Our house needs some work. Not major work, but aesthetically pleasing work. You know, simple things like painting the shutters and garage door. We had been planning to do this little project for quite some time and since I had some free time, I thought now would be as good a time as any to start. So off to the hardware store I go…
It should have been a sign when I had to special order the two additional shutters for the house because the builder never put them on 22 years ago. Nobody sells 72″ long shutters, they have to be special ordered. $43 for the set, not terribly expensive for shutters. So I ordered the shutters and picked up 2 quarts of paint in different colors because I was having a hard time deciding between the colors. Mistake #1
I painted one existing shutter a beige/brown color and the other the brown/red color. Even after getting the colors on the shutter, I still couldn’t decide but I was leaning towards the brown/red. I waited for Mike to come home from work to help me decide.
He stands in the front yard, making little squares with his fingers blocking out the rest of the color and house trying to decide which color he likes best. He chooses the beige/brown. I conceded.
We proceed to paint the shutters the beige/brown. One hour later, we’re back at the curb making finger frames again. What little bit of character our brown/red brick house with black shutters had was now gone. Bland, boring, blah.
Mike says, “Yeah, we should have used the brown/red.” Scarlett O’Hara said, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.” I was tired and hungry and I still needed to cook supper for the kids.
I paint the shutters brown/red. It looked great going on… 3 hours later when it was dry, it looked ugly and putrid. I called Mike at work. “It looks worse,” I said.
At this point, in 24 hours the shutters have been 3 different colors. Black (the original color), brown, brown/red.
3:50 PM I go to the hardware store to buy yet MORE paint. This time, I am smart. The siding on the house is white, so I KNOW white shutters and garage door will look good with the house. I have my list. White Exterior Latex Satin Finish Paint, 2 extra paint brushes and a roller because the kids are going to help do the garage door.
Standing in the paint aisle, I am trying to decide which BRAND of paint to buy. 15 year warranty or 25 year warranty. I didn’t really care, this isn’t that big of a project so if I have to paint it again in 15 years who cares? I will probably sell the house by then anyway. As I am reaching down to grab the 15 yr White Exterior Latex Satin Finish Paint, the ancient clerk walks up to me and asks me what my painting project is.
Me: “We’re painting the shutters and garage door. I need White Exterior Latex Satin Finish Paint.”
Methuselah: “Oh… well… this is what you need,” as he picks up a gallon of Rustoleum Exterior Paint.
Me: “Um, ok.” Now, being raised to respect your elders and raised to know that your elders most times know what is best, I didn’t question his choice of exterior paint. That… and he was a man. I figured he had painted a garage door or 4 in his 130 years on this earth. This was to be my first garage door painting, what did I know?
Methuselah stirs the paint while I pick up the other supplies I needed. I didn’t look at the can of paint. I didn’t read the can of paint. I trusted him, plus I had bought Rustoleum products in the past and was pleased with the results. Mistake #4
I pay for the stuff and head home.
4:15 PM Back at home, we drag out the ladders, paint trays, brushes, newspapaers, stir sticks and can openers yet again. I put the kids, with the paint rollers, on the garage door (Mistake #5) with explicit instructions to NOT PAINT NEAR THE EDGES. I will do that.
4:35 PM Tanner starts whining that his arms are tired. As he is walking towards me, I see white paint all over the toes of his black Vans (skateboard shoes and the only pair that fits him) Another sign. I make him take his shoes off and he sits down to take a break.
4:40 PM Ellie informs us she has a chemistry final on Wednesday and needs to study. She is excused.
I start painting the garage door. I start thinking, “Man… this paint is thick. My wrist hurts.”
Mike asks me if I think this paint is a lot harder to apply than the previous 2 coats I applied earlier in the day and the day before. YEAH! A lot harder to work with… at this point nearly an hour later after purchasing the paint, I read the label.
“SON OF A %$&(*@!” (The kids are both in the house, I can cuss.)
“STOP PAINTING!! This is white exterior OIL BASED GLOSS ENAMEL! STOP PAINTING!”
Mike asks me why I bought the paint. I tell him about Methuselah. Mike says it will be fine. We’ve already started we might as well just finish it with what we have and quit spending money on paint for the same project. Yet again, I conceded. Mistake #6
Sometime around 6:30 PM we finish painting the first coat on the shutters and garage. The sun is starting to go down. Our house faces west and the sun was hitting the front of the house full force. Everything was bright and shiny, but the paint was still wet. It’s oil based, it takes a century to dry.
We clean up the mess, I talk to the neighbors a bit about the fiasco. Lynn, a neighbor, is dying laughing at us wearing our sunglasses while standing in front of the garage door trying to decide if “everything will be ok”.
7:15 PM We eat dinner.
7:45 PM I try to clean the paint off Tanner’s shoes.
8:00 PM Mike tells us to get in the car, we’re going to get Tanner a new pair of shoes. He needs them anyway, the old Vans are worn out and are starting to get a little tight. Oh, and Tanner needs a pair of black dress pants for 5th grade graduation. So retarded to have a 5th grade graduation if you ask me. That’s another rant. I’ll save it for Thursday, Graduation Day. I make Tanner wear his boy scout hiking boots. Even though the oil based paint looks dry and feels dry, I don’t want him kicking around in the back seat of my nice car.
8:10 PM Shoe Carnival. Mistake #7 looking around for Vans. Tanner is clodding his way around the store in a t-shirt, shorts and hiking boots. Why did we come here? They never have shoes to fit Tanner. Ellie, yes. Mike, yes. Me, yes. Tanner, never!
8:15 PM Realization that Shoe Carnival doesn’t have shoes to fit Tanner. Tanner is shooting basketball in the back of the store not looking at shoes. He snubs his nose to everything Mike takes back for him to look at, some he won’t even take out of the box and try on. I’m disgusted and walking around the store carrying Tanner’s hiking boots. Mike wants to go to the Mall to get Vans.
8:25 PM Mike again states that we should go to the Mall.
Me: “Well quit shooting hoops and come on already! The mall closes at 9!”
In the car to the mall, Tanner says, “I will go into the mall with dignity, but I might come out with none.”
One good thing about living in the city is the close proximity of everything. We get to the mall, find his shoes and trying to save myself a little heartache and headache, I pick up his black pants at Sears and we go home. The only uneventful part of the whole day.
9:15 PM It is dark. Pull into the driveway. The headlights on the car damn near blinded us reflecting off the garage door. Mike starts laughing uncontrollably and I start crying. I’m pissed.
Sometimes, failure is inevitable.
I listened to two men and ignored all the warning signs. When I know what I want, I need to stick to my list(s).
Learning to Read is very important. More important than learning to read is utilizing that particular skill when the need arises.
I can’t paint the 2nd coat on the garage door now until next week because we’re gone for Memorial Weekend and the oil paint needs a couple of days to cure. It’s just going to have to look like crap for a few days.
Next time… Screw it. Save my money. Hire a professional. No headache and I don’t have to clean up the mess.