Monday, April 27, 2015

Perfect Paint Job

I used to hate it when I was a teacher...
Sorry, found it hard not to see that as a complete sentence!
I used  to hate it when I was a teacher…
Sorry, I completed that with ‘once a teacher, always a teacher’ My god! This blog is way off track and I haven’t even started.
Third time lucky!
I used to hate it when I was a teacher and people used to assume that they knew exactly what my job was on the basis that they had been to school. Like a bloke assuming he knows what a gynecologist does on a daily basis simply because he’s diddled the odd donut… actually maybe that’s a fair assumption.
I’ll start again…
Having done something once doesn’t make anyone an expert. Professional people get really pissed off with you when you give them some expert advice and tell them how to do their job on the basis that you had a go at it once and had a modicum (great word!) of success. Equally, I get really pissed off when ‘professional trades’ spout like an eternal font of knowledge  when you do a bit of simple DIY like it’s rocket science.
‘Oh, you don’t wanna do it like that… You wanna do it like this’.
‘Oh ok. Thank you Fat Bastard Plumber! I’ll remember that next time I turn a tap on!’
Anyway. That all said, I’ve decided, having gone through a building process once it makes me an expert, able to impart my expertise and wisdom on to those who need it. And believe me… if you are about to embark on a building project, you need it!
When I publish all my findings, I shall do it in a sensible order but today my head is filled with top tips for a perfect paint job!
I read a website page with top tips from the Paint Doctor. It was rubbish. The top tip was “don’t hang off your ladder like a monkey.” Very silly advice. Nothing to do with painting and not very professional at all.

I have much better advice:

1) Use white* paint

That’s it really! I am an expert! I’m an expert as a result of a secondary tip. Do the painting yourself because by the time you get to painting your new build/extension/refurb you will have no money left to pay ‘professionals’ because of unexpected ‘extras’ you have had to pay the builder for along the way! You’ll decide that it’s one thing you can do yourself. You’ll think ‘How hard can it be painting a whole house? A monkey hanging off a ladder could do it! It’s not very technical or skilled is it? You certainly don’t need to be a Paint Doctor!


Use white paint!
If you use different colours in each room when painting the whole house you’ll need shit loads of brushes and you’ll have to wash them properly instead of painting everywhere white and putting the brushes in a plastic bag overnight and not washing them at all. Ever.
You’ll never need to wash them because every day you will have to repaint the same walls, over the nail pops: like cake pops only balls of plaster that fall off the walls and ceiling like raindrops (only hard and dry) – all day, every day and leave holes that have to be replastered and repainted. Again and again! They taste nothing like cake pops either. I know this because they fall into your mouth whilst you sleep!
And cracks. You have to fill and paint over the cracks! Not the builders bum arse cracks that have haunted me for the last 9 months... Wall and ceiling cracks! The ceilings fall out with the walls on a daily basis. The joins are so full of filler that they are curved. This is fine if both the wall and ceiling are white. Hideously noticeable if the colours contrast. A monkey hanging of a ladder couldn’t do the ‘cutting in’ on those edges! See how I slipped in a technical term or two there! Monkey! Ladder!
You’ll admire the fleck of velvet wall paper in Indian restaurants given that your own walls will be hairy in all the wrong places – like a monkey hanging off a ladder dipped his brush (probably a euphemism!) in a shit load of dust and made homemade furry patterns. I say ‘his’… any self respecting female would clean up all the building dust and debris before painting.
Hubby often refers to the 6 p’s! I think it’s something to do with being married to me for 20 years! Piss poor preparation leads to piss poor performance. This applies to painting. Preparation is everything. Sanding, cleaning, masking… all essential if you want just the walls to be white and for the finish not to look like a monkey hanging off a ladder flicked white paint everywhere (probably another euphemism)! As it happens, speckled white paint on black slate was a design feature I had planned for the floor. I’d also planned it for the windows, light fittings, furniture, pets, children and my face. I feel it gives a symbiotic flow to the colour scheme. We all match!
I love skiing. Except when it snows! When it snows you get snow blindness and it’s really hard to see the contours of the slope. Painting in white is a bit like that. The first coat onto pink plaster is eva so easy. After that, it’s fucking impossible. Months later you’ll see ‘grey’ bits where you haven’t covered the wall thoroughly.  Apparently the Paint Doctor calls it ‘holidays’ – where you’ve run your roller dry and gone too far spreading your paint. And he went to paint university to come up with that! I’ve run my brush seriously dry! (not a euphemism!). I think a monkey hanging off a ladder could have done better!

Actually – the Paint Doctor went to paint university to become a Paint Doctor and his top tip was ‘Don’t hang off your ladder like a monkey’. On reflection I can see the wisdom in that!

* Be warned! There are 50 shades of white. You’d think white would be a simple choice but oh no! there are warm whites (read cream) and cool whites – like light bulbs – but that’s a whole other story! Buy shit loads of the same paint. It doesn’t mix and match! And never buy bathroom paint and try to paint it onto raw plaster. It’s like snot! Oh, and if you see a monkey with a brush– they are shit hot at hanging off ladders but not so good at painting!