Things I have learned about painting a kitchen

My parents are very ascetic people when it comes to their surroundings. As long as a house is clean and comfortable, they don't really care what it looks like. This is quite an admirable trait in the sense that they don't need a big home or lavish furnishings to live happily, but it also means that their home has aged right alongside them. It also means that I don't know the first thing about Do-It-Yourself home remodeling. My idea of hanging a picture is taking any old nail and banging it into a wall.

Admittedly, I'm not the first person you'd call to paint a kitchen.

Fortunately, Alfie grew up with a father who has worked as a bricklayer, painter and carpenter. Where he comes from, people remodel their homes every 2 or 3 years, either painting the walls or installing new carpets or buying a new sofa. Alfie's idea of hanging a picture is searching the wall for a stud, measuring the proper height and width for the picture, hammering a proper picture hook, and adjusting the picture to make sure it hangs straight. It's a good thing one of us knows what he's doing!

Between the 2 of us -- with Alfie doing most of the skilled work and me doing most of the, uh, supporting work, like helping with paint stripping or holding windows while he drills holes for hinges or running to the store for supplies -- we've been getting the job done. Over the weeks, I've even managed to graduate from drudge to apprentice, getting the confidence to do some actual painting (okay, it's mostly baseboards and the area behind the refrigerator, but it's a start).

Painting a room is classified as a beginner's job, and it does look so easy when you read instructions or watch a how-to video, but there are just some things that only experience can teach you. Here, in no particular order, is a list of things I've learned on the job:

* The old adage, "Double the time and double the budget" applies to DIY projects just as much as it does to contractors. Expect the unexpected.

* Budget an extra $30 for all the $3 sample cans of paint you will purchase when trying to decide on the perfect color for your walls ($60 if you have opinionated kids and/or spouse).

* Budget an extra week for making the decision.

* When deciding which primers and top coats to purchase, remember your third grade chemistry classes: oil and water do not mix. In other words, if you use oil-based primer and water-based paint, you will have to sand everything off and suffer another 3 days delay.

* Buy the highest quality paintbrushes and masking tape. It's worth the extra expense: when you're a novice, you'll need all the help you can get.

* You will make so many trips to Home Depot / Lowe's / your local hardware store to pick up supplies, the store clerks will get to know you by name.

* No need to work out on a day that you're sanding and stripping paint. You'll be using arm and chest muscles you never knew you had.

* If genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration, then painting walls is 99% boring preparation and 1% fun painting.

* Your children's interest in helping is only limited to the areas where mistakes show the most (i.e. painting the walls and baseboards);

* Also, their interest will only last for 1-2 weeks.

* As will the streaks of paint that get in their hair.

* Sawdust is like sand on the beach: it gets into every nook and cranny. Have your vacuum cleaner on hand and clean up as you go.

* When you paint, you need to cover EVERYTHING: the floor, the walls, any place where paint could possible spatter, streak or spill.

* That includes yourself . Don't kid yourself by thinking you can be careful; sooner or later, you'll get paint on your clothing. Those freebie XXL tshirts you got at your last convention are the perfect painting attire!

* Disposable gloves and paper towels are a novice painter's best friend.

* Remember to take photos before you start, as you go, and when you finish.


Elizabeth said...

Having painted many rooms in the house this made me laugh! I pretty much agree with everything you said and then some. Our roles are reversed though. Hubby's dad was a handyman but didn't teach his kids anything. My grandpa was a carpenter and taught my mom and us all sorts of handyman skills.

Anonymous said...

The gods instructed Pharroh to give the Jews all that gold as temptation, and it worked.
So unlike Pharroh, but an effective corruptor which was responsible for the 40 years of warmongering under Joshua. This caused another host of problems to befall the Jewsish people as well.
What a bunch of dumb-ass kikes. The gods used them as "minor partners" with the Italians in the destruction of Planet Earth.

Even as peasant farmers we could be lulled::Good weather, bountiful harvests, etc. This is what old-world preachers were good for.
This stereotypical preacher had classic preaching styles:::Loud, damnation-fueled teachings. Contrast to today, preachers who are lulling the Damned into cruise control. The old-world style was important to snap people out of complacency. Unfortunately, in today's enviornment people consider this style insulting, and they lose a precious message designed for the favored of yesterday.

The Republicans got tired of being fingered for the corrupt trash they are and this time around timed the crisis so it would fall into the Democratic Administration's lap with the bailout scandal. Republican donors/friends enjoyed enrichment at the expense of the taxpayer, as we saw with the S&L Scandal in the 80s, but this time they dodged the scorn associated and tried to unload it on the opposing party.
The entire real estate scandal was different, but fools who do what they are told greased the wheels of this crisis. Now they have the information they need, been foreclosed on and evicted, and are left holding an empty bag labeled "immortality".
The gods played both sides of this event as they typically do, and those to whom they sold the real estate scam to in the 90s profiteered in the 2000s when the sub-prime machine flew into full gear during the peak of the market in 2005-2007. But we are all judged for our behavior, real or clone host, and despite perception of priveledge those who participated will suffer poetic justice, unless they have slipped into Damnation and are no longer eligible for punishment.
The gods position their theater like this for a reason::::This alienates the masses who flock to the party of evil liberalism while using the Republicans to prepare for god's will with governmental insolvency and the destruction of the true "evil empire".

The United States is a dumping ground for the disfavored. THis was how it was used during European immigration, this is how it is used today.
The Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami of 3/11/11 was actuslly a good sign for the people. Alarming because it came decades after their most recent admitted atrocities during WWII, at least they will experience corrective punishment, whereas the United States won't be as lucky.
Russia too enjoyed corrective punishment for the 1980 invasion of Afghanistan.
THere is something about this country. Interferring/injuring the Afghan people incurrs he god's wrath. It cost the SOviets their protection of communism. Now the gods have leveled the playing field among the last few white peoples who still enjoyed it on their way to a homogeneous global enviornment. If I am right about the United States we won't be as lucky. When we go down it will be for good, and there will be no recovery.
Yes, the clone host fake politicians have been planning for this for decades. Ronald Reagan turned a $1 trillion Federal debt into $6 trillion at the end of his Administration. Much like W in Iraq, this served to terminate the favor of a group of people. Reagan just didn't have to do it with violence as W did, but he did do it against white people, which says something.
I believe in killing, non-reincarnation:::The only way Planet Earth will achieve sustainability is if we "take out the trash" and the gods allow the most disfavored among us to be eliminated. The bouy is sinking, social decay is becoming ruinous and unless it begins to rise to the surface the gods will get their way and life will end on Planet Earth.

Asianmommy said...

My husband just finished painting the garage. It was his first time and it turned out great! Love the new color. Who would've thought?