I hate house painting more than most of the must-do parts of life. Yet, I'm good at it. I've come to realize over the years, as I've gotten older, house painting is harder and harder to do.
Two and half years ago, after the kitchen remodel, I painted three walls in the dining and living rooms. I figured I'd eventually get around to finishing the rest of those two rooms.
I didn’t expect it would take me two and one-half years to paint those two rooms, finally. Still, the only reason I got it done at the end of December was that Marcy, my wife, was using the rest of her vacation time. She talked me into taking an extra couple of days off, as well, so we could finish painting those two rooms, together.
Oh joy, I couldn't wait to start. I had everything except the paint. I bought a gallon of Benjamin Moore color #813, also called Sweet Bluette. Before I opened that can, I found another gallon container that was half full. I used that first. No matter what, I did need the extra gallon.
The hardest part to painting is the prep work before the actual painting starts. That includes cleaning all the moldings, sweeping the walls, and taping before starting to cut in and roll on the paint.
As I'm the painter, Marcy did most of the cleaning. I think Melissa, one of my daughters, helped her. Marcy also volunteered to start the cutting in of the hallway. Who am I to say no?
Before I started to paint, that was on Wednesday, I did some stretching exercises for my back. Those took roughly half an hour. Although I thought stretching would help, it didn't; more on that later.
Melissa helped me with the walls in the living room and dining room, cutting in the low areas while I climbed the ladder. We ended up moving our four-piece wall unit away from the wall, just to make it easier to paint by the ceiling, and to clean all the crap on the floor.
It was such a tight squeeze that I had to take off the long handle and use the short handle on the roller. As most of that wall is behind the wall unit, no one sees it.
After I finished that wall, I started on the hallway. We have seven doors in the hallway; here was a lot of cutting in along with a lot of molding to be painted.
After I finished rolling all the paint, I called it quits for the day. Thursday I would put the tape on the wall so we could paint the molding white.
I woke up on Thursday so stiff and sore that I could hardly move. I had Melissa start to paint all the low molding, while I did all the high ones. After a while, I gave up, and let her finish all the molding. I could hardly move at this point. My bed and heating pad were calling to me. For good measure, I also used my portable TENS electrical stimulation unit on my back.
On Friday, I didn't feel any better. I stayed on the heating pad most of the day. I did leave the house for a little while. I went to see the new “Star Wars” movie, only because I know the seats in the theatre are reclining and very comfortable.
When I woke up Saturday morning, I was still stiff and my back was very sore. I had to use a cane to get out of bed to do anything. I notified work that I wasn't coming in and crawled back into bed.
I made a resolution there and then. My painting days are over. Eventually, our master bedroom and the room of my other daughter, Michelle, will need work done. At that point, I'm paying someone else to do it. My back and I are kaput. No more house painting for me, the pain isn't worth it.
Oh, yeah, did I mention how much I really hate to paint?
Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.
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