Friday, April 14, 2006


I think Russian gypsies painted this house and I'll tell you why. You may have been worried that I wouldn't explain myself, but not to worry, I'll get right to it.

I am not attempting to sterotype anyone. I don't even know if there is such a thing as a Russian gypsy. I know there are a damn lot of Russians around here, and that Russians painted this house, but I don't know if they were gypsies. They dress kind of like gypsies, painted scarves and long skirts. I haven't seen any gaily painted wooden wagons or be-ribboned tambourines and mad dancing around a blazing camp fire, but I happen to know they hide their camps.

My husband saw them paint the house and said they did a shitty job, but that was when the old German woman Elizabeth owned the house and he lived next door. What could he do to stop them? All I know is that gypsies are known for fly by night work, for summer driveway repaving that washes away with the first rain, and this house was painted with a thin coat of yellow waterpaint. Not laytex. Just flat yellow paint. I know this because I've been scraping it off for the past couple of hours. It isn't difficult. There is only one layer. It peels off easily, really only yellow dust when hit with the wire brush. I'm not complaining so much as commenting. I hate hard work, and paint that falls right off, well all the better. I said I'd never paint another house, and here I go. I am limited, happily, to one area, about 10x10, that was never completed by the Russians. They stopped when they got to the climber rose. Not me. I ripped it down, wound it up and laid it on the ground. There is only one way to paint: thoroughly. You can scrape a little here and there -- hit the bad spots, but eventually, if you're me, you end up going back over the whole damn thing three times, and I'd rather just do it right the first time. I'm probably breathing lead based Russian paint, but its a small job if I keep to my boundaries. I've inhaled worse. Pam spray. That's way worse. Airplane glue. I remember this guy named Tom Brown who always had bits of brown paper bag stuck to his face and gold paint all over his hands. Huffers. Whaddaya gonna do?

So, I'm doing my project to the best of my ability, weather be damned. My husband is having white Hammerite paint tinted "not quite white" for me. It makes me nervous to leave color decisions in his big rough hands, but there was little else I could do. He went to the paint store yesterday and asked if they could tint the rust proof paint. The guy said no, it only comes in these colors. I didn't like that, so I called the 800 number and got a guy who said the same thing. So, I looked at the swatches, called them back, and said what about if I tint the gloss white with the almond to get off-white? This time I got a woman. She said, yeah you can do that no problem, but also, you can tint it, but you gotta use this certain kind of pigment.

So I call my husband back, who was at the paint store, and in the meantime the guy has admitted that you CAN tint it. AHA!! I knew it! So he's having it tinted.


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