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Tom Sawyer 101

easy for YOU to say, Bob Ross!

All the monsoon storms made everything grow this past summer and the desert had more green than I’d ever seen here before. Since moving to AZ, I’ve missed the deep greens of summer in CA, CT, IL & NY, and inspired by the late great Bob Ross, I’d originally envisioned coloring the back fence/wall with images of “friendly little trees, shrubs, etc…” like a mural. At first thinking I’d hang recycled shower curtains for a temporary change-of-scenery, but then seeing how quickly they deteriorated when exposed to the elements in the great outdoors, I finally settled in on the idea of applying actual paint to the actual fence.

Once I started I began to see how much actual WORK it was going to be, and as my visual artistic skills are not the greatest, my first attempt at painting wound up looking like very ugly camouflage:

After conferring with my beloved, I tried just using the green samples I’d purchased years ago; we decided we preferred the darker one:

I finished prepping the wall (moving gravel away) and primer-painting all 7 sections in the dreadful light green “industrial hospital wall” color that I had purchased 6 gallons of last spring. (recycled paint = very cheap!) This step took a lot of time, as the cinder blocks drank in the paint like a sponge, and confirmed my suspicion that a much deeper shade of green was called for!

In the process, I kept learning (and re-learning) things; wearing a mask while painting is a GOOD thing (to keep paint dust/particles from my lungs) – and don’t make your primary coat so much LIGHTER a color than your final coat, since you can see every little blurble that pops and then you’ve got go over it again… and again…
And take a shower as soon as you’re finished cleaning up – it really helps your body RELAX and REPAIR!

Mostly, it takes a lot longer than you think it will when you start; I figured I’d be done in 4 or 5 days, but between indecision, weather conditions and my own physical limitations, it took over 3 weeks to finish!

The desired effect was ultimately achieved, however. The color feels calm and the fence almost disappears in some light.

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2 thoughts on “Tom Sawyer 101

  1. We’ve been discussing painting the cinder block walls in our back yard for years. Now, our next-door neighbor has kind of forced our hand. He wanted to add another row to the top, which we were in favor of and helped pay for, and he did the work. But now the top row doesn’t match the rest of the rows, so the painting project has taken on more urgency.

    Thanks for giving me a preview (warning) of what I’m in for. That it takes more effort and time is hardly surprising – most projects are like that. But I wasn’t thinking in terms of needing a primer coat. And I wouldn’t have anticipated how much paint the wall will absorb.

    Your advice of going with the darker color is good. We will definitely take that into consideration. I don’t know if we’ll go with green, although that looks lovely in your yard, especially since you have a view of trees that the green complements.

    In any case, the reward of all the work you did will last for years, long after the memory (and soreness) of how long it took is forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

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