Sunday, September 12th, 2010

image of me painting the house

I didn’t intend to spend all afternoon painting the house but somehow that’s what I ended up doing.

It started with the gable over the garage roof. I’ve let that go for quite a while, under pretense of various excuses too ridiculous to try to explain, but because it’s already the third week in September and I’m running out of excuses, I’ve suffered just a few panic attacks from thinking I might not get the painting done before the snow flies. I had another one this morning when I saw what a beautiful day it was today and tried to think of doing anything but yard work or home maintenance, but eventually caved in and started looking for a can of paint and a brush. It wouldn’t be so bad with the sunshine and the cool breeze. More importantly, My Darling B was home so that, in case I fell off the roof, she might come investigate the dull thud I made when I hit the recycling bin on the way to the ground.

I gathered up my tools and went to work. The first thing to do was make sure I could get up there and stay up there, something I wasn’t entirely confident of. I’d spent way too much time on the roof of my boyhood home, shooting at starlings and stacks of beer cans with an air rifle. Don’t ask why it’s important to be on the roof when you do that. I couldn’t give you an answer that made sense. It was thirty years ago, which not only affects my memory, it makes me a tad uncomfortable about walking around on rooftops now. However, once I made myself go up there, check out how steep it was and work out a way to keep the paint can from tipping over, I felt a little better about putting my mortal self at risk for the sake of making Our Humble O’Bode look prettier.

To keep the paint can from tipping over I scrounged up a slab of particle board and three pieces of scrap lumber to shove underneath it until I had achieved a relatively level platform. Before I went with shoving scraps of lumber under the board, I had planned to work out the angle of the roof, cut some wedges from scrap and screw together something a bit more stable, like somebody who knew what they were doing would use, but my jerry-rigged platform worked just as well and I didn’t have to fire up a power saw or try to hit a nail with a hammer.

The most difficult part of the gable to paint was the part that was furthest back, because I had to sit on the garage roof to do it. Even though the weather was rather mild, those black asphalt shingles were hot as an iron skillet. I burned a couple inches off my butt while I sat there, painting as fast as I could. After the back corner was done I was pretty glad to be able to stand on the edge of the eaves with my back end to the breeze to paint the rest.

It took all of a half-hour to paint the gable. I stood back, looking at my efforts and thinking, That was way too easy. Now what? Well, I had the paint and brush out, so I figured I might as well touch up a few spots I missed on the front of the house. I hadn’t been able to figure out a way to set up the ladder so I could paint the paneling over the windows, for instance, until today, so I did a quick clean up of those spots, set up the ladder, and got to work.

And while I was up there, I painted all the soffit I could reach, too. The soffit is the overhang between the eaves and the siding. I’d left it alone, thinking I would go back and paint it white, but it looked better painted the same color as the siding. One of my neighbors gave me the idea when he painted his house last month.

Pretty soon I was inching the ladder along, painting all the soffit on the front of the house, possibly the longest stretch of soffit, from the northwest corner of the house all the way around the southwest corner, back to meet the garage and across the front of the garage, too. I didn’t finish until four thirty, with just enough time left over to clean up and get dressed for dinner.

Three hours of standing on a ladder with my head cranked all the way back and my arms in the air left me absolutely pooped. I went to bed early, right behind My Darling B, who spent the day pulling weeds in her garden.

Up | 8:42 pm CST
Category: ch-ch-changes, daily drivel, Our Humble O'Bode, painting
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