Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Wall . . . It Is . . . Perhaps . . . Not . . . Natural

Please note the One Coat Guarantee.
We've used Kilz brand paint for just about ever.
It isn't that we are particularly brand-loyal. It all comes down, in the end, to just hating to repeat ourselves.
Shana and I like to place paint on a wall, wait for it to dry, then hang stuff on it and push the furniture back into place.
We are not about painting a surface, waiting, then painting the same surface again, then repeating the whole wait/paint process until the job is "over".
We paint and we get on with our lives.
Kilz has been really good about enabling our lifestyle in this way.
In Houston, our bedroom went from white (yawn!) to vibrant, angry red in an afternoon. Gwynyth's room went from the same boring white to lavender in a similar time frame.
Our old family room went from big long white walls to four different earth tones in a single pass.
Going into the de-yellowfication process for the new Global Headquarters, we were confident in the ability of Kilz to reduce the number of steps involved in the same way they always had.
And yet.
Covering a yellow with a darker color seems like it would be pretty easy.
Getting a black Sharpie stain out of a white shirt pocket (no pocket protector jokes, please) is pretty much impossible, while initially covering a section of the white 100% cotton broadcloth with black pigment is almost laughably easy.
The same applies to walls, since white walls and white shirts co-exist in the same segment of reality.
The walls in the Global Headquarters do not exist in this same space.
The first "coat" of Kilz was more of a pizza stain quality than one of uniform one-coat coverage.
Yellow would bleed through red. A lot.
The second coat would also bleed through, if we waited a crazy amount of time for the first coat to dry. If it was at all tacky, the first coat would peel up around the roller, exposing yellow ever-so-slightly pigmented pink, like brain matter, but flattened.
The third coat achieved something like uniformity, but only if we applied enough paint to actually form drips on the wall.
In all, it took about five coats.
A total of four gallons of one-coat coverage, not-cheap paint for one room.
The three trips to the paint store were made tolerable by timing them during the tedious drying cycle.
We debated for the first several hours of the project about what could cause it. The humidity is lower here. The airflow is good. The walls were clean and free of texture.
The roller and brushes and edging tools are all exactly the same as the kind used in Texas.
It was a total mystery.
By the second day, the discussion died away in favor of resigned sighs and occasional grunts of effort as the ladder was dragged around the room again or someone decided that jumping with the roller against the wall was an acceptable way of getting another coat on the high-up parts.
I've decided to go with the traditional response to the unknown. In the case of non-sticking paint, I've come to the tribal decision that the walls are haunted.
Bad spirits dwell there, no doubt.
Our total lack of goat sacrifices has resulted in arduous labor forced upon us by the drywall ancestors.
Sure, you could say that there might be an issue with the overall surface and lack of prep, but there are millions of years of tradition which firmly put the blame for the unknown on hostile spirits.
And possibly yeti.
Though I personally think paint would stick pretty well to a yeti.
If you were going to paint crytozoological creatures.
Which I am not.
I doubt the Loch Ness Monster would take paint at all, what with the glossy black hide.
You could totally coat a chupacabra, probably.
Not that I endorse that.


Anonymous said...

You are using a latex paint (Kilz) over an oil based paint, which will not stick. Use an oil based paint to cover oil based paint. Use a latex paint to cover latex paint.
It's all in the chemistry.

Much love and wishes for your safety during this storm.
Shabbat Shalom, and hugs and kisses to all.

Garrick said...

Chemistry? Bad magic!

Shabbat Shalom, Sabrina. We miss you guys.