Argh! Can’t put off painting the house any longer!

Fourteen years ago, my wife and I were looking to buy a new home. We were both 48-years-old at the time and our two sons had moved out several years previous. After having already done the “house and yard” thing for 22 years, I was contemplating moving into a condo and putting my feet up on weekends. But my wife went out looking at houses with her realtor sister and called me excitedly at work saying I had to come see the house they had found. I pulled into the driveway and gulped at the big yard with many oak trees. In addition, the house had wooden shingles that would need painting unlike our first house, which was aluminum sided. Argh!

My wife’s enthusiasm for the the house was overwhelming (see postscript below) so I reluctantly agreed that we buy the property, figuring that I still had plenty of gas in the tank at 48 to take care of the house and yard.

I’ve already whined about the huge volume of leaves I must contend with every November because of the oak trees (see here), so today I’ll focus on the chore of painting the house.

The previous owners had the house painted right before we bought it, so it was good to go for several years. I originally planned on painting the house seven years after we moved in, but I procrastinated and after nine years the ol’ shingles were starting to look pretty shabby. As a result, I had to do A LOT of prep work and the very weathered shingles needed two coats of paint. Ach! I painted the front and sides of the house in 2013, but of course I waited until the end September to start, so I ended up painting under the eaves as the cool, early-October rains fell. Not smart. I painted the back of the house the following year, 2014, and took a break from painting the next two years.

I then put together a plan to paint one-quarter of the house every summer, which keeps  the prep work to a minimum and the amount of paint needed to one coat. I painted one of the sides and half of the front last year and anticipated painting the rest of the front and the other side this summer. However, I kept pushing it off because I kept thinking I had plenty of time, but after this weekend I realized I was backed into a corner with summer quickly coming to a close. So I requested to work from home in the mornings this past Monday, yesterday, and today (rain is predicted tomorrow and Friday) and work on the house in the afternoons.

Monday was prep work (cleaning, scraping, priming) and it wasn’t that bad because it had only been five years since I last painted that portion. Yesterday, I worked on the trim. I had optimistically planned on completing the trim yesterday, but only got halfway through. It’s very tedious and time consuming painting all of the edges and corners with a brush. Today, I’ll finish the trim and Saturday I’ll paint the big surfaces with a roller.

Some quick lessons:

  • Painting isn’t enjoyable to me, but I do appreciate being outside and getting some fresh air. The house is a ranch so I don’t have to use the extension ladder all that much. I had all of the tools so pretty much all I needed to buy was the paint and put in the elbow grease.
  • There is some satisfaction in seeing the house looking good after the paint job is complete.
  • I do have a responsibility to our neighbors in the tract to keep our house and property well maintained.
  • The Bible warns against procrastination. If you keep pushing things off they’ll deteriorate to a point where the effort needed to bring things back around will be overwhelming. This has applications for the temporal, but most importantly, for the spiritual.

“The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.” – Proverbs 20:4

If we neglect our walk with the Lord by putting off reading and studying the Bible, time in prayer, and attending church, our spiritual state will deteriorate. Don’t let that happen to you. I speak from experience. Get right with the Lord and commune with Him every day throughout the day.

Postscript: My wife’s father died in 1961 from a heart attack at the age of 47 when she was only six years old. When we were initially looking at the house, the elderly owners were present, but they nervously told us they had to leave soon for an engagement at a nearby country club. My nosy sister-in-law inquired which club they belonged to and they hesitatingly responded that they had been members of the club down the road for fifty years, which turned out to be the same establishment my wife’s parents had been members of. Come to find out, the two couples had been very good friends and the husband often golfed with my wife’s father. That’s all my wife needed to hear. So our house was previously owned by one of her father’s best friends.

22 thoughts on “Argh! Can’t put off painting the house any longer!

    1. Thanks, Beth! Painting is a bear, especially with the trips up and down the ladder which I’ll be doing today.
      RE: postscript
      My wife was deeply affected by the death of her father at such a young age and carried that sorrow throughout her life. So to coincidentally meet one of her father’s best friends and to buy his and his wife’s house seemed providential to her. BTW, my wife had kept her father’s old Bible which he carried with him throughout his dangerous stint as an infantryman in WWII. That Bible played a part in my wife and I eventually accepting Christ. I’ll have to write a post on that soon.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Is that an actual picture of your house? Good illustration of biblical principles of responsibility to neighbors, procastination, hard work, etc. What a small world that the previous owners knew your father in law.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks! Yup, that’s the humble abode. It’s from Google street view but the photo is probably around ten years old because that little evergreen tree in front is now pretty big. The yard actually appears bigger than it is because Google uses a fish eye lens. But those oak trees showing behind the house drop 50 tarp-loads of leaves every November. Yeah, that was really strange about the previous owners being good friends with my wife’s parents. Finally finished painting the trim this afternoon. I could have really used the help of a young man like yourself today going up and down that ladder! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I’m definitely starting to feel my years. Splitting the painting up into one quarter of the house every summer is doable. I would never paint the entire house or even half the house at once.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Earlier this year I fell off a ladder helping my father in law. I realize I’m not that young anymore either. Back when I was in the Marines I felt I can always fall but catch myself to fall in a graceful manner. Well I landed on my lower back and I’ve never done that before; I guest I was arrogant to think I can always twist and turn and land on my feet. Two story house sounds nice until you think about maintaining it!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sorry about your fall. I hope you didn’t have long term damage. My wife is a nurse and used to work in the ICU unit at the hospital and she would always tell me about the many people who were brought into Emergency after falling from a ladder or from a roof. I’m always up on the roof because of the leaves and seed pods clogging the gutters and then there’s the annual painting using the ladder. Yup, it’s very dangerous.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oy, I’ve had a few very close calls myself, like being up on the roof with an electric blower, blowing the leaves out of the gutters. I’ve carelessly stepped on the extension cord several times and my foot has rolled, never a good thing on a steep roof. But don’t tell my wife!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, sister! Yes, it was an amazing “coincidence” and my wife was overjoyed by that circumstance. Lord bless your home plans. We’re contemplating staying here until around 68-70 because the yard and house will give me something to do for a few years after we retire. But it’s getting a little harder every year.

      Liked by 2 people

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