October 30, 2004

Painting 101

For the past week I have been painting the entire downstairs of our house. This includes Den, Dining area, Kitchen and now Formal Living room. In that time I have learned a few things about painting that could be useful for those do-it-yourselfers out there.

1) Don’t be a cheapskate. You will need more paint than you think you do. Don’t buy two gallons when deep in your heart you know you’re going to need three. Don’t buy the cheap brush that will leave bristles in stuck in the paint either.

2) Don’t be lazy. Sloth will kill the amateur painter. Tape off all of the areas you don’t want to get paint on. Maybe the guy on “Divine Design” can paint an exact line with a paintbrush, but unless you have the nerves of a brain surgeon, you’re gonna mess up. This also applies to #1 because tape isn’t cheap. Besides, touching up all the places you messed up will take more time than taping in the first place.

3) Paper towels are your friends. Dripping paint on places you don’t want can often be remedied quickly with a clean paper towel.

4) Cats are not helpful when painting. They are curious about everything. Now that furniture has been moved around, the cat has to explore. Cats and wet paint don’t mix. Besides, if you’re like my wife, you should be concerned that the kitty is breathing in harmful fumes – never mind that the husband has been inhaling them for the past week.

5) Don’t wear clothes you like. I haven’t learned this one yet. It has a bit to do with #2. I don’t want to change and I’m in the mood to paint. Next thing you know, I have paint dripping down my arm, splatters on the shirt Mom gave me for Christmas two years ago (sorry Mom!), and paint on my favorite shoes.

6) You will never finish. I have spent more time “touching up” than the time the actual paint job took.

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