Day: March 4, 2022

It Is Almost Too Easy To Mischiefy An Undertaking of This Nature

Paint. Tools. Two mortals who have different ways of doing things and who lose all ability to communicate when it comes to shared do-it-yourself projects. What could possibly go wrong?

Everything is assembled. The painting tools have been corralled. The furniture has been moved, and the woodwork has been wiped down.

The dropcloths have been deployed. The two newer ones unfolded neatly and sweetly and are behaving themselves, but the thinner one, the one that has been in the garage for a while in warm weather and has stuck to itself?

Ehehehe! Not so much.

The outlet face plates and light switch plates have been removed, and the wallpaper edge has been taped off.

If you guessed that I am going to see to it that the bag the human female puts the screws in has a hole and make sure that paint goes under the blue tape anyway–you are correct!

Time for the actual paint.

Take a good look–this is the last time you will see this can in this condition. Hereafter it will be unrecognizably covered in drips and spatters.

This is also the last you will see of me for a while. I shall step back and observe, because A) I don’t do manual labor, and B) I don’t fancy spending the rest of the day trying to get white latex out of green velvet.

(a bit later) The human female has done the cutting-in around the baseboards, the door frame, and the window. She is wearing a good bit of paint and the dropcloths are earning their pay. It is glaringly obvious that today’s untinted white is significantly lighter than the untinted white of yesteryear. Ah, the ravages of time (and Loki) upon acrylic! Tsk, tsk. Looks like you’re going to need two coats.

The patching plasterwork that this whole enterprise is meant to cover was extended by the plasterers up onto the ceiling, to smooth over the upper edge of the tape. This means that at least part of the ceiling must needs also be painted. I can’t wait to see how this plays out, because the ceiling in this room starts out normal height just above the wall that’s being painted but slopes up to about twelve or fourteen feet. It is divided into several sections by some decorative but inconvenient-to-paint-around exposed wooden beams. It would be, to put it bluntly, a beast to paint.

I can envision several scenarios:

A) The new paint matches the ceiling, so only a tiny bit of the ceiling needs to be painted.

B) The new paint doesn’t quite match the ceiling, but it matches well enough that the humans will only need to paint one section of ceiling (as delimited by said beams.)

C) The new paint doesn’t match the ceiling at all so they have to paint the whole thing.

The humans are hoping that it is not C, though that would, of course, be my preference. The female suspects that scenario B will turn out to be the case. She is actually hoping that they can get away with only painting part of the section that the wall abuts, so she has instructed the male (who is doing the roller work) to “feather the edge” of the new paint into the old. The male says he doesn’t understand what she means. She has re-explained it, using terms like “stippling” and “blending”. More blank looks.

Hey, you two! Can you pause for a moment? I’m going to go make some popcorn so I can sit back and enjoy this re-enactment of the Midgardian Tower of Babel story.

(a bit later) Ehehehe! The human male has presented the female with a fine, hard edge of white paint that clearly does not match the color of the rest of the ceiling. I am getting even farther out of the way, because I think she is tempted to throw something and everything she has to hand is wet and white.

(later again) Grunting and standing on tiptoe on an old chair (which has been used for painting projects in the past and which has acquired a new constellation of drips), the human female has done her best to “feather” the white into the not-so-white.

Practically invisible! To a one-eyed man with astigmatism on a galloping horse at dusk, perhaps. Ehehehe…

They now remember:

A) That they did not paint the ceiling years ago when they moved in and why–because the previous paint in this room was not quite white and they didn’t want to have to do the whole thing teetering at the top of a ladder and and trying to not get any on the beams.

B) Why it is that they do not engage in more do-it-yourself projects as a team. However, I believe that marital peace has been restored with the resolution to–at some as yet undetermined date in the future– pay someone to paint the ceiling professionally and properly.

The ceiling having been deemed “good enough for now,” all that remains (apart from arguing whether there are spots of flat paint that need touching up) is to paint the trim. Lucky day! There’s a quart of untinted white semi-gloss interior acrylic latex in the garage all ready to go.

More mischief! It’s white, but it’s not white white and would look terrible against the walls. Thus proving the old adage that every home repair project requires at least two trips to the hardware store. Will they ever be done with this job? Seems unlikely!

(still later) It’s amazing how exhaustion can lower one’s standards. The humans have looked at the one coat of paint on the baseboard and windowsill, as well as the long list of other things they need to do this week, for some of which it would be desirable to have a functional living room, and decreed that the trim on the doorway and around the top of the window is not going to get done at this point in time. A willful blind eye is being turned to bits that might want a third coat any spots where semi-gloss has gone onto flat and the project is being deemed finished if not exactly a howling success.

Speaking of howling, now that the paint is dry, the tools are clean and put away, all the drips have been wiped up, and all the trash removed, the Terror Twins, who have have been sequestered in the bedroom all day, can be released. To say that they were not best pleased by their brutal and inhumane confinement to a room with access to food, water, a window, a litterbox, and a comfy queen-sized bed would be a gross understatement. The painting today was performed to the accompaniment of paws scrabbling against a door and periodic cries of “You’ll never hold me, you dirty screw!” The first order of business, of course, is to hop up on the newly painted windowsill.

What a day! I think my favorite part was when the female’s head scarf fell off–right into a puddle of wet paint. That is one bandana whose yippee-ki-yi-yo-ing days are over.

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