Posts Tagged ‘painting’

Painting :Tips and Truths for Life

February 5, 2017

I live in an old house and therefore I have ample opportunity to paint, both indoors and out. I spent some time painting over Winter break, and it occurred to me that painting and life share some tips and truths. And so, not in any particular order are my painting tips and truths.

paint-brush-clip-art-wzrc221  It takes as many coats as it takes. I don’t care what the guy at the home store said. I don’t care what the paint can says- one coat may not be enough. It depends on what you’re painting. Keep painting until the wall looks great.

paint-brush-clip-art-wzrc221Prep matters!  Painting prep is not fun. It is not exciting. It can be tedious. Nevertheless, I promise if you don’t prep well, your paint job won’t last and it won’t look good. You simply must do proper preparation.

paint-brush-clip-art-wzrc221 You’re going to step in paint. You’ll try not to, but you will. Paint will be in the wrong place and you will step in it. Some things just happen no matter how careful you are. Accept it, watch your step and clean up your foot,so you don’t make things worse.

paint-brush-clip-art-wzrc221Pay attention to detail. Try not to get the wall paint on the ceiling and the ceiling paint on the walls. Try hard to have good cut ins. Details matter and can make or break what you’re doing.

paint-brush-clip-art-wzrc221When you’re tired and your attention is fading, stop. This is when mistakes happen. Paint where it doesn’t belong. Drips, streaks, missed spots. Take a break. Come back when your mind is ready to focus.

paint-brush-clip-art-wzrc221 Stand back and look at the whole wall. And look fairly regularly. Otherwise you will miss the drips and streaks. Pay attention to the big picture.

paint-brush-clip-art-wzrc221There are no mistakes that can’t be fixed. And by fix I mean repainted. If the color you picked just doesn’t work once it is on the wall- repaint. Repaint until you get it right.

paint-brush-clip-art-wzrc221Clean up the drips promptly. You will get paint where you don’t want paint to be. Ignored paint doesn’t go away. It just dries and is harder to clean up. Deal with problems promptly.

paint-brush-clip-art-wzrc221Take care of your brushes. Keep your tools in good condition. Clean them properly and promptly. It is hard to work with poorly maintained equipment. It makes life unnecessarily difficult.

paint-brush-clip-art-wzrc221Get the good paint. Good paint is easier to work with, goes on the wall better, and lasts longer. There are some things you can cut corners on, paint isn’t one of them. In some things, quality really does matter.

So there you have it. Tips for painting that might just apply to life. One more thing, enjoy the process and enjoy the finished project.



Painting and re painting

July 12, 2014

I looked at the front of my house and saw some peeling paint. I looked again and saw more peeling paint. This did not make me happy. Just four years ago I painted the house. I know that proper preparation is critical for painting success. I spent days, no, more like weeks on prep. I power washed. I hand scraped the entire house. Up and down the ladder. I scraped  most of the south side of the house down to bare wood. Then I bought good paint, expensive paint. Paint that was supposed to last 25 years. I didn’t really expect 25 years but I was expecting more than four.

So last week I washed the front of my house and started removing the peeling paint. It came off in pieces as big as my hand,down to bare wood  in about 20 places along the front of the house. When I looked at the pieces they were made up of both the new paint and the old paint. I figured I must not have prepped and painted as well as I thought I had. That’s what you hear about painting: poor prep= poor results.  Just because I just think like this, I also thought there is a metaphor in all this about our spiritual lives.

We do what we think we are supposed to do, as well as we can and still the paint peels. Growth in faith isn’t a one time process. You can’t spend one summer working diligently on your spiritual life – scraping, washing, painting- and expect it to last 25 years. So with a philosophical sigh I began re washing, re scraping and re painting and thinking about spiritual formation as a never ending process.

Hoping to figure out my mistake I googled “peeling paint”. I discovered that my current problem was most likely due to my using really good latex paint. The new paint bonded to the old paint (like it should) and  expanded and contracted with the weather (like is should). But the new paint ended up pulling the old less flexible paint off the house. As you might imagine I was annoyed. I spent significantly extra money to avoid problems and ended up with other problems. The only way to avoid this, according to the painting sites, is to scrape the entire house to bare wood. And painters on the sites confessed that this is seldom done- too much difficult and too expensive. They implied that perhaps a paint of lesser quality wouldn’t cause this problem- or at least as much of a problem. Now that’s sort of depressing. Every few years I’ll have the opportunity to repaint parts of my house. Short of vinyl siding, I’ll never be done.

I don’t like this new information as metaphor for spiritual growth, but there it is. No matter how hard I try, how attentive to the details I am, how meticulous I am, how carefully I prepare, things will still peel and crack. I will still need to wash, scrape and re paint from time to time.

I knew that. I know that spiritual formation, like painting is never done. But I must confess, I was sort of hopping I could, at some point, take a break and enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Of course I still can enjoy the fruits of my work, just not for as long as I had hoped.

The front is repainted and it looks good. I am happy  about how the house looks every time I pull into the drive. And I think, “I did that. I painted my house.” And next week, I start working my way around the rest of the house.

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