If I Had A Hammer, I Wouldn't Use It!

Hoosier Perspectives

Days of painting and construction - projects have passed me by.

Published on: March 12, 2012

Remember the old refrain, "If I had a hammer…?" Well, I have a couple hammers, but I don't use them anymore than I have too. That goes also for paint scrapers and paint brushes.

Once upon a time, I would tear off wall paper, spackle ceilings. And do my own indoor and outdoor painting. These days, I figure that if I can't afford to hire someone else to fix it, then it probably doesn't really need to be done.

We recently had a couple of rooms redone in the house. When it took two adult workers a full day to remove the double-layer wallpaper, well-glued to the wall, it was only reassurance that I made the right choice in not tackling such a job myself.

Maybe it's just because I'll turn 59 soon and the gray on my head is spreading. Or maybe it's because I never liked painting in the first place. Whatever it is, I no longer have the patience to fiddle with something as tedious as stripping of wallpaper, then painting. Thank goodness some people still enjoy making their living doing those things.

Whoever doesn't think painting isn't hard work has never really put a brush to the test. And whomever has never splattered a few drops of paint here and there is not a true-blue handyman. I can't say I miss any of that.

Spring is also the time when someone in a rickety pick-up and a painter's uniform shows up in the driveway, either wanting to paint your barn roof or asphalt your driveway. Whichever it is, they're working for someone on the next road over, and they just happened to have some product left. They will make you a real deal.

I've fallen for that line once when I was really desperate to get the roof painted on a very tall, very steep barn roof that I didn't want to tackle. As I suspected, the paint stayed on just long enough for you to sell the place. A few months later after we sold the house and barn and moved to our current location, when I drove by, sure enough, rust streaks were beginning to show up on various parts of the roof.

The morale of that story is to not only be careful where you climb, hammer and use a paint brush yourself, but be very cautious about who else you let do it as well.