My House Painting Project Has Taken Me Longer Than Expected


I woke up the last Friday feeling great. I felt so great, I wondered how deeply I’d sunk into the mundane monotony of the pandemic without even realizing it. But, like I said, on that day I felt great.

So, powered by newfound enthusiasm, bolstered by caffeine and with a complete lack of concern for the enormity of the job, I decided to paint the house.

I put on my painting clothes (my very favorite, best-fitting clothes that have been through hell and back with me), hopped into the car and drove to the paint store. Even though it’s backward, I decided to paint the trim first in the hopes that Mark would then be inspired to fire up the sprayer and get the rest of the house done zippity-quick.

Came home, opened the can, dipped in the brush. Also backward. I needed a lot more stuff. So I wrapped the brush in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge (an old painters’ trick that keeps it from drying out) and proceeded to gather a tarp, ladder, wet rag, stirrer and screwdriver. I retrieved the brush and started on the porch railing.

Doing the porch railing is fun. It’s instant gratification. It looks clean and white and you get a lot of attention from your neighbors as they drive by, honking and waving. When you see an ad on TV for paint, the happy homeowner is always painting the railing, never the four sides or the 52 spindles or the underside of the railing or the bug-infested latticework. No, it’s always the top of the railing. (If they’re indoors, it’s the part of the wall that’s right in front of their face, never the back corner of the closet.) On TV, no one’s butt is in the air while their hair is falling into their eyes.

However, I completed the porch and one window. (Don’t you love those 16 tiny panes? Yeah, I used to, too.) Then I collapsed into my bed with the remote, a bottle of wine and a party size bag of potato chips.

Amazingly, I awoke the next day in the same good mood. Back to the paint store I went, having decided to paint the front door this time. I read somewhere that you get more for your house when you sell it if the front door is painted black. I’m not looking to sell my house, but I did want it to look more valuable, so black it was.

I gathered the brush, tarp, ladder wet rag, stirrer, screwdriver and pillow (for my knees — I learned that the day before) and went to work. I wrestled the screen door from its hinges and flopped it on the lawn. Whoomp! I didn’t want a nice, functional screen door getting in the way of my visual masterpiece. Then I started painting. You know how many coats of black paint it takes to cover a white door? More than two. And again with the 16 tiny panes.

At the end of the day, I collapsed into my bed with the remote, the leftover wine and the flaky shreds from yesterday’s bag of potato chips. I tried to pour them into my mouth directly from the bag but, after spilling quite a bit of potato residue onto my bedsheets, I decided to save time by just pouring the chips into the wine.

Don’t try this at home. Or anywhere. It’s not a good look, and it pretty much shouts, “I simply do not care anymore.” There’s guilt associated with it, too, but I didn’t suffer any of that. I was asleep.

PS: Week two and Mark has still not been inspired to join me.

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