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The art of painting

| August 18, 2020 12:28 PM

By BILL BULEY

Staff Writer

They say painting is one of the best and most cost-effective things you can do to enhance the value and aesthetics of your home.

They are right.

Unless, most of the paint ends up on you.

Unless, you slop and spill paint at every turn.

Unless, you end up using the wrong paint on the wrong wall.

And that’s until you realize that painting living rooms, dining rooms, hallways and closets, while it sounds so simple, almost always takes far longer and is much messier than you ever figured.

I did all that — and more.

We finally decided it was time to paint the downstairs of our home, which I’m guessing hadn’t been painted in, well, about two decades. You don’t realize just how dirty those walls and ceiling have become in 20 years. All those tack and nail holes are hidden by pictures and posters. All those stains seem normal.

And then, one day, it hits you.

Dark, dingy walls are not good.

Cobwebs are not good.

Holes in walls are not good.

Paint is good. Bright paint. Lots of paint.

Oh, and spackle. Lots of spackle.

Still, before I’ll get started, I need a kick in the butt, someone to point the way and say, “Hey, do this.” I need someone to hand me the paint brush, the paint and walk me into the room and say, “Go.”

My wife knows this. So she went to the hardware store and returned with enough paint, brushes, rollers and pans that our family and friends could have joined us and made it a painting party and we could have been done in a day.

But we didn’t because we want our family and friends to like us.

So instead, for many evenings after coming home, we have been changing from work clothes into old shorts and shirts and hats.

My wife is a very neat, patient painter.

I am not. I am impatient, and in a hurry. So it matters not how much clothing I wear. While at the end of each night my wife somehow seems to end up with just a few drops of paint on her, I am quite literally covered in it. Paint is on my legs, my arms, my face, my hair and my chest. I look like some kind of human art project.

At the men’s breakfast at church the other day, white paint still was in splotches all over my legs. Perhaps it looked like a strange disease, because people steered clear.

My favorite trick is to spill it on plastic sheets on the ground, and then step in it and track it on the carpet. Or, I like to drip it on furniture I failed to cover. Or I like to confuse the ceiling paint with the wall paint, and then have to repaint what I just did.

Painting and I have a love/hate relationship. It makes me crazy.

And if you think I mutter a lot to myself at work and on bike rides and when I’m wandering around town, you should hear me when I’m painting.

Actually, no you shouldn’t.

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Bill Buley is assistant managing editor of

The Press. He can be reached at (208) 416-5110.