Monday, August 19, 2013

The Painters Arrive

One of the irking things about home-ownership is entropy.

The damn house just keeps wanting to fall apart. Gutters sag, shingles drop, cabinets bind, and most irritatingly the exterior paint keeps getting more and more brittle, cracked, and flaking.

I was thinking about this as I wrote the preceding post about Detroit; one of the things they don't teach you in school is that when you come to own a house how much of your own free time and labor is going to be spent just keeping the sonofabitch from collapsing into a quivering heap of plaster and wood shavings.

Carpenter ants, mold, rain damage, sun damage, leaky pipes, root damage...every damn force of Nature and mankind seems to have it in for your house, and you will end up spending a bloody fortune and multiple hours trying to beat back these various agencies and forces. The labor feels Sisyphean and the results seldom rewarding; you know you'll be back at it again next week or this winter or next year. Entropy is a constant, implacable enemy.

This week Mojo and I finally accepted that the Little House has got to be repainted. The exterior paint was in horrible condition and since we have the old wooden clapboard siding a good, tight paint cover is essential. So we called several of our local painters and contracted with one to strip and repaint the place.

Of course no household work is ever simple, so when the painters tested the exterior coating they found lead paint at the bottom. The removal and cleaning would therefore have to be done to EPA lead-handling standards, which means this:

And, of course, this also meant that the week leading UP to the painters was dominated by removing exterior decorations and any and all items piled, stacked, leaning, or adjacent to the exterior walls; you can see in the right front the stack of garbage and recycling bins, my exercise bike, etc. that had to be dragged away from the walls to allow the painters access;

Today the guys should finish up the cleaning and stripping and be able to start on the white primer. Who the hell knows how long that will take.

Then it's the white overcoat, and the goldenrod and green trim.

Don't make me think about the cost; as with keeping a mistress, the pleasure of painting is transient, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

At least it got me and the kiddos out of the house Sunday for a bit of a kickabout.

Oh, and remember I mentioned that I'd been working a bit this summer. Well, my beloved old steel-toe work boots had enough; last week on a paving job up in Ridgefield they finally blew out and died.

I'll miss them; they were good, sturdy boots and alas, where come another? From the Red Wing store, I imagine. Another damn thing to buy.

Honestly. You ought to get a new pair of work boots every time you repaint your house.


Anonymous said...

We have outdoor painting chores, tho' not the house, facing us this month. And yes, the battle to keep up and up date never ends. Scrambling to get several "must be dones" done before the Minotaur retires next fall (2014) AND pay off the house in that same 14 months is making me tear my hair out.

Syrbal/Labrys said...

Oops, that was me, again, trying to type the 'prove you aren't a robot, I accidentally somehow 'sent' instead.

Syrbal/Labrys said...

Chief? Could you do me a favor...since geology is a passion of yours? Could you look at the "That sinking feeling" post on my blog and if you get the time tell me what you think of the 'lectures' given by Idaho Picker?

With nothing but some physical geography and roadside geology in my brain pack, I can' t make sense of it all

FDChief said...

Labrys: Sorry so late getting back to you. Check your blog, I did look at our guy's "lectures" and I've got some takes on what he's saying...

Lisa said...

The pix reminds me of a late beloved pair of Norwegian welt hiking boots which had to be ditched. I never found a pair I liked as well.

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