The final step on the panels was to paint them. I wanted to paint the pine before the panels were installed because it is so much easier to just roll the paint on while they are laying on the shop floor than it would be to try to paint them on the ceiling, around the beams while trying not to spill or spatter paint all over the house. I wanted to paint my ceiling rather than oil or stain it. Most people cringe when I tell them I want to paint the wood, but there is so much wood in this house that it becomes too much at a certain point. Pine is not known for having particularly pretty grain anyway. I do love the effect of painted boards against wooden beams though. You can still tell it is wood by the uneven gaps between the boards and the texture from the occasional knot that shows through the paint. The white surface makes the beams really stand out and accentuates the grain on them. A semi-gloss white surface should help brighten and expand the small interior of the house as well.
After setting the nail heads and filling the holes I rolled the primer on. Steve at Economy paints helped me out with the selection of the right materials. I wanted to go with an oil paint because I think it looks better and is more durable. I still feel like latex paints don't look as permanent. Apparently oil paints are becoming less common now (I know, that makes me sound much older than I actually am). However Steve informed me that they did have one paint that would work for what I wanted, but it was an industrial coating. I liked the sound of that. Industrial = durable, right? I think he enjoyed seeing me perk up at his suggestion. Now he was excited about the project and made me promise to return with photos of the finished house.
The primer went on beautifully and the next day I rolled on the first top coat. I went home excited that with one more quick coat of paint, this chapter of the project would be finished. When I came back the next night after work, I was horrified to see that the paint had never leveled out and still showed all of the texture from the roller. I looked the the surface of a refrigerator! There was no way I was going to put another coat of paint over that. I left disheartened, not meeting my goal of finishing the panels before I left for a long weekend. I called Steve back for advice, and he agrees with me that i should sand the surface a bit, thin the paint and roll it on with a quarter inch nap roller. He assured me that would solve my problems. While at the hardware store picking up some supplies, I decided to get a second opinion from their paint department. When I told the guy my plan, he frowned at me and shouted, "You cant do that! It will take you forever! Not worth it". Oh well. He has no idea. He even seemed reluctant to help me to the sandpaper isle, as if to save me from all of that unnecessary labor.
With supplies in hand, I went back to the shop and spent about three hours sanding the stippling off of the panels. Not bad at all for the amount of time I will be spending staring at that ceiling. With the help of Corwin, who I share the shop with, we thinned the paint, rolled it on and by his suggestion lightly followed the roller with a brush to align all of the marks. It came out beautifully. I can still see a bit of the stippling from the fist coat here and there, but overall it looks incredible. Every step of this process has been a lesson.