31 Aug Touching History by Painting Robert E. Lee’s Childhood Home
We touched history this summer! This past June, we painted some exterior areas of Robert E. Lee’s childhood home in Old Town Alexandria. The extraordinary red-brick home, constructed in 1795, is a registered Virginia landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Some of the most famous figures of the last centuries, including George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette, have stayed or dined here. It is a private home these days, and the current owners hired us to do some exterior repainting.
The Federal-style home is substantial in size at more than 8,000 square feet. It is red brick, except for wood trim, porches, and dormers. The overall size of the house means there’s still a fair amount of wood. Our job was to repaint the wood detailing wherever needed. Read on to learn what we did for this beautiful historic home.
What was done:
We very carefully prepared, primed, and painted the following areas:
- Front dentil trim
- Front dormer windows
- Five front 2nd level windows & window frames
- The fascia of the left porch
- Two left dormer windows
- Rear rake boards
- Rear dormer windows
- Rear fascia, rake boards
- Rear 2nd level windows & window frames
- Primer: Benjamin Moore Fresh Start Exterior Wood Primer
- Paint: Benjamin Moore Aura, Low Luster (Color: White Dove)
To achieve the best results and to ensure the integrity of the painting, preparation is a critical part of the painting process. You risk exposing the underlying material to the weather elements if you don’t properly prep the area first. You also risk shortening the life of the paintwork.
The prep work for this project included scraping and hand sanding exterior surfaces before painting. This was done very carefully to remove any loose or peeling paint without damaging the underlying wood. We also removed any loose glazing on the windows and applied new glazing. Lastly, we caulked all the wood trim work as necessary. We were then ready to begin repainting.
Being hired to work on a historic structure, especially one listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is both gratifying and validating. But you don’t have to have a home of this size or a historic structure to hire us. We work across Northern Virginia on various types of homes and buildings. We are happy to take a look at your project and give you a cost estimate.