finished. Then I can stand in front of the house and fool myself for a short time at least.