Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Armed And Dangerous

"When I prepare, I am not messing around." -Conor McGregor

In my garage, I keep a kit of painting supplies.

Because, as much as I like to plan out my home improvement projects, I know that there will be times when the urge to paint a room or a door or a piece of furniture will be so overwhelming that I will skip the planning phase and simply leap in with both feet.

It's happened before. It'll happen again.

So I figure I might as well be prepared. 

Last weekend, I noticed that my kit had become a bit untidy and depleted. What a perfect opportunity for a soul-cleansing cleaning and organizing project.

First, I: 

took all the rubble out of the drawers, 
sorted through, 
threw out the old and worn bits, and 
made a list of new items to purchase.

No worries - my shopping ban allows me to replace household maintenance items as necessary so these purchases were allowable.

Next, I dragged the empty drawers and the frame of the cart into my sunny front yard, and hosed the royal heck out of them.

My neighbors must be so entertained. My house is situated right at the front of this neighborhood of dead-end cul-de-sac streets, so for thirty or forty families, the only way in or out is right past my front door and my never-ending parade of crazy projects.  

With my newly refreshed stack of supplies and clean-as-a-whistle plastic cart, I joyfully sorted out my painting gear into the drawers as follows:

^ Paint stirrers and paint chips. 

I keep track of the paint colors for all my rooms by saving the chips, jotting down the room where each one is used, and clipping the samples together. I used to keep my old paint stirrers and write the name of the room on the handle, but that system actually requires more work. I still have a few holdover stirrers from the old days but I like my new book of paint chips much better.

^ Masking tape, paint hardener, scraping tools, wood filler.

I used to hate prep work with a bloody passion, but as I have matured as a painter and a human being, I now remind myself of the many virtues of planning and the fact that haste makes waste, and encourage myself to take time to start each painting job properly. 

No matter how many times I tell myself that, I still bloody hate prep work. But I force myself to do it and appreciate the results.

P.S. My husband keeps my spackle with his tools so I lift it out of his kit when I need it. 

^ Big rollers, little rollers and a couple extra mini handsets.

My mother trained me to wash my roller after each project, dutifully scrubbing and rinsing out the vestiges of each paint color so that the roller could be reused for the next. 

I used to do that.

But those days are gone, baby, gone. I keep plenty of extras on hand and pitch the old ones at the end of each project. 

Several years ago, when I discovered these small size paint rollers, I fell quickly and madly in love. I keep a good stash of both large and small hand rollers near my paint inventory, and a few extra small size newbies in the drawer. Super handy when you're trying to convince someone - say a daughter or two - to paint with you. Offering up a brand spanking new mini roller, I have found, is an effective way to gain cooperation. 

And then there's my very most favorite large roller handle but that I keep in a different drawer. Stay tuned. 

^ Brushes!

I know this sounds a little weird, but I get a special thrill when I use a paintbrush for the first time. 

Opening the Velcro fastener on paper sleeve, unfolding it and slipping it off to run my fingertips through the soft, silky bristles, vowing to myself that THIS TIME after I use it, I will clean it to perfection so that no one could ever tell that the brush has been used. 

Oh, the fantasies that run through my mind. 

My two little one-inch brushes on the far left have seen me through several projects each and are still looking good. 

The middle brush...oh wait! I just remembered that the middle brush is sitting out in my garage at this very moment, where I left it after today's project, wrapped in a plastic Target shopping bag between coats. As soon as I finish writing this sentence, I'm running off to clean it. 

Ok, I'm back. Good news. The bag did its job of keeping the bristles from drying out, and the soap and water clean-up was successful. Yay. 

On the far right are some used but well-maintained exterior bad boys, who will be getting another workout on my garage doors in the next few weeks. Brushes at my house are never bored. 

^Drop cloths, plastic bags, roller pan liners and my favorite yellow roller handle.

 This bottom drawer is at least twice as deep as the other four, so it's here that I stash larger and bulkier items:

several unused plastic drop clothes as well as one lightly-used model folded up and hiding underneath,

a black plastic trash bag cut with arm-and neck-holes that serves as my stylish and highly effective painting poncho when I'm going hard on a messy project,

a couple small size roller pan liners (the large liners are stored with the paint) and

my most super favorite thirty-year-old yellow roller handle, complete with splishes and splashes of paints I've used over the years. This may not be the most slick or well-designed or even tidy product available to painting enthusiasts such as myself, but I love it madly and will never give it up.

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So there it is, my painting kit, all gussied up and decked out for who knows what painting projects that may come my way. I'm armed and dangerous and most definitely ready to paint.

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Wanna read a classic story about my passion for painting? 

A few years back, on the last Saturday before Christmas, I was struck by an overwhelming and eventually irresistible urge to paint my dining room. 

For all the details and plenty of photos, go here

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As I mentioned, I'm on a year-long shopping ban though my rules definitely allow for painting supplies.

Read more about my journey to mindful consumption:

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