Metro-East News

Wally’s gettin’ it done — two hours at a time

Wally Spiers
Wally Spiers

I have thought about painting my garage door for several years but never got beyond thinking.

Until the other day when a truck delivered a load of gravel to my driveway. The contrast of the gleaming white rocks with the dilapidated door was particularly bad. The tan paint was peeling and some kind of green stuff was growing in patches on the door.

Normally a screen of tree branches and vines hid most of my driveway, but I had to cut all that vegetation so the truck could back into my driveway. With a clear view the door looked hideous. I could put the job off no longer.

That’s what you get when you try to make just one improvement.

I approached the job like a true retiree, a few hours at a time.

It used to be I would jump on a project like this and do as much as possible in one day. Now, I took a scraper and wire brush to the door and got about half of it cleaned in a couple of hours later in the evening when the heat had let up a little.

In shorts and a T-shirt totally soaked with sweat, looking even more ridiculous with a red bandana tied around my head to keep the perspiration out of my eyes, I labored along.

But just for a couple of hours, then I went inside to shower. Two hours later the next day, finished the scraping. No sense in starting to paint so late in the day.

A coat of primer took an hour and a half on another day.

The next day I went looking for finish paint. Used to be you could walk into a store and pick up a can of prepared tan paint. No more. Now you take color samples and sort through them before getting someone to mix a gallon of shifting sands or cinnamon toast or some other outlandish name.

Whatever the name, I will have to remember it because the trim on the house will need to be the same color.

After all that hard shopping, I had to rest for a while so that day was shot. The next day it was threatening rain so I held off on painting. No rain. The day after that radar showed huge storms coming right through St. Louis toward us, so I held off again. Again, no rain.

The day after that I started in with my can of paint and finished the job in less than an hour. The painting part anyway. I still need to nail some stuff back together and pull more ivy off the garage.

Then I have to scrape the excess paint off the glass windows on the door. Why it has windows I don’t know, but it is an old door.

It’s barely functional. The newly painted door on the detached garage is heavy. It was never easy to lift, and since the day I heard something break inside, it has been harder.

It might be fixable but that would require me to actually go inside the overstuffed garage — if I could raise the door.

Maybe my next project will be cleaning out the garage. Shouldn’t take more than a month at two hours a day.