Posted By on 10th September 2014

I said some time ago how boring it would be reading about paint, well I thought it might be fun to try and prove myself wrong.

I like painting, I always have. Not portraits and landscapes you understand, more doors, walls, windows and ceilings. On second thoughts forget ceilings, I hate painting ceilings.

When I was still at school I remember painting the garden gate during the holidays. The lady next door, trying to help, gave me a pair of plastic disposable gloves to keep my hands clean. They did that alright, but unfortunately when I finished and put the paint can down, they remained stuck to it, and the result was half a can of black gloss all over the path.

Fast forward about 20 years to when we had a shop. I got the job of repainting the frontage. Let me tell you, you’ve never lived until you’ve painted on a busy high street.

The comments were many and, not so, varied, usually from men of a certain age. Things on the lines of, ‘Will you come and do mine when you’ve finished there love?’ How original.

Another favourite, ‘I hope you’re not putting that paint on upside down dear.’ Oh my aching sides, I almost needed to lie down in a darkened room after that one!

Fast forward another 25 years or so to the present day. I’m putting my painting skills to good use here at ‘Grassy Bottom’, but here’s my point. What has happened to paint over the last 45 years or so?

I’m talking specifically about gloss paint and it’s many derivatives, satin sheen, egg-shell, semi gloss and the like.

In my day paint smelt like paint, took 24 hours to dry and covered most surfaces without complaint, as anyone who has tried to remove black gloss from a garden path will know.

At Ravendale House the paint I used was part of a ‘job lot’ of Dulux we bought many years ago, indeed I even used some of what we had left to paint the inside of the pantry cupboard here, proper paint.

The stuff I’ve just been using on the kitchen doors, which is laughingly called ‘One Coat’ gloss, is one of the new breed of water based paints. It doesn’t smell, takes a couple of hours to dry, and brushes can be cleaned in water. All good points you might say.

The problem is it doesn’t cover in 2 coats, which is why I will soon be embarking on a third. Once it’s dry, if you discover a small flake or chip, under no circumstances try to pick it off, because if you do the paint just peels off in a strip like a plastic sticking plaster.

We have yet to finalise our colour scheme for all the woodwork, but rest assured I will be reading the small print and buying good old fashioned solvent based paint which will do the job even if it does smell and take longer to dry.

Meanwhile on Monday we put the first coat of emulsion on the new plaster of the landing and stair-well. We could have done it weeks ago, but neither of us were looking forward to the task.

I was in charge of dust sheets, masking tape and painting the low down areas. Peter had a brush and a roller taped to long sticks and was in charge of the high up and difficult to reach bits.

By the time we’d finished I looked like I’d taken a shower in ‘Ivory’ emulsion. Peter didn’t have a mark on him!

I hope you didn’t find reading about paint too boring.

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