Nailing It Down — Can you help paint the Corridor? Kickoff set for July 28

Are you someone who likes to help your community? If so, we could sure use your help!

The third all-volunteer effort to Paint the Corridor will kick off on the last Saturday of July and now is the time to step up to one of the coolest volunteer efforts of the summer.

We already have returning teams, but there is always room for more to prep and paint the houses. “Many hands make light work” and 300 to 400 volunteers makes the chore a blast you will remember every time you pass by your project house!

If your family, company, church, club, team or group of friends – at least 7 to 10 members is more fun – is willing, we will assign you one of the chosen houses along the Hoquiam-Aberdeen Highway 101-Highway 109 corridors.

The kickoff event is set for 9 a.m. Saturday, July 28, at the Barrier West Warehouse, across from the Home Depot main entrance road on Commerce Street.

You can also just show up by yourself that day, have a cup of coffee and donut and offer your help and get on a team. But, it’s even more helpful to us if we know to expect you and your team so call us!

One of the great things about this volunteer activity is that after the kickoff, each team can decide how and when they want to tackle their jobs. With the unpredictable weather around here, people’s vacation schedules, etc., it’s hard to pre-determine a great day to prep and paint a house. So, it’s up to each team to figure out their schedules and how best to get the job done.

If you’d like more information, or want us to know that you’ve gotten a team together, call us at 533-7828 and ask for Dave or ask to get on the call back list.

To the folks who’ve already told us they plan to lead a team this year: We sent out an e-mail note on July 4 to all returning team leaders. We fear we may have missed a couple folks. So, If you’d like to be a team leader and didn’t receive the e-mail, please give us a call.


Last time we wrote about this, we had just begun putting together the list of home-owner owned houses needing paint along Simpson, Sumner, Emerson, Lincoln, Perry, Alder and Park.

Since then we’ve got 18 houses lined up and are hoping to get that total to 24 or 25! Unfortunately, several of the houses chosen are now foreclosed and vacant.

Too bad, rental properties aren’t eligible for the program, but we’re hoping that this flurry of activity will encourage rental property owners to step up and paint their houses to not only help our community but also protect their investment.


For the same reasons we’re promoting Paint the Corridor – to help preserve and protect people’s investments and give our community a make-over — is why you might want to consider painting your own house, too, no matter where you live.

By preventing moisture from getting into your siding and trim, a well maintained paint job helps prevent surface failure, mold, mildew, dry rot and even some unwanted bugs that thrive in those conditions.

If it’s not time to paint your house, remember a good scrub with soapy water (Dawn) and a quick rinse with a hose can help preserve your last paint job from the acids in the rain and all that slimy green stuff.


Before you get going on preparing to paint, you should prepare by prepping from the top.

If you have a mossy roof, take a stiff broom to remove as much moss-tuft as possible. To kill the roots, use the powdered variety of Moss Off following the manufacturer’s directions. Power washers can remove the protective roof granules so if you decide to use a power washer be very careful.

When that’s done, clean the gutters, downspouts and fascia with soapy water and a soft brush, rinsing all thoroughly and letting the walls below dry out again. Now you’re ready to prep for painting!


Whether you are part of the Paint the Corridor crew or planning to paint your own house, preparing the house to receive the new paint is critical.

Begin on the side with the most mildew and bad paint. Lay down and secure tarps to catch the chips from scraping. When the scraping is done, apply “30 Second cleaner” to the dry wall surfaces as per directions and scrub from bottom to top with a boat brush on a pole. Then, let the concoction sit for just a minute, finally rinsing all the surfaces thoroughly with clear water.

We do not recommend the use of a power washer, at all, having seen so much siding damage from them over the years, and because you need to control the loose chips carefully these days. The old paint may have lead in it which is not good for pregnant women, small kids or animals. When you’re done, take a break and let the house dry.


As soon as you’re done with this type of prep, and have a bone-dry wall surfaces – around here that could be hours or days later – spot prime all the bare wood surfaces with a good quality primer designed for the material you are covering and compatible with the paint you are going to use.

After the primer is dry, in like an hour, you’re ready to caulk the cracks and crevasses for appearance as well as weatherproofing around doors, windows and cracked siding. Choose a good quality, paintable, 35-year caulk.

A wet finger works well for smoothing any caulk line to perfection, keeping it in the crack and not creating an ugly smear or bulging mass. Seek perfection with this sticky stuff and it will greatly reward you in the finished product.


We’ll provide more tips next week to either paint your own house or help us with this year’s Paint the Corridor event.

And for you corridor homeowners, if you have not turned in your application for a paint job yet, do so now if you want it done.

Dave Murnen and Pat Beaty are construction specialists at NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor County, where Murnen is the executive director. This is a non-profit organization committed to creating safe and affordable housing opportunities for all residents of Grays Harbor County. Do you have questions about home repair, renting, remodeling or becoming a homeowner or one of our contractors? We have rehab loan funds at tailored rates. Call us at 533-7828, write us or visit us at 710 E. Market St. in Aberdeen.