Some people really hate painting. No, I don’t mean portraits, landscapes or still lifes. I’m talking about walls, ceilings, siding, decks, etc. I, on the other hand, find it fairly relaxing given the right circumstances.

And by right circumstances, I mean that I’m in a properly ventilated place (don’t like the smell, really), properly air conditioned place (don’t like being overheated) and properly clean place (dang I hate “gunk” getting on my nice newly painted surface). Oh… did I mention that I want it prepped for me, too, so that I don’t have to tape any and all surfaces that I’m not painting?

Hmmm… sounds like I really don’t like painting after all. But that’s not true. I really do find it relaxing, and quite satisfying. As my career is in the realm of grey-areas – places where you never really know if you have “finished” or have “done a good job” (because in my world, if I do a good job, you NEVER find out as nothing ever happens as a result that can’t be resolved with the language in the contract), painting is a way for me to have a task that I can FINISH. A task that, once completed, can be looked at with admiration. A task which someone with almost no skill in the task can review and say “wow… that looks good.”

With the house, we had to paint the kitchen first. That meant stripping the ugly wallpaper. I tried just about every “easy” method first. Water alone… wait… try to pull? Nope, that didn’t work. Hot steam? Nope (see pic).

Next up was going to be chemicals. Remember though, that I don’t like weird smells (maybe that’s part of my picky eating problem… hmmm… will have to consider later). So I got a “scorer”… a tool that you run over the wall repeatedly that punches small holes in the wall paper without destroying the underlying drywall. Then you wet down the surface with the chemical and wait. But I decided to try plain water first. Voila! And I was able to strip the wallpaper with relative ease (ok, Tina helped some, too). Painting was then a pretty quick activity… and now we have a blue kitchen.

The other day, I decided that our front stoop looked pretty bad. We have neighborhood standards for things looking nice out front. So I sanded the heck out of it, painted it white… even broke out my mad military school skills and shined the brass numbers to a glisten. And I was happy. Except that I stopped at about head-height and really needed to paint the entire front porch area. Oops. I guess I’ll come back to that later.

Two days ago, I thought the mailbox needed help, too. THREE HOURS later, in the dark (cuz I had to start after I got home from work), I was putting the numbers back on the post. I didn’t get to see my handiwork until yesterday morning… when I noticed that a bird had already christened the new paint job. Maybe I need to install those little spikey things.