It happens to everyone. You look at the weather forecast, you look at a weekend from the perspective of a balmy Friday evening, and you plan a project.
You know the kind of project I'm talking about. I'm talking about one of those simple and easy projects that will take a mere four hours and have lasting benefits to the old domicile. In this case, I thought the weather was perfect to spread a little waterproof deck paint on the front porch floor. Our handyman recommended a brand of porch paint that would help to preserve those pesky floorboards that always have to be replaced because the weather falls on them.
So, after a late breakfast on Saturday morning, Mr. J and I headed to Home Depot to purchase said paint and some rollers.
Don't know about you, but I hate Home Depot. I hate all stores that have more than six aisles. I hate all stores that you wish you had a bicycle to navigate. In a smaller subset, I hate stores with bright colors everywhere. Target? Oh my bored gods. All that red! Home Depot is the same way. Who woke up one morning and said, "Let's make a hardware store and swathe it in ORANGE?"
Next time I'll stick to Sherwin Williams.
So we went to the Orange Hellhouse and found the kind of paint that was recommended. We had it mixed to a nice charcoal gray and chose medium gritty for better traction. We figured one gallon would certainly cover a front porch. Little did we know.
Have you ever used deck paint? I opened the can, and I couldn't decide whether I was looking at paint or a charcoal-colored chocolate mousse. The stuff wasn't just thick. It was mud pie thick. It was marsh muck thick. It was so thick that my trusty edging brush (with which I have painted three large interior areas) said, "This is where I go to die." And die it did. Alas, poor brush! How well I knew you!
The way to use deck paint is:
1. Dip the brush in.
2. Move it two inches across the wood surface.
The stuff didn't want to spread itself around. It didn't behave like paint. It behaved like cold butter on a slice of bread.
I sucked it up and kept trying. After about three hours I had the whole porch edged, including under the railings. The steps were edged. The problem areas were daubed. And I was almost out of a gallon of paint.
Mr. J, who had very helpfully told me what to do before going off to nap, had to go back to the Hellhouse to get more paint. Then I tried to roll the deck. Each trip to the rolling pan yielded a whopping two square feet of rolled paint. No one told this paint it was paint. I still think it was a stinky gray cake batter pretending to be paint.
Four hours into this four-hour project, I was halfway finished. I had one-coated the porch ... and the directions on the paint can explicitly said two coats.
Guess how I was planning to spend my Sunday? I'll tell you: reading the New York Times and puttering in the garden. Instead, Sunday became a repeat of Saturday, including another trip to the Orange Hellhouse for a third gallon of paint.
I ruined two rollers and my edging brush that, as I have already pointed out, was in my trembling hand the night Donald Trump won the presidential election, being at that time put to use on a hall closet door. Oh, I didn't mention that? This brush and I had a relationship. I believe in nurturing paint brushes. If you looked at my paint brushes at the end of a long and grueling interior job, you wouldn't know that they weren't brand new.
Two hours in the gray gritty mousse, and it was adios, edging brush. Another hour of spreading cold butter on bread, and the porch floor looked streaky but protected. The paint dried like concrete. Two rollers bit the dust. (This was equally painful to me. It is possible to have a long term love affair with a paint roller if it is treated with tender loving care.)
By this time, it was 3:30 on Sunday afternoon. Instead of puttering in the garden, I raked and clipped at an aerobic pace. Then there was the laundry that had been sitting in the dryer since Friday evening. Mr. J was sent off to another massive Rhode Island-size store, this one being Wegmans in all its mustard-painted splendor. He brought home some ready-made food ... and that was my weekend.
Back to work Monday morning, with a manicure of gray grit as a memorial to a totally lost weekend. Five more days until I get to try again.