H came down to help me with them, especially the highest parts, but even with that a second coat has only been applied to the door gate and the iron work in and above the front door to the house. These do have the most squiggly ironwork, so the worst has been done – done well is a different matter.
Every angle needs to be looked at as one always finds bits that are missed. To get any coverage in some of the most tightly curved areas and the roughest surfaces that one couldn’t sand, one has to apply a bit more paint to the brush. The paint runs through to the other side and although you think you’ve caught all the drips, there are always some missed.
For the front door, as that had come positive on the lead paint test when applied to a yellow paint showing through, I decided to just clean the ironwork with water and paint over it all. What could be easier? Well, a lot really. What looked a bit like dried green mould turned out to be something of a pure and indelible pigment. As I washed, instead of clearing, the colour spread and looked as though I had painted the ironwork green. Drips from the water ran down and stained the wood of the door and the stone doorstep.
I left it all to dry and later attempted to just dry brush out the dust – which I’m hoping wasn’t lead paint dust as I’d run out of test papers…and it was still holiday August in France. I still used a mask and caught some of the dust on a plastic sheet which I rolled up and disposed of afterwards, and mopped the area many times, disposing of the water on an appropriate bit of our land, through some newspaper to filter it.
Lead paint had also showed up when I retested the gates (before painting but after cleaning the front door)- but too late there as I’d finished the sanding etc. Confused on that one as the first tests were applied to the broken paint areas.
When I mentioned the lead paint to my mother, she was rather cavalier with my health, saying that the cautions only applied to professionals who were working with it more often. Call me a hypochondriac, but it doesn’t hurt to take some detoxing Vitamin C, drink lots of water and milk thistle, just in case.
Once the front door was dry, I had enough of it and went straight to paint. First coat of white had a green tinge to it but the second reduced that (probably psychological but I think I can still see a hint of green). Even by my standards was a poor job: drips everywhere. Oh, well, I’m only doing it so we can stave off the need to get a new door which we have been quoted well over €4,000 for, so it’s not permanent; just something to defer huge costs.
I’m now pleased that the rain has returned so that I have a good excuse for not completing the second coat on the main gates. TOP TIP: only take on one small paint job at a time.
I used to like painting. I thought it was an almost therapeutic job. But I think I’m cured of that.
So, does anyone have a painting robot they can give me – for free? There’s just one more coat to do.