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Applying a lousy coat of paint - lessons learned. - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Applying a lousy coat of paint - lessons learned. [Sep. 21st, 2011|01:02 pm]
So, as summer wore on, I looked at my porch steps and knew they needed paint. But, it was always something that could be done "later" - just, you know, before the rainy season.

Then, September came, and September 11th, I was too tired, and figured I'd do it the *very* next weekend. And, of course, it was cloudy the whole week, and rained steadily on Saturday.

At best, I only have a couple more weeks, so I decided I'd paint them at the next available opportunity, which turned out to be today.

Lessons learned:
1) Scrub the steps down a few days *before* you want to paint. You can't wash them the day you paint; you need them dry!

2) if you're trying to paint before leaving for work - don't ask! - make sure you've done your scraping and cleanup of flaking paint the day before you can paint. Even on mostly-bare steps, you want time to scrape carefully, time to do a bit of sanding if it seems useful, and, you don't want all of your sweat-drips on your steps while painting.

3) Paint *down* the steps. Paint drips. You want to clean up the drips. You can't see the drips form the upper steps.

4) Even if you're applying a "lousy coat of paint" - knowing full well it will be lousy, and is just intended to keep water out for another season - if you've done these things *before* the day you're painting, you'll be able to take your time, and try to even out the painting a bit, and clean up all those drips, and develop a bit of technique - how far can you paint with your painting pad, and have it come out even, etc.. Otherwise, you're rushed and more likely to mess up. (No major disasters - but I did regret not thinking through parts 1-3).

5) When you're done, you're going to have a paint can, a paint stirrer, a paint pan, a painting tool (brush, pad, roller, whatever), and a law that says that you can't put liquid paint in the trash if you live near me. Have a place (covered with newspaper or a drop cloth) to put these things once you're done, and make sure that the path from painting area to paint drop off is clear, and think about transport - that paint can, that you poured paint out of, will save a drip for the middle of your carpet otherwise. That vacuum cleaner in the middle of the floor? You can *always* walk around it, even if you've been drinking... but it will pick that *very* moment to overbalance and fall over if you've got your hands full of wet paint bearing materials.

6) Yes, it's a crappy paint job. So, next summer, once the rain goes away, get a sander, and more paint, and do a better job, or hire someone. But at least it didn't get forgotten about. Better a lousy job than one forgotten and ignored until the wood rots away.