Wednesday, May 25, 2016

P Is For Painting

"We can't put it off any longer," Rick said about a month or so ago. "This is the year we have to paint the front porch. It should have been done years ago, and it looks terrible. No furniture out until it's painted."

What happened next was Profound and Fateful, and quite possibly some of the Stupidest Things I Have Ever Said In My Life. "Okay," I agreed. "Not a big deal. I can help. I'm home all day. I can paint the railings, no problem. That way, all you'll have to do is paint the floor, and we'll be done!"

What a Gargantuan Idiot I am.

Painting is an awful, tedious, horrible job. Painting spindles is the Epitome Of Awful, Horrible Tedium. Painting eleventy thousand spindles white is actually prohibited by the Geneva Convention. Painting eleventy thousand spindles white, upon railings which are at the level of a five-foot, four and a half inch woman's mid-thigh is one of Dante's Circles Of Hell.

Do you know that it is entirely possible to lose one's place whilst painting with White Semi-Gloss paint when it is very breezy and everything looks the same and it is BORING AND TERRIBLE AND THE PAINT DRIES IMMEDIATELY AND YOU START HATING EVERYTHING AND YOUR BACK AND NECK AND SHOULDERS AND KNEES HURT? And that you realize that you have been holding the paint brush as if it were going to start slithering around and trying to bite you?

Holy crap.

At one point, my cousin Ann sent me a text message. I told her I was Painting and Miserable, and I immediately offered her a Billion Dollars if she would do it for me. Before she answered, I had time to feel Ashamed, Humiliated, and Embarrassed because Ann does practically Everything, not only Painting, but sewing, quilting, rebuilding and refinishing furniture, wallpapering, canning, ceramic tiling, and cloning pets and prehistoric animals. Okay, not that last one, but she probably could do it if there were instructions on the internet and she felt like it.

Anyway, my point--and I do have one--is This: Ann said, "I would come paint your porch for a billion dollars."

And I paused for More Than A Moment to actually think about whether or not I could come up with the cash.

Honestly, how do any of you do it, this Painting? It's horrid and awful. I've done it Twice now, and I've already told Rick that my Painting days are Over. "You did a great job!" he said, encouragingly. "You are slow, but neat." Which is a nice way of saying that it took me ten hours to do what he did in two hours when he got home from work, and that includes swiping away a few smears with some Goof-Off.

Heavy Sigh.

Painting. What was I thinking?



  1. I applaud you for your effort, but understand your decision to never paint again. I no longer paint, but I will help stain the deck. Like you, I get stuck with the spindles, but ours are square so it's easy to know what side your staining. My complaint is that my hand gets cramped while holding the brush and then I have to stop to massage my hand, and once that happens I don't want start staining again. If my hand is become cramped while on our deck, I'd prefer it to be from grasping a bottle of beer, not a paint brush. ;-)

    1. Ally Bean--Oh, god. I remember staining our deck in 90-degree heat and horrid humidity one summer. We thought it would be a fairly quick job.

      It wasn't.

      The hand cramping! Yes! I had a deathgrip on that brush. I know exactly what you mean. I do the same thing when I drive long distances. Give me a wineglass or martini glass any time. time.

  2. Well, yes. Failing help of the 'Tom Sawyer' sort... painting is a thankless, tiresome, tedious job. I don't think I could do all of those horrid spindles. In my time, I have painted more walls than I can count, including my entire studio apartment years ago (twice, in fact, over a 15 year period.) That was, of course, before I married my contractor husband who calls in the troops for this sort of task because he knows a lot of painters who owe him favors and can do the job for a very reasonable price.

    All of that said, the part I hate the most about painting is cleaning and preparing the surface area BEFORE you paint. (I'm thinking of interior painting and walls that need to be scrubbed down, cracks that need to be smoothed over and filled and sanded, etc., etc. --- I used to skip those steps when I lived on my own, haha!!)

    Give yourself a pat on the back for all the back-breaking work and... have a couple of martinis before you think about volunteering again, lol.

    1. Ortizzle--Spindles like these, and all the way around the front porch. Ugh. There were dozens of them, and I could swear they kept multiplying as I painted them. There was minimal prep work since it was outdoors and they were weathered, but I know what you mean about prep work for any sort of interior stuff. The Worst.

      No more volunteering for me. Ha ha. It is to laugh.

  3. We have a simple answer for painting and staining. It's called "handyman." As in the wonderful man who paints, stains, repairs, etc. He is neat, reliable and efficient. We are so lucky to have found him and his equally talented crew. We used to do our own such work and classified each job based on the amount of beer (for outside) or wine (for inside) we thought would be needed.

    1. NCmountainwoman--How wise. This is what we would have done, had we not so many Things Pulling At Our Purse-Strings currently. We also do not have a Wonderful Handyman, and would have had to hire out a Painting Crew/Service, with the bad taste of the one who did our interior rooms earlier still lingering/irking these many months later. Grrr.

  4. I love painting, I am a freak.

    I am a "color" person with the walls, and choosing wall colors makes me giddy with happiness.

    However, I will admit that I have never painted spindles like that, so perhaps that would start leaning me in the direction of hating it.

    Although I once painted a brick fireplace and that, my friend, was a bitch. Helped to sell the place, though, so it was worth it.

    But really, I do love painting. Even the prep work, which is tedious, is still not something I will skip.

    1. Gina--I like the process of choosing interior paint colours also. That is my only Joy Of Painting.

      Painting over brick seems sinful to me, like painting over hardwood floors or natural woodwork. But if it was in a house you were leaving and it sold the house, then okay. It does sound like horrid work, truly. I can only imagine its frustration level based upon nooks and crannies, paint absorption rate, and boredom quotient. Ugh.

      I do wish we lived closer to one another. It seems as if we'd have a Good Time!

    2. Temecula, baby, Temecula! I kid, I know that trips are expensive, especially out here.

      But yes, I think we would have an utterly smashing time together!

  5. I don't mind painting a single wall in a room, or a plain banister with zero spindles. Ted and I got stupid once and decided to paint our kitchen cabinets. It sucked. That was maybe 10 years ago, and they could really use it again, but I'll be damned if I'm going to do it. We should just get new ones, but who has the money for that? Not me, sadly.

    1. J@jj--Rarely is there just Basic Painting. There is always masking off, tedious patching, sanding, prepping business. I'd prefer to be the Paint Consultant; call me to choose the paint colour(s), perhaps name the new paint shades, etc. That's about all I want to do with painting anymore.

  6. Here is what I think about painting. We have a wooden paper towel holder that we use for our spare rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom. I've been meaning to paint it for about 15 years. It's a small object that I will eventually SPRAY paint. Almost zero effort, but it is Painting, so I apparently can't expend even that bit of energy on it.

    P.S. I had to read the bit about the Geneva Convention to Mike - so funny!

    1. Bug--Forget painting that thing and find room for the TP or the whole shebang in the cabinet under the sink. Or something. (But never, NEVER get one of those crocheted hat or doll thingies that "disguises" a spare roll to decorate the back of the toilet tank. Horrid.)

      Glad to give The Professor a chuckle.


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