Painting; A perilous activity.

Started by Gyppo, March 09, 2020, 05:15:04 AM

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I remember when my then wife painted a couple of room downstairs.  She and her father used to do painting and decorating for a living, amongst other jobs, and it seemed perfectly reasonable - to me - to just do the heavy lifting and let her paint.  As I was on nights at the time it seemed even more reasonable to just throw dust covers over the furniture etc piled in the middle of the room by mid-morning and go to bed, leaving the 'painting fairy' to do the job.

To be honest I didn't even give a damn what colour she used.  She'd already spent hours agonising over the exact shade of whatever colour it was whilst I'd stood in the shop, knackered after a twelve hour shift, and would have gladly paid for a few buckets of cow-shit if only she'd get on and make her bloody mind up which breed of cow it had to come from.

But apparently there's this thing called 'togetherness', during which we poor males are supposed to agree to things - just so the ladies can say 'Well, you seemed happy enough at the the time.  Why didn't you say you didn't like it?"

They seriously seem to think that "Quite frankly M'Dear I don't give a damn" is a sign of indecisiveness rather than a simple declaration of fact.  They're the buggers who are indecisive, which is why they need a second opinion from the poor unsuspecting 'scapegoat', thus ensuring there is someone else to blame if, as often happens, they don't like the colour when they see it dried on the walls instead of the lying duplicitous 'colour charts'.

Colour charts to women are like colourful fishing floats to men, an inducement to spend, rather than any indication of practical use.  At least a mis-bought float can be lost in the shadowy depths of a tackle box - or even repainted in a far more useful colour - rather than slapping you around the face every time you enter a room.  Which latter is probably, in all fairness, why they make such a fuss about colours.

"I suppose you'd like it left the way it is?"  This accusation always seems singularly unfair to me.  The fact we don't give a damn, and have already told them so, should have made this plain.  But no, they have to look for hidden meanings in every monosyllabic grunt when there are none.

Anyway, I left her to it and a couple of hours later she woke me with a cup of coffee - very civilised - and asked me if I would 'just come down and have a look'.  I shuffled down to find half of one wall painted and a wife in agonies of indecision all over again.


"You're just saying that to take my mind off the fact it looks horrible."

"It doesn't, but it's too bad if it does.  We can't afford any more paint."

That answer didn't seem to truly satisfy her, but it reinforced her with new enthusiasm to get on and finish the job.  I mean, half a wall in two hours?  What the bloody hell was she using a I/8" sable round artists brush?

When I came down again at tea-time, having had the rest of my five hours sleep without any qualms of conscience she was faffing around with gloss paint and the skirting board.

"There you are.  You can take over and do some of this whilst I get dinner started."  As a decorator's daughter she felt it necessary to give me a lengthy list of does and don'ts, and then vanished into  the kitchen.  By the time she came back the boards and door frames were nearly finished.

"I thought you weren't any good at this sort of thing?"

"No.  I just don't see the point in doing it."

She scurried around looking for any traces of gloss on her recently emulsioned walls and was clearly disappointed to find none.

"Why haven't you done this before, instead of letting me do it?"

"I've already told you why.  The existing paint was fine."

Let me tell you something here, Lads.  'Fine' is a word which women see as exclusively theirs, used to denote a million different shades of meaning.  In fact anything except the one thing we simple souls understand by that short functional word.


While we were eating she finally managed to ask the question which was really bothering her.

"Where did you learn to use gloss like like?"

"Painting motorbike frames and small parts.  Dead easy if you just get on with it and keep a 'wet edge' so it doesn't have time to dry and leave drag marks."

So from then on I always had to do the gloss on fiddly bits.

But I still don't know why perfectly sound paintwork has to be re-done every couple of years ;-)

A few years ago I helped my daughter redecorate.  She had been told I was useless except for skirting boards.  Once I talked her into leaving me alone with bare walls, a roller, and a tray of emulsion I was fine.  Truly fine.  She went to make drinks and a sarnie for the rest of the 'painting party' and when she came back one wall was done and another nearly finished.

"Bloody hell!"  She looked bewildered.  "Mum said you didn't like painting."

"I don't like faffing around.  This is different.  Your house, your colours, I'm just a job and finish labourer here.  Not a bloody interior design consultant."  In the end it needed two coats, which I thought it would, and a bit more care around the boards and door frames, but she just left me to get on with it apart from the occasional sarnie and a drink.

As far as I can gather most of the other rooms were done the same way.  One person to a room, just left to get on with it.  It's so much easier that way.  Two years later they moved out ;-)   

But my daughter actually likes painting.  It's not so much a duty as a pleasure, seeing something shiny and 'tidy' emerge as the brush passes.  Rather like the way I enjoy painting a bike frame and seeing the scars of years and many slipped spanners vanishing.

By the way,Lads.  'Tidy' is another of those words with more meaning than you or I will never understand ;-)



I hate painting and abhor choosing so I get the paint dude/dudette to decide. No faffing and he always thinks I need his expertise, I rarely do.

I mean, Tupperware gave us jar openers, some sheila invented the wheelie bin, apart from sperm, I'm fine dialling 1800 DO WHAT I ASK AND I'LL PAY YA  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Don't take life too seriously, none of us get out of it alive


That was a pleasure to read.

I love painting, and was rather pissed off that I couldn't paint my own walls when I moved recently. I've always done them myself, and having to leave that job to others was not easy. They did a good enough job, BTW, but deep down, it hurt.

I do like the colours I chose, BTW. And that was easy enough too. For the bedroom I chose the same colours my son has in his bedroom, as they are perfect. For the living room and music room I chose a grey called piano and a pink with blue/grey undertones called sheet music. Those names just struck a chord with me.

The rest of the house was done in white, as I was running out of money to spend on decorating and white was the least expensive.

I'm happy with the results.  :)
Daan Katz, Author - Where the Magic Happens
Join my facebook group Daan's Magical Worlds


Two years since my girls painted my then new bungalow for me and I'm still happy with the predominantly grey theme in my living room and bedroom.  I wanted something restful, and it goes well with the grey fitted carpet throughout.and the light yellow in my office.  It had some fancy name on the colour chart, but it's grey.

The inspiration to go grey came from a bedroom I once saw when assembling some flat pack furniture for a relatively 'handless' but decent man.  His half-gypsy daughter had moved into their loft conversion bedroom and chosen grey.  He was a fairly flamboyant black guy who liked bright colours,  but he gave her a budget for decorating and told her she could do what she liked.

The overall effect was light and airy without being 'glarey.'  I asked if the wall behind her bedhead was a lighter shade of grey, but apparently it was just the way the light from the big roof window caught it.

The trapdoor in the floor was carpeted on the inside so it wasn't obvious when it was closed.  I told myself that 'one day' I'd go for something similar.

The yellow paint in my office covers some runic charms and good luck messages painted on the walls in the same colour before being covered over.  Sometimes you can see them if the sun is at just the right angle and you know where to look, but most people wouldn't know what they were anyway.

Most of the office walls are behind shelving so it will be a long time, if ever, before I feel up to the effort of repainting.

The bathroom may get done next year, but it's adequate as is.  The same can be said about the kitchen.  It's functional, which is all I really need - and indeed want - from a kitchen.  The black work-surfaces I quite like.  In the house we had a light pseudo marble effect, which aged rather quickly and always looked slightly dingy, even when freshly cleaned..

I've had several visitors who tell me they find my grey theme 'rather soothing' and say they wish they 'had the nerve' to do something similar.  But they share a house and worry that their partners might 'not get it'.  I don't have that worry ;-)



That's one of the many perks of living alone. You can do whatever you bloody well wish and no-one will stop you because they don't like it. I love grey too. It is rather soothing. That's also true for the blues in my bedroom. They are calming, and therefore exactly what a person needs in a bedroom.

My current kitchen has a white-ish quartz-look worktop, which I absolutely detest. Like the one in your old house, it always looks dingy, no matter how hard I scrub. But I'll have a new worktop installed once the council has finally placed that order to have the height of my kitchen adapted to my needs. I chose a black worktop.
Daan Katz, Author - Where the Magic Happens
Join my facebook group Daan's Magical Worlds


I chuckled and had a few, "Uh-huh" moments. More about the spousal give and take. Ours is usually about other things like where we'll camp. We're both guilty of the, pass the buck, game but it's seldom severe.

When my husband used to go shopping with me for household or baby things or need to wait for me to try something on, he'd always look for what he called, the grumbling chair. Any chair, anywhere, inside or out, would do. He said he was perfectly fine with a place to silently grumble about how much money I would spend or how much time I took to spend it. Back in the days when he had a greater sense of humor about such things. ;)

We always do the touch-up painting to the places we rent before we move out but we never get to choose the colors as renters. Fresh paint definitely gives a room a clean look and is sometimes easier than scrubbing walls and baseboards.

Enjoyed the read, Gyppo.
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark. -Chinese proverb

Blondesplosion! ~Deb


You all make some interesting points about painting and relationships. My father was a painter, so when I was still living at home, he would assign me to the tedious prep work--sanding, mixing paints, carrying buckets and so forth. When I left home, those experiences convinced me to choose a career that had nothing to do with painting. When I got married, my wife, knowing my father had been a painter, expected me to be a painter and help her choose the colors. That's when the "Frankly, my dear..." came into play. Fortunately, she has never chosen a color that made me wish I'd married someone else.
Words go together in zillions of ways--some ways go shallow and some ways go deep. ~ James Dickey