Painting is Over My Head

I’m handy to have around the house.  I’ll admit it.  But there are some things that maybe I should step back and procrastinate a bit longer with before I actually DO them.

I earned my home repair chops before I was a teen.

I used to have Dad “upgrade” my little toy cars by polishing the roofs shiny with his sander.  I’d then watch Dad cut into the furniture with an electric jig saw.

Measure twice and cut once, Dad.

I haven’t removed any body parts doing strange things with electric tools, but I have come close. I just don’t tell people when I do.  Plus, reading glasses work for safety goggles, right?

My first real repair really ticked Dad off.   He had an 8-track player that stopped working.  That should tell you how far back this was.  He told me outright not to touch the player, he was going to take it back to the dealer and have them fix it.

(Sound of hands brushing themselves on pants with a job well done)

That lingered.  In fact that became a real point of discussion with my parents back then.  Since some of their discussions were pretty loud, I left the room and hid.

I also got my screwdriver.  Opened that sucker up, replaced the belt, and handed it to him.  Told him it was fixed and it was just the belt.   Mom told him to take it and try it before he yelled any more at me.

It worked.  I was hooked.  Dad didn’t realize that showing me how to grind the paint off of little cars and cut into Mom’s Old Bureau in the garage was teaching me how to do the same thing.  So I’d practice and get better at these sorts of repairs.

My house here has a bit of bubbling plaster.  I kept patching it with better and better spackling compound until this time it seemed to hold.

At least it hasn’t fallen off yet.

Now I can spackle a wall better than most.  I have patched walls in apartments and was called on the phone by the  maintenance crew to pick up my deposit check since they never saw such a good job.  Oh, and can you show us how you do it?

The trick is to use an old sock with some water and sand it with the cloth before the spackle completely sets.  You can get a mirror finish if you work with it.   Wet sanding is what you are doing.  It really does work and work well.

But all of this is time consuming so I didn’t really want to return to the job.

It became a Point Of Discussion with Kevin and I.  Now, Kevin’s way of discussing things is much more gentle than Mom and Dad.  He merely mentioned it.  We bounced it back and forth for a while and I finally decided to finish Just That Part and see where it went.  I still thought it needed professional care, but We Shall See and I Will Try.

My Try is better than some people’s Do and worse than others.

The spackle held.

I got out that electric sander of mine and sanded it as close to flat as I could get a bed pillow sized area to get.

Then Kevin discussed it with me again.

“When are you going to prime it?”

He didn’t know just how much I hate painting.   Plus the spot is at about 7 feet off the ground.

“You can use the foot stool in the tub.  Really, you CAN.”

Did I mention I hate painting?  The whole cleaning of brushes? Cleaning of surfaces?  Cleaning of drips?

We had the primer.  We bought it about 2 years ago.  It’s been waiting.  Just like Kevin, it has been waiting.

Finally I got the wild hair to try it.  Walked that primer out to the kitchen and used the big screwdriver to open up the can.  May as well use that screwdriver to stir it up.

That should have told me that something was up.  This was the mutant paint from hell.   It refused to come off the screwdriver with the 130F water we have in the kitchen.   I may have to use sandpaper to make it shine again.

I walked into the bathroom with the little pot of paint and climbed the two steps on the ladder with the Cheap Nylon Brush.  Dip the Cheap Nylon Brush into the paint and start to apply it to the wall.

If you ever saw the old TV show Green Acres, their shack of a house wouldn’t hold paint because you
needed a key to close the pores on the wood.  If you didn’t, it would suck all the paint into the wood and it would be back to grey again.

That was my wall.

The paint hit the wall, and it was immediately gone.  Not dry, just … Gone.

Put another coat on that spot.

This wasn’t completely gone, but the paint brush was now glued to the wall.  The paint dries in an eye blink.

Now What?

I’m painting away with this mutant paint from hell, and it’s getting sucked into the spackling compound that I didn’t want to apply anyway.  It seems that the spackling compound was made out of sponge and vacuum.  Yes, the vacuum of space has sucked away about a cup of weird almost white primer paint in an area smaller than my laptop.

A Cup Of Paint.

Having finished that particular spot, I realized that I had to get the upside down portion of the window well and coat that just as thick.

Cue the paint dripping onto the ceramic tiles.   That will come up right?

I had better check the clean up instructions.

Alcohol, water, and Ammonia?  What is this Merlin the Magician’s Alchemy Class?  Clean before it dries?  Oh holy crap, this stuff dries before it hits the wall.

I grab the Kitchen Scrubby and remove the offending splats from the window well.  The tub now has a new “Eggshell White” spot of primer in the deep end.  That will have to wear off.

What about my Cheap Nylon Brush?

I start cleaning the blasted thing with 130F water and some rubbing alcohol that was under the sink.

Cue a 6’4″ fully grown man screaming like a little girl when the alcohol hits some cuts on the right hand.

The alcohol reacted with the cuts and created pain.  Searing pain.  Luckily the fumes distracted me from that and I was able to get the brush somewhat clean.   I’m just glad I used the Cheap Nylon Brush.

What happens is that the Primer Paint now forms weird coagulated globs that stick everywhere.   The sink is running full tilt to wash the globs down to where ever weird coagulated globs go here in South Florida.

I hope the alligators that live in the sewers enjoy that.

The brush?  Most of it came off, but only a little more than half.  That brush will be fun to use later when I try to put another coat of Eggshell White Primer on it and not on myself.

Or my shoes.   Never my shoes.  I rather like them.  Nothing better than an old pair of sneakers to be comfy when you’re out walking around town … oh DAMN, there’s a splat the dried on the right sneaker.  I guess I’ll just tell people it’s an art statement and see if I get a reaction.

Meanwhile, does anyone have any ammonia handy?  I want to try cleaning that Cheap Nylon Brush again.  When the brush dried and I batted it against my hands, thin clouds of dried paint dust flew into the air so very gently.

And by the way, can you tell how much I like painting?

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