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calendar   Sunday - January 04, 2009

on a lighter note

I spent the afternoon painting a wall. Painting is another one of those tasks people would rather not do, so instead they hire me. Fine by me!

I actually noticed this earlier this summer, but thought it might be a fluke. I’ve had 4 or 5 painting projects since then, and it’s no fluke. When did paint become so darned thick? I remember paint. It’s that smelly stuff that comes in a can. You have to stir the daylights out of it, but very carefully because the can is filled right up to the brim. Then when you pour some out into the paint roller tray, it flows pretty much like pancake syrup. Well, maybe just a bit thicker than that, but not much. Then you apply the stuff, and when the smell goes away you know the paint is ready for the second coat.

Not anymore. Now paint has almost no smell at all. It doesn’t seem to need mixing. And the stuff is amazingly thick. Thicker than syrup. Thicker than sour cream. Pour out a cupful into the roller tray and it just sits there. It doesn’t even spread out in the tray. And this is fresh paint, from a decent brand, at room temperature. I’ve noticed the same thing with primer too. (But that was Kilz primer, what I affectionately call landlord paint. Kilz is liquid magic. You can put Kilz on over stains, chipped paint, roadkill, fire damage, lasagna stuck to the wall, etc., and it covers perfectly. And the old school, oil-base stuff was even better!) On the positive side, the stuff goes on like glue. It’s just about impossible to overload a roller so that anything drips. And you can roll quite fast without worrying about any spray shooting off the roller. On the negative side, it goes on like glue. I found that I had to apply a good bit more pressure to the roller to even get the paint to come off the roller. (I may not have been using the proper nap roller. Next time I’ll use a shorter nap) Working time seems at least as long as it used to be, but drying time is much less. I laid down a coat, and even though the label said 2 - 4 hours between coats, it was ready for another coat in 90 minutes. And honestly, a second coat probably wasn’t even necessary. I did it because that’s what I always do. Plus I get paid by the hour.

I left the paint can at the client site since there was extra. I didn’t even look, but I’m pretty sure the Valspar paint was an acrylic latex. Certainly low VOC stuff. (ie no smell) It was the standard paint sold at Lowe’s, which turns out to be Valspar’s premium product. I went to Lowe’s because it was close, the customer didn’t care about any special kind of paint, and the guy behind the counter quickly matched the color exactly. Good enough for me.

Now I just have to cajole my customer for some extra work so that the rest of the gallon doesn’t go to waste. I’m sure he’s got another wall around somewhere.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/04/2009 at 10:47 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily Life •  
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