It’s Only Paint

The office walls were ugly and dirty with a spattering of holes and scratches. The fresh gallon of paint was sitting right there on the floor and every time I thought about actually painting I shrugged it off.

It’s only the paint, it’ll be fine.

Finally I did seize the day, crack open the can and faced a few truths about myself and painting projects.

1- When faced with a large dreaded project, I will abandon all other “to do’s” when inspiration strikes. Sure there were 5 million more important things to do than change the color of the office wall, but I might have gone on hating the walls for another year had I not just dove in on a whim.

2- When diving into projects on a whim, I’m never well prepared, barge along anyway, promise myself I’ll do better next time and never do. I had paint already, so what if I was lacking sufficient painter’s tape, a full sized roller or sand to add a bit of texture to the flat walls. It’s a little room, it’ll be fine!

3- When attempting projects with insufficient preparation, it’s never as “fine” as I think it will be. I took my tiny roller and began.  …updownupdownupdownupdownupdownupdown… Until I reached a bit of un-taped trim. …up…down…up…down… “This is fine,” I told myself, “It’s a small room,” I told myself. Then I looked back and …updownupdownupdown… went my tiny roller over the area I’d just painted. Perhaps you have noticed how the ends of a roller have a tendency to leave an extra thick line of paint if you aren’t careful. I have now noticed that when your roller is a quarter the size it should be, that means you end up with approximately 376,000 times more lines on your wall. I did say I wanted texture…

4 – The beautiful post and beam construction of our house was just as big of a #*%@ to paint around as I feared. The office is a small room, with three doors and a window, which is by itself a bit of an edge-work headache. Add to that three corner posts, one with angle braces headed to the ceiling and three beams along the edge of the ceiling and you have transformed a small room into a painting nightmare. Also, you can’t just wipe paint off million year old re-purposed beams like you can nicely sanded and varnished trim. Scrubbing with dripping wet clothes and swearing will only mange to reduce your “oops” to a light colored smear.

5- Kids and animals will not help the painting process. No.  Instead, just when you crack a can of paint they, who were previously missing, will swarm. Asking to help, asking to go outside, asking to be pet, investigating painting supplies and trying to touch walls. Even when banished from the room dogs will still need to go out – and inside, kids will still get into fights, homework will still need help and dinner will still need to be put on the table. So basically it’s just like normal, but with paint. Also on normal days when cooking dinner in the crockpot I don’t accidentally turn it off half way through. “Leftovers!” continues to be an unsuccessful battle cry for me.

6-I will make a mess. I will drip and smear and think of my grandpa who told me when I was painting for him that he was going to charge me for every drip. Please don’t charge me Gramps! I’ll never get the kids through college if you charge me for all these drips. It already takes me twice as long to leave my paint contaminated area (of course it’s covered in an insufficient amount of drop clothes) as it should when I’m covered in drips, I don’t need to be punished again.

7- The kids will, somehow, in someway, wreck something. Poor girl, it’s not really her fault. She’s only four and she just traded beds with her sister.  And as soon as I heard little footsteps frantically running back and forth I put down my painting stuff and ran. I got to the bathroom just in time to hear the sound of someone peeing but nobody on the toilet. No, poor girl was half asleep standing on the step stool in front of the sink.  The step stool that could have a successful career as pee distributor. I striped the girl and put her in the tub. Then washed the stool, and the floor, and the bathmat, and the wall, and the cupboards before running the dirty laundry to the washer. When I returned I made the unfortunate discovery that my girl was cold and all the pajamas were wrong…

Eventually I resumed painting only to discover that some of the paint had dried a bit in the roller pan and would now occasionally leave glumpy lumps on the walls. Did I say my walls were flat? No. No flat walls here. These walls are full of texture!

8- At the beginning of a painting process I will have ideas and plans about what to paint next, by the end I will be done painting forever. The room looks brighter, cleaner and beautiful with it’s new walls. I started moving in furniture.  I looked at the bookshelf before I moved it in. The dirty, marked up, never been painted bookshelf. I looked at my nice bright, clean,  beautiful office. I moved it in anyway.

It’s only paint, it’ll be fine.

15 comments on “It’s Only Paint

  1. junekearns says:

    I was hoping for pics, Jessie! 😮

    • Jessie says:

      I was too… but Jane started throwing up and I switched from blogging/photography to full lock down, clean up, de-contaminate mode. Do you think the other girls will be ok with wearing Hazat suits when the get home from school? 😉

  2. Jesska says:

    *hugs* you do an absolutely amazing job 🙂

  3. I admire your get up and go on this project. I have many like that, the can of paint and 3 rollers have been on my bathroom floor a few weeks. And taking care of your child so gracefully. You have a real life. I posted quotes today by Chuck Palahnuik about writing real life stories like yours today. And I nominated you for the 3 Day Quote challenge. Here’s the link. I hope you take the challenge.

    • Jessie says:

      Thanks for the nomination I like the idea. I’m pretty bad at following through on these things but I’ll give it a go!

      • Yay! I get embarrased nominating people and I don’t do many challenges except the weekly photo challenge if I like the subject. This one’s only for 3 days and you can start when you’re ready. Thanks!

  4. Dan says:

    It sounds like a monumental effort but you framed it in such a hilarious way. I *loved* this! Well done you for seizing the moment and pushing through while dealing with all the calamity around you👊

  5. jenanita01 says:

    Oh boy, have I ever been there! Sometimes it’s just not worth the bother, mess, trouble or the disasters!

  6. fireflyby says:

    This post made me laugh so much because I can SO identify with lots of the things you picked out! Brilliant writing! Thanks for cheering me up on a wet and miserable day!

  7. thinkbigmuch says:

    We approach projects like that in the exact same manner! Same truths…

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