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Painting for Dummies

It has been a known fact for me and my parents that whenever depression strikes me, I impulsively run straight to the department store and buy a couple of buckets of paints. For some time it served like my outlet, of which in psychology what they would usually refer to as “sublimation.” Sublimation is a positive defense mechanism in which you divert your attention from stressful events into more productive activities. And yes, “painting” has always topped my list. For a reason that, writing has always been a part of my life, and when I decide to write to counteract stress, I just end up writing over and over about it. Not to mention all my posts either being overly “cheesy”, exaggerated; morbid or way out of sense. So back when I was slowly being consumed by my torments from my last heartbreak, instead of writing (which I later on realized I still did nonetheless) one day I told my mom, “I want to paint our house.” Surprisingly, I did. I painted all the walls and the floors of our living room, kitchen, receiving area, and even our terrace all by myself. It’s not that my mom and dad didn’t want to help me, it’s just that I’m so particular with the details.. being a perfectionist, obsessive-compulsive that I am. So now our house is just painfully purple with a soft touch of peach. Of course I do the painting, so I choose the colors. Haha! Just recently, I also painted the walls of the second floor of our house mint green, the stairs yellowish, window panes peach, and my room.. well, guess the color. Purple! It’s a flirty mixture of ballerina pink, magenta, berry rouge and purple. 

When I first painted, I was so foolish to think that painting could be the best remedy for my broken heart. I thought that when I change all the colors that I see around me, it changes everything, and it will make me forget all about the bad stuff. But then I realized, I don’t really change anything. I cover up my pale blue walls with bright pink and what I really did was just mask all the dirt and flaws. It is the same wall. I may try to change it in any way, but it is still the same. Like when you do a make-over to yourself, you change how you look but it is still the same you. We get a wound and cover it up with a bandage, but underneath it is a scar that will serve as a reminder that “hey, I’m your past and I beat you.”

Whenever I look at my room, which now by the way is so girly, it’s funny because I can no longer remember how it looked like before. I recall how it used to be so dull and boring, but I can’t remember the exact way it looked before. I guess that’s the magic of it. When you change a part of you, you may not completely forget how it was before, but it makes all the looking-back bearable.

So here’s some of the ‘basic’ things I learned about painting:

1. You use acrylic for stone and latex for wood. When you try to mix both, for example, red acrylic and yellow latex, to come up with a new shade, it’s not really going to happen and it’s just going to be ugly. 

2. It’s always best to really clean up the surface and scratch up all the remaining old paint before you cover it up with a new one, so you won’t end up wasting a lot of money covering up the same surface with 3-4 applications just to get the finish you desire.

3. Cracks in woods or stones are ideally covered by what they call “mansilya.” You put it on the defected surface before applying paint. Others usually mix it to some paint then directly applies. When you lacked the time to go to the nearest hardware to purchase, a masking tape “may” work.

4. It’s nicer to paint with rollers than brushes, because brushes usually leave a trail of lines as you brush, unlike rollers. However, rollers seem to “eat up” or absorb a lot more paint than paint brushes do.

5. It’s really hard to remove paint on your skin, especially if it’s not water-soluble, particularly latex paint, which usually requires thinner to remove it. However, I tried baby oil once in removing paint stains on my face and it worked wonders.

6. It’s always best to estimate and buy all the paints you’re going to need to finish the entire surface you’re painting before hand. So you won’t end up painting with one color and then the paint runs out, you head out to the hardware only to find out the shade you were looking for was sold out and you opt to buy another similar shade. And the thing is, it’s not entirely the same, you just end up starting all over again, wasting a lot of money.

7. Don’t ever try to paint over a varnished surface, because you’ll only be losing a lot of paint than you can imagine. What happens is that, the wood only seems to absorb the paint with every application. You don’t get the color you want, it just turns yellowish, and the surface smells nasty. The best thing to do is, sand the entire surface first, clean off the dust, then voila!

8. It’s always better to paint during weekends, or long breaks/vacations. Because what happens when you impulsively decides to paint (like me) is that you try as hard to finish everything in one day, but you realize it’s not possible because you have work tomorrow, and just like everybody else, you also need to sleep/rest. You only get frustrated that you can’t finish it, at the end of the day, you lose the motivation you need and it affects the quality of your work. Not to mention you miss some wee sleeping hours.

…well, that’s it for now. Till my next paint job! ;p

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