Not always according to plans: a lesson in house painting.

Every season I select one project to complete around the house.  This summer, I was determined to freshen up my front porch. It has been several years (at least 20-something) since it was last updated. My plans were very simple: paint the poles (the rails are vinyl…thank goodness), porch swing and rocking chairs.  I envisioned a couple evenings of sanding, primering and painting. I must live in la-la land! I spent one entire evening just chipping and sanding the old peeling paint from the poles. Then I realized the weather had caused several splits in the wood grain.  No problem, simply fill with wood putty, lightly sand and continue on…  I decided to try the new DecoArt Wood Filler.  It was wonderful to work with, filled the splits nicely, and cleaned up with soap and water.  However, that night we received the remnants of the last hurricane.  Strong winds & torrential rain…did the putty dry enough to hold up?  Five days of rain and finally, today, the sun came out.  Believe it or not, the wood filler was strong and sturdy.  Hooray for DecoArt!!

My husband, John, gave me a “palm” sander to help sanding the flat parts.  What a great tool…however, I am not sure where the name came from.  Unless you are the jolly green giant, it does NOT “fit” in the palm of your hand.  The thing is bigger than my head and takes at least two hands to handle.  With determination and no small amount of energy, the poles are sanded and primered.

Ohio winters are cold, snowy, wet and wild, so I selected oil based primer and paint for extended durability (after all, the last coat did last 23 years).  However, (here we go again), what a mess.  I had paint EVERYWHERE, even in places on me that under no circumstances were exposed…ever!  Don’t tell anyone, but when I am finished, I am not cleaning up anything, but throwing away the all tools and brushes.  This little project is is becoming a big job!

One would think that the primer coat would be quick and easy.  If you are a tole painter, you have a built-in warning system that alerts you of every imperfection and creates a paranoia that makes you feel that every inch has to be perfect.  Why are we so hard on ourselves?  I am sure that cars traveling down the road at 55 mph will not see that little dip or brush marks that are not parallel!  After a serious talk with myself, I finally managed to primer all four poles in only 3 hours!  Wonder if I will get all accomplished before the snow flies?

Hoping that tomorrow the sun will shine and I will be able to put on at least the first coat of paint. I will keep you posted on the progress, wish me luck!

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