The sprucing-up will cost just under
At the Mary Washington House, painters are scouring the building's exterior, scraping away old paint and carefully inspecting the walls for hidden damage that needs to be repaired.
"You don't want to paint historic buildings more often than needed because it just gets too heavy," said
The house as it stands now is quite a bit larger than the home Washington originally purchased. An added dining room and what now makes up the gift shop were added in the decades after the house was sold by the Washington family.
This added space creates a behemoth of a building that extends over a space that would normally fit two small homes.
"It really is a sizable project," Darron said. "We've got a lot of square footage here."
The painters are scraping, grinding, sanding, caulking and priming the walls before a single coat of new paint even touches the wooden siding and brick foundations.
These beginning steps are part of a "meticulous preparation," said
While some old buildings raise concerns over lead paint and other hazards when repairs are made, the Mary Washington House does not. Any lead paint that may have been used on the house would have been removed years ago, Darron said.
The painters are starting in the back of the building and working their way around to the front, so passers-by cannot see any of the handiwork yet.
The back-first approach will allow the Mary Washington House to host its annual Living Legacies events in September. Even if weather or other conditions delay the painting, the rear courtyard that holds the event attendees will be finished and open.
The whole job, weather permitting, is slated to be finished by
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