The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Mysteries of Drylock

I still haven't made time to take pictures of the Devil Queen's "skirt" so I dug up a few old ones. Aside from the lap-siding being painted, it still looks the same. That is really sad since we enclosed the crawlspace in January-February of 2006. If you would like to indulge your morbid curiosity, here are a couple of links (Link 1 & Link 2) to the original posts.

To answer some of your questions, our crawlspace is enclosed with concrete backer board, not poured concrete or masonry blocks. Why? We couldn't afford any other option. Mr. Clow, our concrete guy, suggested using backer board since it is basically bug proof and weather proof. We spent roughly $1,000 for enclosing our crawlspace including labor. The other options we considered ran between $8,000 to over $20,000. We consider the concrete board our semi-permanent temporary solution to sealing our crawlspace. Except for the bottom couple of inches, all of the concrete board will be above grade.

Our interest in painting the board it two fold. One, it will look better painted. Two, paint hopefully will keep the board from wicking-up moisture when it rains. Periodic exposure to water tends to stain the board and it is not an attractive look. No one wants to look at an old woman who has pissed herself, right?

I'm thinking about using Drylock, a latex "waterproofer" for masonry, which is produced by a company called UGI and sold at Lowe's. From what I've read, I need to sand-off or otherwise remove any paint, dirt, etc, and then paint on two coats of the stuff. I'm thinking about spraying a bead of Good-Stuff foam along the bottom of the board where it meets the concrete perimeter foundation. I'm hoping this will keep water from getting under the bottom edge and seeping up the concrete board.

I'm hoping this will seal the backer board. What I'm trying to figure out is whether I can paint over the Drylock with exterior, waterbased paint. Or, should I prime the Drylock and then paint? Or, is just a waste of time?

As long as the Drylock keeps moisture from seeping up and under the exterior paint, I figure it ought to work. If it doesn't keep the moisture out, it's just a matter of time before the exterior paint will start to blister and peel.

Any thoughts about how well this will work? Or, do I just need to buy a gallon of the stuff and play mad-scientist?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

In our basement laundry room,we used the dry lock on the concrete floor and then painted directly over it with porch floor paint. It's been 4 years and there's no sign of failure of the top coat of paint.

So I don't think the primer would be necessary.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any chance you could email me some basic info from when you sold the blue house? I'm going to do a similar thing and I need to draft a Contract for Deed. I can't find much info on it and figured you might have some tips. Thanks - Ray

11:04 AM  
Blogger EGE said...

Johnny says any masonry sealer and paint should do you, and any good hardware store should be able to steer you right (we hate Lowe's and wouldn't trust a product you can only get from them) -- but, Johnny says, remember to vent, vent, vent, or you'll just be trapping moisture IN

12:51 PM  
Blogger John said...

Thanks everyone.

Ray, I'm 3/4 of the way through a generic draft of our Contract for Deed for you. I'll try to get it to you today, but it may have to wait until Sunday or Monday. I hope that is okay.

EGE, That Johnny of yours is quite the man. I don't think that Drylock is sold exclusively from Lowe's but the point is well taken. We've got the venting covered too. We've got vents every 6 to 8 feet all the way around the Queen so she can feel the breeze under that skirt of hers.

Thanks again!

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear DevilQueen,

The best product is called watertite made by Zinsser. It is oil based however. It withstands a great deal more psi of water pressure than drylock. It is an Alkyd (oil based) based paint mixed with hydrolic cement and can be applied even when the surface is bleeding moisture. Use this and your first coat, as it will form a better seal. If you want to top coat with a latex product you will need to prime. So it would be better if you have a paint store tint the watetite and simply apply two coats. I actually own a paint store, so this is technically professional adive.

Yours Truly,
King Street Farm

1:32 PM  
Blogger John said...

Dear King Street Farm,

I'll keep it short: you own me.

Many thanks,

The Devil Queen

10:20 AM  
Blogger slateberry said...

Anyone reading this may want to know what I learned the hard way: drylock takes a different tinting formula than other paints. I had the paint store tint the white with a formula for a tasteful beige, and ended up with a color that was about 4 shades further down the color strip. I would have called it "dark olive hemp". I think John would have called it "fugly dark olive hemp."

Less is more.

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