Despite floating a request for estimates to several painting contractors, only Moore Painting responded. There was no one clear reason for the lack of interest, but hints that the size of the job and the unwillingness to deal with lead mitigation might have been at play. Johanna Wigg (jr. warden) voiced legitimate concern that only one bidder was involved. She believed if two or more had competed, there was a chance of a lower cost. Possibly, but we had to deal with the reality of the situation. Even, so Moore Painting has provided satisfactory service to St. Paul’s in the past. The provided attentive service, pro bono advice, and provided solid references from previous customers (e.g., Bowdoin College).

Issues discussed included: need for a contingency fund, lead paint, cleaning, scaffolding/staging, use of a lift in the nave, removal of pews, scheduling, exterior/interior.

Exterior painting took priority. There was no question that it needed to be done before winter weather set in. The west wall was practically bare. Thanks to an early donation we could move on this during the summer months. Because of current EPA requirements, during sanding and chipping of the church, painters had to establish safe zones around the work areas to prevent contact with lead in the old paint. Covers were placed over the grass. The area was vacuum/cleaned at the close of each day. Access to the church was directed around the area as necessary. Painters wore protective masks.

Use of a power lift helped the job go quickly and smoothly. There were no major glitches. Rooftop crosses were painted. The rector was permitted to ride the lift basket
to the roof and crosses to asperge them, the church, town, and those in attendance. Photos were proudly displayed on the church Facebook page and elsewhere.


Painting of the new section (annex, office suite, Great Hall) was even easier. The paint was in much better condition. Lead was not a factor. It was completed quickly. Use of fresh paint caused the painters to be concerned because of the color variation. The new paint was darker, deeper, and more vibrant than the original. Same color, just not faded from the sun. I and others looked at it and thought it was great, and told the painters to continue and not to worry.

Interior painting has been more complex and will not begin until 2 January 2019. The nave will remained closed until Palm Sunday. Hopefully, this window will be of sufficient duration to complete the jobs planned. The area will need to be sealed with back-pressure during cleaning, sanding, and sealing. Serv-Pro has the subcontract to clean the walls of the oil film. There was considerable discussion of whether to use staging or a lift. Lifts are heavy and preference was to use one with an articulated arm – even heavier than a straight scissor lift.

We decided that we needed a professional engineering assessment regarding the floor’s weight capacity. The study found two beams in the undercroft in need of replacement because of powderpost beetle rot. Two others need “sistering.” Meanwhile, we are studying whether to remove the pews. New pews are pinned/bolted to the floor for easy removal. Ours are attached with “square” nails (old); there is concern that the pew are too fragile to move. Will the new beams permit us to use a lift inside the nave, eliminating the need for staging? An articulated lift would reach out and above the pews. It would eliminate the need for staging. Stay tuned.

The nave work would proceed in this order: removal of pews and refinishing (if that option is selected), electrical (fixtures and wiring associated with upgrade to LED lights, additional outlets in west transept and sacristy), insulation, cleaning, painting, finish the lighting, carpeting, return pews (if needed).

Photos of the lift and painter: