Restoring the Original Siding on Our Little Cottage

Restoring the original siding on our little cottage has been quite challenging and extremely rewarding at the same time!

man on ladder scrubbing old original siding on little cottage

We have come a long way with our restoration efforts on our fixer upper cottage. It has truly been a labor of love! Peeling away the old layers to only expose the older original preserved gems has been quite the treat, but also a lot of work. It has been worth it and we’ve learned so much along the way. Things we never thought we’d learn about renovations, historical homes, and preservation efforts. We have really come to appreciate those efforts more than we ever thought. It kinda just landed in our lap as we unexpectedly purchased a home in a heritage district.

Keep in mind that Nate has also been working mostly on his own completing these tasks usually as DIY projects. We have been trying our best to save as much money as possible by doing what we can on our own. The skills we have learned along the way have also been very invaluable. For me personally, I had no previous knowledge of construction or renovations at all really. Now I feel a bit more well-rounded in life skills just from taking on the task of purchasing a fixer upper!

Now remember, the goal here for us at the end of the day is FINANCIAL FREEDOM! I can just hear our debt free scream at the Ramsey studio coming up (hopefully~ fingers crossed)! It’s surreal to think that our 15-year mortgage will be paid off in full in only three short years!


Nate continued to work on the siding and he removed the nails on it that were from the siding that was on top of the original one. He was also getting it ready to power wash. He removed the larger nails and then just pounded the smaller ones back into the siding. I also later noticed that there were a lot of nails under the soffit as well. The sound of him pounding the nails just carried and echoed all throughout the neighborhood. Our poor neighbors and all of our construction noise!

man pulling out nails from original siding on little cottage


Next, Nate was “cleaning” the house like literally with a scrub brush on the siding. Guess that was his way of “power washing” I suppose. He basically said he was doing the dishes on the house! He sprayed the siding with water from a hose and then began to scrub it by hand with a large brush. Then he would let it dry and finally sand and prime it.

He was certainly getting a really good arm workout. From hanging drywall to spraying and rolling the primer to now this scrubbing. No gyms needed during DIY renovations that’s for sure!

man scrubbing old original siding on small cottage

So basically in a nutshell, he rinsed off the original siding with water to wash it down and then used a brush to get rid of any of the paint chips or debris before sanding and finally priming it. After all the scrubbing with the brush though, he sprayed it one more time to remove all the debris and gunk he was scrubbing off.


Nate was on top of our attached garage and right above the roof of the garage is more of the house siding. And there was like this piece of metal sheeting, tin thing, but water would go inside of it because it was really old and now exposed. When he removed the newer siding to expose the old original siding, it also exposed this sheeting and left it unprotected from the elements like rain.

man on roof of attached cottage garage repairing the siding

So he decided to take a piece of wood to cover it and then that way it would keep it sealed so that water wouldn’t be able to get inside and get into our garage. What a creative way to solve that problem!


Then Nate sanded the siding with an electric sander and also used a hand sander to get into the cracks and the crevices before he would begin to prime it. And he would also be priming those beautiful wonderful rafter tails we uncovered!

man using electric sander on old original siding
man using hand sander on old original siding

Finally he started to prime the side of the house that he worked so hard to prep. He used a small Wagner paint sprayer and then a roller brush afterward to really work in the primer. That little sprayer was so small that it didn’t hold much paint and had to be refilled often.

man spraying primer on old original cottage siding
man rolling primer on old original cottage siding

It was a challenge when he sprayed under the soffit as the tilting of the sprayer caused the primer to not come out very well. So whenever the primer was low in the sprayer, he worked on the lower parts of the siding. Then when he would run out and fill it up with more primer, he would start under the soffit with a fresh refill of the primer, which would come out much better. 

The flat siding was a lot easier for him to prime versus the soffits, gables, and rafter tails. It was a lot more challenging to make sure those other areas were coated properly with primer. 

man rolling primer on old original cottage rafter tails

I’m sure he was so exhausted after finishing up the largest side of our house and getting it primed!

And it case you weren’t aware, always consider overspray when using a paint sprayer and especially when it’s windy outside. I was afraid that we could’ve been getting overspray on our brand new colonial style windows facing the front of the house. 


What a wonderful opportunity we are stewarding to restore this little old cottage back to its original form as much as possible. This little old house has taught us many things. Especially about how “old” shouldn’t be a stigma or outdated, but that it can be, in fact, charming and timeless!

Luke 14:28

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?

restoring old original siding on little cottage


Thanks for joining us on this journey! We hope that you will find inspiration watching us learn as we go while we’re attempting to renovate and rebuild this old small historic cottage mostly on our own. Stay tuned for more progress updates ahead!

You can also watch a video about this here.

To see more adventures of our tiny fixer upper journey, click on the links below.



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  1. Wow! What a transformation! Your hard work is and goals are really admirable. Thank you for sharing your journey! I really enjoy following along.