Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Before Himself and I were married, I went to visit him in the desert of California. He was working a job site, so I eagerly offered to help him.

He gave me a small pail of paint and a brush and invited me to brush some bi-fold doors covering an outdoor laundry closet. Great! Let's Work!

I painted one edge of a door without incident. I wasn't a complete rookie - I had painted doors at my high school as a band project after all - and I felt good about my accomplishments.

Turning to paint the second door, everything was going smoothly until I bent to get a lower part of the door edge. BUMP! I realized my rear had bumped the edge of the door I painted previously.

I immediately turned with my brush to touch up any mark I had made. BUMP! My other "cheek" hit the door I had just painted.

You read that right; both cheeks had paint on them now.

Himself came over, removed the pail and brush from my hands and requested, "Stop helping me."

We kept those shorts for a while because it was so hilarious.

After that, I was regulated to jobs that didn't involve actual painting. Few people realize how vital the "other" jobs are. Young children are especially amusing; when we hand them sandpaper, putty, or masking tape, their faces fall. "But, I want to paint." My dear, this IS painting!

Glenna is under no such illusions! You 'oughta know better, you're a the painter's kid! I had to smile when I received these photos from my friend Sharon. Glenna and Himself went to paint doors for them.

Here's Himself near the doors. Here's Glenna far from the doors.
He stands the doors up in the garage and attaches a thin piece of wood to the top of each one, forming screens out of the doors. This way they stand the entire time and he doesn't have to wait for one side to dry before he does the other. Brilliant!

Why is she just standing there, holding the spray line?

This, actually, is a tremendous help to any painter in a "spray zone" and doing production work.
As he moves among the doors, Glenna's role is to watch the spray line. She holds onto it to keep it from snagging or tangling on anything. She also keeps one eye on the pump and makes sure the paint doesn't get too low. Having the pump suck air will make for spurts eventually coming from the gun. A good line watcher will quickly run and dump more paint in, then run back and watch the line again.

There's nothing more frustrating for a sprayer to get in a groove, only to have his movements hindered by the spray line snagging on something. If you're not paying attention and the line gets snagged, you'll hear an angry, Line! shouted by the sprayer. Oops! I'll stop watching the butterflies, dear . . .

He also needs to time his movements and coatings with the amount of paint left in the bucket - especially if there may not be enough to cover everything. He needs to stop in a spot that wouldn't be conspicuous, like having half a door finished.

I helped Daddy paint the doors today, Momma!

Really? Did you watch the line for him?


Atta girl!

A "helper" (as in a non-sprayer) also does a lot of prep work. Sanding doors, masking floors, puttying holes - they do everything they possibly can ahead of time so the sprayer doesn't have to stop. If prepped correctly, a sprayer can blow through a room in no time and finish an entire one-story building before lunch!

The results from his and Glenna's efforts are these beautifully painted doors:

Now that's what I call painting!

Oh I wish I were a Spray Man
A spray gun in my hand man
I wouldn't have to work much
Just pull the trigger and wait for lunch . . . .

-Himself, sometime in the 80's, when his brother Dan was spraying and he was the line watcher.


Rachel said...

Haha! I came to this realization when we painted the inside of our house recently...I was assigned trim and baseboards.

I would love to do a journal for you! I think I would charge $10 if you bought the journal yourself...I can get bundles of magazines at the library for only a few dollars- I'm guessing you would want something like country living, right? Or I could pick out the journal for you and just add that amount to the price!

My journal is going well, i am really enjoying it!

Jessica Leigh said...

Oh my goodness! That is a hilarious story - especially since I know I would've done the same!

Mrs said...

Raquel, just make sure it's a spiral-bound journal so it can lay flat. Or, if it's not spiral bound, make sure it lays flat when opened. I want to leave it out all the time so anyone can add to it.

Yes, the Country Living stuff would be great! Did you know that magazine is ending publication? Wah! I also have lots of Better Homes & Garden if you want to use those.

Rachel said...

ok! if i can't find any good ones i will use yours.

buloct- half bull, half octopus


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