Thursday, October 25, 2007

I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by DL Larson

Have you ever had a "theme" week? I mean when several things happen regarding a similar topic? Well, last week I had one.

It started with my preschool story hour. I read Karen Beaumont's giggler, called, "I ain't gonna paint no more," where this little boy ends up painting and painting all over himself! The kids got a kick out of it and happily dove into the paints I had set out and we had our own painting session. Clean up wasn't too bad if I imagined a herd of elephants had stampeded the library and not a dozen four year olds. Oh, and the four three year olds!

Then came Thursday. I was inspired from all the energy the youngsters had shown and
since it was my day off, I decided it was time to finish my summer project. Yes, I know it's October, past mid-October, but I still wanted to finish in the year 2007. Last spring we enclosed our back porch - did the window and tile floor thing, added heaters so it could be a three-season room. I'm very happy with my new back porch except for the painting I have yet to finish.

Above the windows is this area where old wood meets new wood. The old wood is aged, the new wood is not ... and in between the two stretches a strip of white stuff - I think it's called liquid silicone, maybe caulking - anyway, it's ugly and needs to be covered up! One can't expect to relax on my new three-season porch with an unsightly white line running around like that. My plan was to paint a red bar where old meets new. It would be a great accent to the room and camouflage the white glue line.

The paint I already had. As I dug the can from the paper sack the receipt came out too. The date was June 23rd. So the paint would need stirring. No problem, I had that under control. But since I'm a wallpaper hanger from way back, I knew my walls needed to be prepared first. I had forgotten to buy the blue tape, but figured I could find something suitable to use. After tearing through every junk drawer all I came up with was black electricians tape. Better than the duct tape, or so I thought.

Then came the tape measure, the yardstick and the level. My goodness there was so much to this painting and I had yet to unwrap my brush. I went back for the step ladder.

After scooting the furniture to the center of the room I began the task of marking where the red bar should be. Did I mention my windows are long and narrow and rather tall on the wall? So I was up on the ladder, down, back up on the ladder, then down again. This went on and on, as I measured, marked and measured, scooting the ladder across the room as I made my way onward.

All right then! With the measuring complete, I started taping. Hey, this electricians tape worked good. It stretched; that helped a lot. The walls are rough and I had worried what would stick, but the tape stuck. Again I did the ladder thing, up and down, scooting across the room. By the time I had finished, I was hungry. And still my paintbrush had yet to leave its wrapper.

The wind flitted in through the open windows as I fixed lunch. The actual painting would go quickly now that I had all the prep work done. I was really going to like the red bar above the windows. It would be the finishing touch to my new room. I cleaned the crumbs from the counter, tossed the dishes in the dishwasher and went back to the porch.

Manufacturers really should have a caution statement on their electricians tape. In the fifteen minutes I'd been gone, the wind played a trick on me. Or maybe it was the stretchy part of the tape that became bored and no longer wanted to stay stretched. Black strips dangled down in about two foot strips all around my porch. Several had completely given up and lay on the floor in lazy loops.

As I stood there contemplating the situation, two ideas popped into my head. I could give up and pretend the stupid white line was just part of the room ... Or, I could declare war and make my presence known. Giving up was not an option, so grabbing the ladder once more, I looked for the marks I'd made with the pencil. The hard part of measuring was behind me. This tape was going back up in a matter of minutes! The porch was getting painted TODAY!

Why the hell didn't I use a black marker? Pencil lines shouldn't disappear, but of course they did. Grabbing the level once more I began again. The ladder knew the routine by now and we plodded along, shutting windows as we crept across the room.

The sun was in the west before I opened the paint can. My arms ached from being over my head so much of the day, but stirring eased the kinks in my shoulder. The first coat of paint took fifteen minutes. I timed myself. And the paint manufacturer knew what he was talking about. The first coat had dried by the time I made my way around to the end. So I started in again. Not bad. Of course the tape started to peel away, drooping all around again. I tore it off. This project was way beyond needing straight lines. My brush and I were a team. We were painting, covering up that horrible white scar on my walls.

Has anyone considered that maybe - just maybe folks don't want white caulk in unsightly places in their homes! My painting turned to dabbing, that quickly became stabbing, blobbing paint to cover the shiny I can still see it line. The fourth coat did the trick. White disappeared and I sighed. I had won the battle.

It was supper time; I was hungry again. My husband came in and nodded at my work. "Looks, good. What's for supper?" He eyed me sitting in my comfy chair on the porch.

I sipped my beer. "Whatever you fix." This was a battle I knew how to win.

"Take-out sounds good to me," he said. Yep! All I had to do was take out the ladder, the paint can and brush, and the level. My work here was done.

But I conceded one thing. I ain't gonna paint no more!
I'll use the yellow pages.

Til next time ~

DL Larson

This weekend, DL will be attending the Western Kentucky Book Fair, 9:00 - 4:00 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27th, at the John A. Arnold Convention Center a the Union County Fairgrounds, Sturgis, KY

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