How Not to Paint a Room: Jackson Pollock On the Floor Edition

Note to self: don’t clip fingernails before cleaning paint splattered floor.

Recall famous painter’s technique of splatter painting canvases placed on the floor, accessible from all angles.

Having completed front room walls and removed two inches of frog tape from ceiling and floor, regard floor.

Floor has become canvas.

Jackson Pollock you ain’t.

Sigh.

Contemplate possible cleaning techniques for wood floor.

Recall wood floor cleaning stuff gifted to you from company that refinished floors less than three years ago. AHA!

Now, tool.

Steel wool too scratchy.

Recall odd little green square scrubby thing for dishes.

Hmm.

If it is for dishes, must be reasonably gentle.

Select green scrubby thing as tool.

Starting in far corner, where precious high-boy writing desk hybrid goes, squirt floor cleaning stuff, and scrub.

Hmm. Comes off, but is smudgy.

Note plastic nature of paint splatters.

Imaginary light bulb above head.

Fingernail!

Test fingernail technique on long, skinny paint splatter.

Success!

Immediately regret having trimmed fingernails previous evening. Drat. These little stubs of fingernails combined with green dish scrubby thing will have to do.

Discover in short order that performing scrubbing task with what’s left of fingernails and green scrubby thing whilst (HA!) bending over from the waist is non-optimal. Back hurts.

Assume sitting position.

Discover that performing scrubbing task whilst (!) sitting facing splatters, one or both legs extended to the side, requires a degree of flexibility not yet attained through workouts.

Rotate to sit parallel to splatters, legs straight out in front.

Twist at waist, squirt cleaner, scrub with scrubby thing, pick remainder with stubby little fingernails.

Advance by walking forward one butt-cheek at a time.

Six hours later, gaze with admiration at exceptionally clean floor.

Recall Angelic Daughter’s astonishing patience in the face of need for food.

Arise.

Immediately determine that food will have to be obtained via fast food drive through, if you can make it to the car, that is.

Because it turns out that six solid hours of butt-cheek walking whilst (oh for God’s sake) twisting sideways, legs extended, results in never-before-experienced hip pain.

Deep, sharp hip pain. Walking difficult.

Eh, nothing Dr. Teal (Epsom salts) can’t handle.

Limp to car, sans shower. Drive through, right?

Place order at drive through squawk box thingee.

Advance.

Child at drive through window stares with (bemusement? shock? horror?) mild disgust at sweaty, paint encrusted old lady.

Hands over sandwich and smoothie.

Grip sandwich and smoothie delicately between thumbs and forefingers.

Eh, it’s wrapped up. Food remains pristine.

Drive home, present food to Angelic Daughter.

Attempt to climb stairs. Because, shower.

Discover malfunction in left leg, due to aforementioned (oh aren’t you just little Miss Multi-syllabic today!) hip pain.

Grip stair rail tightly.

Crawl toward tub, Teal, redemption and healing, expecting to walk normally next day.

Next day, limp toward furniture in need of return to appropriate placement in front room. This includes piano, high-boy writing desk hybrid, Grandma’s drop leaf table, Mother’s round bedside table, antique lamp, two other lamps, recliner, Ancestress Chair, couch, very heavy mid-century wooden telescope and tripod cases, with telescopes and tripods inside, several of Angelic daughter’s artworks and rolled up 9 by 12 fancy rug, first thing you bought together twenty years ago, all currently residing under enormous, heavy drop cloth.

Somehow figure out how five feet of you can fold and stow 9 feet by 12 feet of heavy drop cloth.

Begin dragging, pulling, swearing at and pleading with heavy 9 by 12 rug. Manage to wrestle it into position atop rug pad.

Crooked.

Swear, plead, pull, grunt, reposition rug.

No pad showing. Slight bit off by the fireplace, but who’ll notice? Good enough.

Commence shoving piano back into place.

Delicately walk step-Grandmother’s high-boy writing desk hybrid back to its corner.

Couch, recliner, Ancestress Chair, tables, lamps, artworks, telescopes.

Miraculously, nothing breaks.

Four hours later, crawl upstairs on hands and knees. Because, shower, tub, Teal, healing, tomorrow.

Four days later, work up strength to obtain and hang replacement curtains. Looks nice.

Observe again that two inches of frog tape on ceiling is apparently not enough to prevent ivory wall paint from marring white ceiling.

Decide that smudges and lines of ivory on white ceiling contribute to the rustic charm of 1948 Cape Cod. Isn’t that adorable! They did it themselves!

Real estate ladies everywhere recoil.

Mentally remind real estate ladies everywhere that you intend to stay in this house until removed feet first. Colorful smudges and charm in home decor will be exclusively their problem, then.

Smile. Expect Hope to enjoy several more decades (knock wood, don’t tempt fate) of eccentric color scheme, ceiling smudges and imperfect wall-ceiling intersections in charming home.

Because it’s a shitty paint job, but it’s my paint job.

With dining room and two bathrooms yet to come, I remain,

Your not-Jackson-Pollock sloppy do-it-yourself painter, suffering the consequences of her determination to do it herself (because, no money to pay someone),

Ridiculouswoman

How Not To Paint A Room: Front Room Ceiling

Soak and roll. No two coats, not this time. Oops, ….

Wisdom of experience. Prepare carefully. Aren’t you smart.

Move furniture away from walls. Pack tchokes and photos from mantlepiece into big plastic box.

Roll up large rug. Favorite thing. First thing we bought together, when we first moved in and had some money. Must not drip on that.

Place Angelic Daughter’s sculptures on or next to couch, along with The Ancestress Chair.

Cover all with huge drop cloth. Smile. So smart to invest in that.

Remove Angelic Daughter’s paintings, and all other framed stuff, from walls. Place in next room.

Next, tape floor. Wisdom of experience. Floor protected with two inches of frog tape against base of wall.

Tape perimeter of windows, anticipating painting trim. Smile. Exceptional forethought. Pat yourself on the back. You’re getting really good at this.

Place six feet of three-foot wide plastic along floor below first section of ceiling to be painted.

Do the edges first, all around, three inch roller.

Excellent forethought once again. Do all the up-on-the-stepstool stuff first, while fresh.

Place can of ceiling paint left over from last time on plastic. Open.

Rust falls into paint. How did that new can rust so fast? Eh.  Stir it around, find it, pick it out.

Place ladder on top of plastic.

Hmm. Slips a little. Resolve to go slowly and be careful.

Soak three inch roller in ceiling paint until it drips. Ha! No two coats this time!

Discover that safely ascending stepstool whilst (HA! “whilst!”) carrying small paint tray and roller is a feat of derring-do. Remind self, “don’t fall,  don’t fall.”

You don’t fall. Yay you.

Raise paint-soaked roller to position at edge of ceiling. Roll, baby, roll.

Smile. This no-two-coats-paint-soaked-roller thing is working well! Remind self to use same method with long pole attachment for remainder of ceiling in this, the largest room in the house.

Section by section, move plastic around perimeter of room. Soak, roll.

Complete perimeter of ceiling.

Step back.

Notice that two inches of frog tape is not, apparently, enough width to protect floor from  drips when raising paint-soaked roller.

Eh. Came off easily last time. Continue.

Attach long pole extension to 6 inch roller. Drag plastic to center of room, next to drop cloth. Pour paint into large tray with liner.

Wide river of paint runs down can when replaced on plastic, creating small puddle.

Don’t step in that.

Immediately step in that whilst (!) wrangling roller on long pole into tray to soak in paint.

Notice this only when returning to plastic to re-soak roller after completing first section of ceiling interior.

Footprints, tracking across expensively sanded, refinished floors.

Sigh.

Eh, came off easily last time. Resolve to get this sucker done without regard to drips. Horse has left barn. Ship has sailed.

Because, no two damn coats, not this time.

Proceed.

Whilst (!) circumnavigating room with long pole topped by paint-soaked roller, around  treasures that must not be dripped on under huge drop cloth, kick hidden base of Angelic Daughter’s largest sculpture.

Cracked.

Rats.

Resolve to repair already once-repaired masterpiece, when paint job is over.

Notice that hoisting paint-soaked roller on long stick and applying force while rolling back and forth is great exercise! Sweating! This counts as workout!

Breathing hard! Yay you!

When paint from soaked roller drips onto lips rather than into open, breathing-hard mouth, resolve to react with gratitude. Didn’t go into mouth. Also grateful for reminder that you are not a mouth breather, dammit (except when singing.)

Close mouth. Don’t sing.

Complete interior of huge ceiling.

Step back (into another paint splatter). Regard ceiling.

Hmm.

One-coat job gives new meaning to the words, “missed a spot.”

Sigh.

Re-soak roller, now stiffening with semi-dried paint.

Re-apply to missed spots.

Paint goes on lavender, dries white.

Decide that missed spots are just not-dry-yet spots.

Lunchtime! Angelic Daughter has waited patiently all morning, in the next room, when the front room is the one she likes to sit in best.

Anticipating need for further touch ups, drive to grocery salad bar in paint clothes.

See shoppers recoil.

Don’t worry, Angelic Daughter serves up her own soup and salad.

Pay. Return home. Check that all paint has been removed from lips.

Eat lunch with Angelic Daughter, who deserves much more of your time.

Look up.

Ceiling dried, missed spots remedied.

Shower time.

Brings new meaning to, “cleans up easily with soap and water.”

Scrub, rub, lather, rinse, repeat.

Exhaustion.

Smile. Ceiling and workout, done. Two birds.

Observe floor of front room.

Footprints. Splatter. Streaks.

Sigh. Came off easily last time.

But last time was an eighth this size, and “cleans up easily with soap and water.” Not water. Wood floor cleaner.

Eh. Do walls tomorrow and worry about floor later. Don’t worry today about worries you can worry about tomorrow.

Until then, I remain,

Your sore-in-places-I-never-imagined-there-were-muscles-to-get-sore,

Ridiculouswoman