It is what it is: Painting, interrupted

With more than two months since I started this project, what’s taking me so long?

  • Saturday, August 17, 2019 10:39pm
  • Life

If ever there was a perfect summer for me to be able to paint my house, this has been it.

And yet, it looks like I’m still going to need professional help to get it done.

Painting the house has been on the to-do list for a few years now. A couple of years ago, we even went so far as to get an estimate. But the estimate was a big number, and of course, I thought we should be able to do this ourselves.

This summer has more than cooperated (as far as being able to paint, that is). It seems that most summers, once we get past that window in June, it’s a challenge to find a stretch of sunny days long enough to make significant progress.

That’s certainly not been the case this summer. In fact, I think I can count the number of rainy days in the past three months on one hand.

With that much sunshine, you’d think I’d be out mountain biking every weekend, instead of working on the house. But with the Swan Lake fire closing many of the trails on the peninsula, that hasn’t been a distraction.

Heck, I haven’t even gone fishing this summer.

So the question is, with more than two months since I started this project, what’s taking me so long?

There have been a few distractions. For instance, there was the day my wife asked my daughter if she had told me about the noise the car was making. She hadn’t, I spent a day replacing the brakes on the kids’ old car.

I also spent more time mowing the lawn that I feel like I should have, considering the lack of rain. But when my parents were visiting last fall, they spent a couple of days helping in the yard and put down some fertilizer. I suppose I’m glad the lawn looks good, but it does come with some extra work.

Part of the problem, I think, has been my approach. All the DIY guides say to do just one section at a time. Tackling the whole exterior at once can be intimidating. In fact, my next door neighbor growing up took that to an extreme, painting one side of his house each year. Then he’d take a year or two off, and start the process over.

However, our plan — and by “our” plan, I mean my plan — has been to apply the paint with a sprayer, and you generally do the whole house at once that way. I had planned all along to have a pro come and do that part, so every weekend this summer, I’ve been doing the prep work — scraping, sanding, pressure washing and priming.

It’s been a lot of work. There’s times I’ve felt like I’ve just been wandering aimlessly, randomly scraping with no particular rhyme or reason. There’s been times I’ve jumped into priming, even though there’s been more scraping to do, just so I can feel like I’m painting.

I like to think that I’m closer to being finished than it looks. With good preparation, the painting is the easy part, right?

But I’m also looking at the calendar. It’s mid-August already. We’re flirting with September, and the rain can’t hold off forever, can it?

Then again, we had a beautiful fall last year — the rain didn’t come until December, which isn’t ideal, either.

So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the weather cooperates for a couple more weekends. The professional help that was just going to spray may end up doing just a little bit more. If I don’t get around to putting the shutters back up until next spring, so be it.

And if we wait as long until the next time we decide to paint, I’ll probably be retired. And then I’ll have plenty of time, right?

Will Morrow lives in Kenai. Email him at

• By WILL MORROW, For the Peninsula Clarion

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