I believe I might have mentioned that we are in the middle of this painting project?
First of all, the Autumn Moon color, as it turns out, is the perfect color. PERFECT. Despite my Fella’s initial reaction of “It’s just like the orange,” and our Princess insisting it looks like macaroni and cheese. It isn’t and it doesn’t. Not at all. (They both have since embraced the warmth of the color, and we are all loving it.) I’ve been told this new color makes the house look like an old country house, and that it looks like one of those old antebellum homes with the colorful walls and high ceilings.
Seriously? You had me at “old.”
My dream house is an old farmhouse with screen doors you are constantly reminding folks not to slam. Yeah. The memories. Good times.
But I digress. I’ve been watching the progress. I’m not doing the painting myself for a number of reasons, the top one being that a twenty-foot ladder is needed to get all of the walls done in one room. I’m good. I don’t keep my balance well enough on the ground, let alone up in the air like that. My Mama’s sweet neighbor who looked after her and helped Daddy when needed for all those years has a gift. He paints.
This is a gift I am growing to respect more and more.
His knowledge about paint and painting is amazing. What kind of paint to use, how best to clean a painted wall, which direction to paint, what tool to use when applying said paint, and how to prepare the area for painting.
That last bit?
That one’s a doozie.
I’m not kidding. With each area he has painted, the prep work takes through to lunchtime. The painting happens after lunch. He washes the walls and baseboards, tapes off certain areas, removes switchplates and outlet covers (and keeps up with where he puts them…..how does that even happen?), and primes where needed. He pulls out nails and picture hangers and covers up the holes.
He has patience y’all. In surplus.
It is then, and only then, that he steps back, takes a moment to think through all of the steps again, and then he commences to painting.
The one time I remember painting a room in a house, it was a tiny, tiny bathroom. It was tiled up to the sink level, so that made it easy. Instead of doing all the steps above, including checking on what kind of paint to get, I bought me a quart of the brightest teal green, very possibly high gloss (I don’t know, it was shiny though) and commenced to painting. There was no washing or taping off or anything like that. It was me and Mess Cat getting it done. And I didn’t worry about painting too close to the tile or ceiling because I had a P-L-A-N. I had bought some of that contact paper type border. I was going to cover up my edges with that. And it would look like I’d painted it just like I should have.
Good-ness that was one bright room. When the light hit that shiny paint it was almost blinding, from the reflection and from that green sending all kinds of brain circuits to spinning. Needless to say, I had not researched that color as much as I did to finally choose Autumn Moon.
But I loved it anyway. Most of the time.
In watching this skilled artisan with the sponge rollers and tiny brushes and blue painter’s tape, I am being reminded of the beauty of knowing how to do something properly. How to make a plan and follow it. How much of a difference preparing can make in an outcome. That is huge.
Too often I think of a project, an idea, a plan, and I want to dive in and Make. It. Happen.
Sometimes that’s okay, but more times than not, it could go so much better if I had the patience and the discipline to take a few minutes and wash some walls and tape around the edges. First.
When I was growing up I used to watch M*A*S*H with Mama and Daddy. I can still remember crying watching the last episode ever–the very first time it aired. Mama liked to quote Charles Emerson Winchester The Third many, many times over the years.
“I do one thing at a time, I do it very well, and then move on.”
As I watch our talented neighbor friend take it step by step, and then “step back” and make sure he’s done it correctly before moving to the next step, I think of Mama. I know why she appreciated all the help he was to her. She could appreciate someone who was a good soul and did a job well.
And if patience and discipline don’t get a job done well, I don’t know what will.
I think I might buy myself a roll of that blue painter’s tape and hang it where I can see it just to remind me. Plan. Prepare. And if that doesn’t work, I can always use it to hang this sign up:
Love to all, with a healthy dose of patience and disclipine along for the ride…..