I Am Not a Painter

Did we have a prompt for today’s Ultimate Blog Challenge? If we did, I missed it. But I welcome the opportunity to just write, and in the process explain why I am not a painter.

By lunchtime today my living room looked like something had exploded. It wasn’t a pretty sight and as I stood in the middle of the chaos, I wondered if I would ever see the floor again.

It all started a few weeks years ago.

When I moved from a big house into a two-bedroom unit, I kidded myself that I had downsized. I hadn’t.

My oversized lounge suite took up way too much room. Sure, it looked good and it was super-comfortable – but…

Don’t get me wrong – this two-bedroom unit isn’t minuscule – there’s actually heaps of room. But that big lounge just looked huge, no matter where I put it. It was just too big.

Add a fantastic (big) dining table, four chairs, a whole heap of other stuff and a big tall cupboard, and the room was full. Every couple of months I would rearrange. I’d haul that huge lounge to the other end of the room and lug the dining table to where the lounge had been. It always looked good then – but before long I’d want to move it all again.

Attachment is Not Good!

You know how you become attached to things for all the wrong reasons? Yep – me too. I was so attached to that furniture, even though it just didn’t fit in the new house.

A few weeks ago I made a decision – it all had to go!

I contacted a local Used-Furniture store and they were happy to take on the responsibility of the oversized lounge, the big table and the cupboard.

Actually, as big as the table was, it could be extended even further. It was the kind of table you would have the whole family, and their friends, and a couple of neighbours sitting around for dinner.

But I had to wait until last Saturday to actually see it all disappear down the stairs, and onto the two waiting Utes (that’s ‘pick-up trucks’ for my non-Aussie readers).

Did I shed a tear as I waved goodbye?

Nah – I’d had a few weeks to get used to the idea. And with everything that was in the cupboard now stashed in boxes -some in the guest-room and some lined up along the wall in the living room, I was happy to see the old things go.

With the lounge gone, my outside writing seat had to come inside – for now.

But it needed to be repainted.

I covered the floor with plastic sheets to protect the carpet, opened the can of white paint, and got started.

Oh, and in the meantime, I had found the perfect sized dining table and chairs that I just couldn’t resist. Not big, round or extendable – just nice and compact – and brown. So they had to be painted too. I had already stripped down one chair and dabbed a coat of white paint on it. But now it had to wait while I painted the bigger seat.

And as if painting furniture wasn’t enough, there were the holes in the wall to deal with. Only two, but reasonably big.

The oversized TV I’d bought when I moved in had to be moved to the other side of the room when I wanted the big white cupboard on that wall. Dave, our handy-person, had obliged by taking the TV off the wall for me, but it was up to me to fix the holes where the bracket had been attached. Back then I didn’t know how to do that, but it didn’t really matter because the cupboard covered the holes.

Now it mattered…!

The cupboard was gone and the holes stared back at me.

So now I had a chair to finish painting (plus three more and a table), a seat to start painting and a wall to patch – and paint.

And I am not a painter!

With the plastic sheets spread across the floor and the paint tin open, I applied a coat of paint to the seat. While that dried I sanded off some of the mistakes from the chair – maybe I used the wrong brush and that’s what left those marks?

By now there was white dust all over the blue plastic. The seat was in the middle of the room, the chair to one side. And I had amassed a heap of tools on the floor.

There was an opener for the paint tin and a hammer to close it. There was a stirrer for mixing, and sandpaper – lots of sandpaper – for sanding. When you don’t know what kind of sandpaper you’ll need, you buy a few of each, right? Right.

And not to forget the nifty little flexible sanding blocks (in two sizes – coarse and fine) that were supposedly handy for sanding roundish things, like chairs.

Oh and there were cute little trays to put paint in for using the cute little rollers I’d bought ages ago – about the time I thought I’d have to paint the wall – but didn’t.

And then there was a big tray and a big roller that the helpful attendant at the paint store assured me I would need to paint the wall – after I told him about the cute little rollers I had previously bought to do the job. He guessed (correctly) that I am not a painter.

While the paint dried on the seat, I found the putty-stuff and applied it to the holes in the wall. That part was fun.

Time for a coffee….

Things weren’t progressing too well by the time a neighbour called in for help with a tech-problem on her iPad. I was lucky to find an empty corner of the compact brown table. We fixed the problem and I got back to work.

This was intended to be the project that I did well. Not rushed – just slow and methodical. Kind of like pretending that I am a painter.

If you hadn’t noticed already, painting isn’t my specialty. And I have never painted a wall before. I did mention I am not a painter, didn’t I?

So the day progressed with rotations between painting, putty-ing, sanding and finally, trying to get all the dust off the floor without getting any onto the drying paint.

The seat looked good enough – I’d long since given up on the idea of perfection.

With that mission accomplished, and the tools moved outside onto the balcony (at least they’ll be safe for tonight), I started moving furniture into place.

I’m not one who can visualise where something will go – I have to actually move it. The only problem with that is, the big TV.

The TV sits on top of a medium-sized cupboard, and I had to move it all in one piece. So after much swivelling and balancing the cupboard and TV, I finally had it in the right place – except it wasn’t the right place.

Ironically, the best place was going to be the wall that was still waiting to be painted. More swivelling and balancing, and finally, the TV and the cupboard were against the wall – the one still waiting to be painted. Except, now I couldn’t see where I’d fixed the holes. The cupboard and the big TV were covering them.


One less problem. Painting the wall can wait – again.

By 6pm I had rearranged everything – except I still haven’t found a place for everything that came out of the old cupboard. They can stay in boxes for tonight, but I think a trip to Ikea might be a priority for tomorrow. A couple of book cases (small ones, of course) will take care of the books. And even some of the treasures.

And that brings me to the subject of the prompt for the Ultimate Blog Challenge. By not having a specific prompt, I can write about how tired I am and how I’ve got aches in places I didn’t even know I had places. It must have been all the lifting and swivelling and balancing.

But the room looks good and I now have a desk in my living area that I can write at – while I watch TV, instead of having to juggle my iPad on my lap, on the old lounge that I no longer have. All this despite the fact I am not a painter.

I still have three chairs and a table to paint – but not tonight!


Owner and Administrator of website: maureendurney.com

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. hafong

    Oh my gosh, Maureen. What a big project! I felt frazzled and tired reading. I was a wall painter but that was a very long time ago. I gave that up somewhere in my 40s. I was in the middle of painting my siding when I realized I was no youngster nor monkey that can climb up and down the ladder. I hired somebody to put on vinyl sidings. Good luck! You have pluck.

    1. Maureen

      You are so right, Lily. It ended up being bigger than I anticipated. As usual, instead of focusing on just one thing, I tried to do several at once.
      I’m still conscientiously avoiding the painting of the wall – but I know I will have to tackle it one day. Maybe that’s a job best left for the cooler months. Yesterday was so hot! Which didn’t help at all. It’s a bit hard to sustain concentration with perspiration dripping – no – running off you… It’s the humidity here that makes it feel worse. Apparently a few days ago, the humidity was 98% at 6am – I’m very glad I slept through it.

I’ll get back to you as soon as I finish my coffee...

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