Sunday, August 1st, 2010

image of Our Humble O’Bode

I’ve always had this far-away, make-believe kind of idea that I might be able to finish painting the house some day. Actually, in most of my “Thank God I’m Finished!” house-painting fantasies I slap the last coat of paint on just moments before I suffer a massive cardiac infarction, or some similar mortally final lightning bolt that shoots me off into the cosmic void, but thoughts like this usually occur to me only after I’ve spent hours frying to a crisp in the summer sun while scraping and painting, scraping and painting. In much happier fantasies I finish well before I die but long after I go bald and grow a beard down to my knees.

Looking at this photo of the garage I was trying to recall which half of the wall took longer to paint: Up at the peak the boards were shorter, but I had to stand on a shaky extension ladder twenty feet in the air where I could reach about three feet from side to side and top to bottom, forcing me to climb up and down the ladder a couple dozen times, slapping a little more paint on each time I repositioned it. It was a maddeningly slow process. When it’s all averaged out, however, I think it took just as long to paint the top half as it did to paint the bottom. Down at the bottom where I didn’t have to climb the extension ladder, I could paint pretty much constantly, but each freaking cedar panel is thirty feet long and takes half an hour to cover with a decent coat of paint. If that doesn’t sound as maddening as going up and down an extension ladder all afternoon, try to imagine painting for a half hour under a blazing sun, then stepping back to survey your work, only to discover that when you’ve painted a thirty-foot-long panel that’s just eight inches wide, you can’t see any progress at all. Talk about wanting to simply curl up and die.

This is just all to get the first coat on, by the way, to make the house look presentable to the world at large, instead of a patchwork of the previous coat of corpse green, shot through with streaks of white where we scraped the bubbled and cracked paint layers away, and finally the blocks of red-wine red where we’ve been doggedly remaking the house to look as nice as we’d like it to. In another time, maybe in a parallel universe, I’ll have to brush on another coat to make the red nice and even and cover all the places I missed. There are always a few. But for now it looks good from the street and maybe the neighbors will stop pointing and making comments to each other as they walk their dogs past our house.

Covered | 6:08 am CDT
Category: ch-ch-changes, Our Humble O'Bode, painting
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