All’s fair in love and paint­ing the porch

The Covington News - - OPINION -

I painted the floor of my back porch last week­end. It took a day to clean it and move the stuff on it to var­i­ous other places. Then I had to sweep, vac­uum, and re­peat and re­peat. Then I mopped. That took a day. The next day I painted. I had to use oil-based paint. I am used to deal­ing with oil-based paint, since my porch floors and all the trim in my house are done in oil­based paint.

It lasts a lot longer and cleans up shiny. My only prob­lem is that it is get­ting harder and harder to find paint that is oil­based.

Any­way, I had to is­sue a “green alert” when I went to work.

If any­one sees green specks on me, don’t worry.

It is just paint, not an ex­otic dis­ease. Oil-based paint doesn’t wash off.

I have very few virtues as a painter. I work cheap and clean up af­ter my­self. That’s about it.

I am prob­a­bly the messi­est painter known to man. I get paint all over me. I drip stuff be­cause I am im­pa­tient and don’t try to knock off the ex­cess paint be­fore ap­ply­ing the brush to my floor.

Some­how I al­ways man­age to get the han­dle of my paint­brush gunked up, and my hands be­come what­ever color I am paint­ing. I then trans­fer that paint to my nose and other spots on my anatomy.

This time, I thought I had that prob­lem solved. I had painted the side porch floor the same green ear­lier.

I knew I would use the same brush to paint the back porch. So I used a trick my younger daugh­ter taught me.

I wrapped that brush in plas­tic wrap and put it in the freezer.

No clean­ing needed, no mess. When it is time to use it again, just de­frost.

But when I de­frosted my brush, I found that the han­dle was sticky green.

So I wrapped the han­dle with plas­tic wrap, think­ing that would keep my hands clean. Yeah, right. I have a set of paint clothes that I use ev­ery time I paint. You can see from the var­i­ous col­ors dripped and smudged on the pants and shirt that those clothes have a long his­tory. But they serve me well. If you know you are messy, why ruin dif­fer­ent clothes each time you paint?

I tried to plan care­fully. I put a small con­tainer of gaso­line with a rag at the bot­tom of the steps and painted my way out of the porch and down the steps. I had left the side porch door un­locked.

It took me about three hours.

I am not speedy. And I had to con­tend oc­ca­sion­ally with my cat, who wanted to know what was go­ing on and why her food wasn’t in the reg­u­lar place, which I was paint­ing.

Any­way, I fin­ished and got my rag damp with gaso­line, sat down and tried to get as much green off me as pos­si­ble. It took about five min­utes and sev­eral ap­pli­ca­tions of the gaso­line.

Then I packed up the paint and threw the brush away.

I was through with green.

I went in and hoped to take a bath and rid my­self of all the gaso­line. The prob­lem was that I dis­cov­ered a huge swath of green paint over my left chest area, so to speak. Don’t ask me how it got there.

My hus­band wasn’t home to help. I did not want to bring the gaso­line rag into the house and smell up the house. I did not want to put on my paint clothes again, as they were smelly and dirty and I was mostly clean.

I did not want to put on clean clothes be­cause I still was green in sev­eral places.

So — and I hate to tell you this — I put on a night­gown, slipped out my side porch door and scur­ried to my car­port and the gaso­line rag.

I hid be­hind my car and got the re­main­ing green paint off my chest area and then slipped back onto the side porch and into the house.

I got back into the bath­tub, fin­ished my bath and then dressed.

I sure am glad no one drove up in my drive­way and found me in such a pe­cu­liar sit­u­a­tion.

Paula Travis is a re­tired teacher from the New­ton County School Sys­tem. She can be reached at ptravis@ cov­

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