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Painting the Eyebright Roof

Collette and Tony  "Up on the Roof"

The Eyebright roof has been up for fourteen years, but most of the material had a previous life as part of a structure at Port Nelson.  It was due for some TLC.  The huge Eyebright signs that were painted two years ago protect a quarter of the roof.  It was the remaining three quarters that I approached with trepidation in Early March. 

My first stop was the Resene website.  The more I read on that website the more impressed I became.  They not only spelt out what to do, but also justified the reasons for doing them.  I decided to put my faith in Resene and follow their instructions to the word.

Doing a thorough job of painting a roof is massive, and if it’s a 800m2 roof, it’s King Kong massive.  90% of the work was in the preparation:  Washing, spot priming, locating dodgy nails, and replacing these with screws and washers.  All the while I was conscious that come May, my opportunity to spray would have passed.  From then onwards, I would not be able to count on the roof drying before the evening dew started forming again.

My hard grafters were Collette Davies, who usually helps me in the field with flower production, and Tony Ford, who is responsible for the garden.  Collette did most of the washing, Tony did most of the spot priming, and masking. I did the removal of dodgy nails and replacing them with screws.  In all we spent 90 man-hours getting the roof ready.

D day finally came.  I had to lugged up 100 litres of paint and a heavy, awkward spray unit.  In my naivety I thought I would get two coats on in one day.  Alas, by mid-afternoon I encountered problems with the spray unit clogging.  It was probably just as well, because that forced me call it quits, rather than push on too late in the day.  Five days of unsuitable weather followed, so it was a week before I was up on the roof again. 

The excitement of doing something new had now worn off, and I felt a bit like I did back in the days when I lined up for tough running race.  I was dreaming to think that I could have done two coats in one day.  It took three hours to finish off from where I had been stopped a week earlier.

There was no elation in finishing, because I then had to lug the spray unit and left-over paint down the ladder, all the while being very careful not to upend or drop anything, then there was a big job cleaning out the spray unit, and packing it up ready to  return to Richmond Hire.

I am happy to relate that the roof is now well protected by a coat of Resene Overland, and that over the course of the month-long project there were no mishaps like stepping through a skylight or slopping paint over the Eyebright sign.


My thanks go to the guys at Richmond Hire.  It’s great to be able to hire the specialist gear.  Also a special thanks to Kevin Pouri-Lane, a professional roof painter, who’s advice enabled me to do a proper job.

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