Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Porch Redo - Part II

. . . continued:
The Head Paint Counter Man looked serious.
"Angie tells me you want to paint "Tan" over "Weathered Oak"!
It was an accusation.
"I need to let you know that it won't work."
The panic hanging "around the edges" for the past hour fully invaded my stomach.
"But Angie Assistant told me when I ordered this 5 minutes ago that it would work!"
"Well, yeah, maybe if you had applied the second coat within 30 minutes.  But it's been, what, 5 hours now?!"
He rubbed his auburn buzz cut fiercely.  How had I ended up at the Principal's Office?
"So, now you're telling me that since I didn't do the second coat within 30 minutes, I can't put on a second coat at all, not even of the same color?"
I'm not a rabid directions reader, but I surely think I would have noticed that in my quick back-of-the-can scan.
"That's right!  This is called a sealant, ma'am."
He didn't even try to smile.  He'd seen too many stupid DIYers in one day.  Why didn't they just hire a professional in the first place?
"But I don't have full coverage even after one coat!  Even if it wasn't the wrong color it looks awful without a second coat."
Shouldn't there be some large red sign on the can, warning you that you have only 30 minutes between coats, so don't bother catching the phone, using the toilet, or rehydrating with a glass of ice water, or your "window" is shot?
"Let me call my distributor."
He returned.
"Nope, I'm sorry.  There's nothing you can do now!"
Non-matching, unevenly absorbed, poorly applied sealant-covered porch.  Happy Birthday, Dear.  And, yes, you're right, I did forget to run the sledge-hammering of the rail by you.
I was desperate.  There had to be a fix.
"So, you're telling me I can't sand this off?"
"Use Kilz over it?"
"Expose it to nuclear radiation?"
"No.  Probably the best thing to do is let it wear away."
Uh-huh.  This is my front porch.  No sun, shielded from rain.  We're looking at 25 years of slow wearing away.
"Of course you could use muratic acid."
"But we all know that pretty much just eats the cement away."
Aha.  I furrowed my brow knowledgeably and nodded.  Oh, yeah, sure wouldn't want to trust that muratic acid.
"Well, since we've already mixed it, you'll need to pay for it.  Registers are up front.  Have a good day.
I could feel the tears collecting in my throat.
Stupid porch redo.  Stupid impenetrable sealant.  Stupid birthday present.
"Oh," the Paint Counter Guy flagged me down.  "You could always call the 800 number on the side of the can."
Pay.  Run out to car.  Flip open cell phone.  Punch in 1-800-HELPME.
A low, gravelly voice answered bruskly.
"Quikcrete hot line.  This is Anne."
"Oh, Anne {voice cracking}, I've painted my front porch and I hate the color and I want to cover it with a deeper color, and the Paint Counter Guy says I can't put on a second coat even of the original color because it's a sealant and it's already sealed.  And it looks awful."
"Well, now, let's see."
Sounds of clicking and scrolling.
"Okay, it says, 'Apply 1st coat, wait 24 hours, and apply 2nd coat.'"
"But the Paint Counter Guy said after 30 minutes you couldn't put anything else over it.  It's a sealant."
I wanted full disclosure here.  All facts known.
{Low chuckle.}  "Just shows how much he knows.  'Course you can't put anything ELSE on over it, but you can paint the SAME product on over it." 
The gravelly voice was patient and protective . . . like a kindly, indulgent parent with an overwrought, foolish child.  Yeah, that's exactly what it was like.
"And I can use a color several shades deeper?"
"Absolutely, honey."
She couldn't see it, but my arms were wrapped tightly around her neck and my head was buried in her ample bosom.  (Aren't most sources of comfort endowed with "ample bosoms" in books??)
"Oh, Anne, you have made my day."
Another chuckle.  Maybe I made hers too.

And so, the next morning Youngest Son rolled on "Tan."  And it was like caramel.  It went with the grout, the rock, the brick.  It was perfect.  Like rolling on some delicious ice cream topping.  I think Anne would have liked it.
Still to go . . . trim bushes, paint pillars, put up new numbers, sew new cushions, paint scraped-up rockers.  One day left.  Victory in sight.
"After" pics are coming!


  1. dear sweet Anne with an "e"...with an ample bosom, then she probably would like paint that looked like ice cream topping!!

  2. Shelley! You are such a great storyteller! My shoulders were taking on the tension as the bad news was getting thicker and thicker! In one of our houses Mr. Accountant tried to be Mr. Handyman and purchased some muratic acid to etch the garage floors so the epoxy he was going to apply would adhere better. First, the acid tipped over in MY CAR and did a slow leak all the way home. Powerful stuff. Ate right through the carpet!!! Then the epoxy didn't "set" and we ended up hiring someone to fix it all and paid for the acid damage at the end of my lease! But we learned a lot=)The new tan color is a winner! And I agree, it looks terrific with the brick color. Love your humorous adventures...Xo, Sue

  3. Oh I love already! The black wicker will look marvelous with the carmel!! Wishing you many long minutes to complete this and really looking forward to your pictures. XO

  4. Leave it to the girls...with bosom!!! Oh and a handful of gorgeous sons to the rescue...cannot wait to hear the end of this...what a scream :)