A Philosopher's Blog


Posted in DIY/Recipes, Miscellaneous by Michael LaBossiere on September 20, 2011
Dried green paint

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A house is a machine that eats time and money. Most recently my house got new siding. That ate up a fair bit of money. Naturally, the siding needed to be painted, a task I took on. This costs a bit of money but quite a bit of time. Hence, I did not have time to come up with a philosophical sort of blog. However, I did think a lot about painting and will share some random bits about that.

  • Consider paying a painter. Painting  is slow, tedious, boring, messy and can be dangerous. You will almost certainly learn to hate it.
  • Extension poles rule. I own three of them: a small one (mainly for painting behind things like toilets), a medium sized one and a huge one. If you have to paint anything you cannot reach, get a good extension pole or three. They are way safer than ladders and far quicker to use.  Also, pick up a brush holder for those spaces that the roller cannot reach.
  • Roll on. A roller is way better than a brush for straight up painting. It has a wider surface area and provides better results. It is worth it to buy good naps (the thing that goes on the roller and holds the paint). After painting, use your 5 in 1 tool (get one) to remove the leftover paint-preferably back into the bucket. Wash the nap until the water is clear (assuming latex paint is being used) and then let it dry out. A good nap will last a long time.
  • Get a good brush. If you plan on painting again, spend the $15-20 for a high quality brush rather than getting the cheap ones (cheap ones are good for one shot painting or when you are using something too nasty to clean well). A good brush paints better and will last years. Be sure to clean it thoroughly and then “reshape” the bristles with your fingers before letting it dry. That way it will hold its shape.
  • Ladders are often necessary. Get a good one that is tall enough for your likely projects. When using a ladder, make sure that it is secure and set up properly. In is also a very good idea to have someone stand behind the ladder,holding the “feet” in place with their feet. Don’t lean to the side-get down and move the ladder. Falling hurts.
  • Sprayers are expensive. I looked at paint sprayers and learned two things: first, they are pricy. Second, they can inflict a horrible injury called an injection injury. If you use one and shoot yourself, head immediately to the emergency room if you are injured by it-even if it looks like a tiny wound. Injection injuries are horrific. Google it and look at the pictures.
  • Painting is messy. This is obvious. Be sure to get painter’s tape, drop cloths, and so on to cover whatever you do not want painted. I’m fond of painter’s blades myself. Also, wear clothes you do not love. I always use an old running t-shirt as my painting shirt. Traditionally I discard it at the end of the project-mainly because washing a shirt that is covered in paint is not the best idea.
  • Paint is toxic. Don’t wash your gear out into your lawn. Dispose of the paint cans and leftover paint properly.
  • Always buy extra paint. Most folks underestimate what they need and, as always, some things go wrong. For example, you might need two coats when you thought one would do the job. Also it is nice to have the extra on hand when you need to do a touch up. That beats having to drive to the paint store and trying to get a matching color. Also, try to buy all your paint at once-that way the mixing of the colors is more likely to be consistent.
  • When possible, go with standard colors. That way it is easier to get a consistent color.
  • Think again about hiring someone.


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  1. ajmacdonaldjr said, on September 20, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Hiring a painter both stimulates the economy and gives you time to do what you do best: think and write. The so-called division of labor. LOL

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