Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Paint Can Alley

Rubbish (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"As in digging for precious metals in the mines, much earthy rubbish has first to be troublesomely handled and thrown out; so, in digging in one's soul for the fine gold of genius, much dullness and common-place is first brought to light." ~ Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author.
Are you a packrat? Do you save the rubbish of life? I think most people do. Rarely someone saves a bit of mismatched furniture or dented oatmeal tins; when the Antique Roadshow comes to town, they discover that this rubbish was a treasure worth thousands of dollars. But do they do the sensible thing and send it right off to Southerby's for auction? No! They put it back in it's display area, or they pack it up safe and sound in a closet or a vault. They won't get rid of it, won't sell it; BUT now they have to insure it for thousands of dollars! This would never happen to me. (Continued... click read more below)

The word "treasure" most certainly would not apply to this pile of rubbish. Old paint in cans. Lids rusted shut. Rust clinging to the inner sides and rims of the cans, ready to flake off and fall into the remnants of paint, which has long since dried into a rubbery lump. If it hasn't dried up, it has at least formed a stretchy membrane over now thickened muck. I don't know why my dad keeps these. Of course, because I am his daughter, I did the same thing.

When I was getting my house in Mississippi ready to sell, there were almost ten years of dings and scratches on the walls and woodwork that needed a touch up. I had the original paint; saved in the garage. It was everything I described above and worse. What a struggle to match the original paint on the wall; and this was the easy part. The woodwork was painted with an oil based paint... almost white but with just a touch of lavender; not enough to see with the naked eye. I didn't know that oil based paints would yellow over time or that paint formulas changed and the chances of matching it, even with the exact same formula was near zero. So I mixed and played and mixed and eventually hid most of the dings with only a few areas being noticeable. I guarantee that after all that work and worry, the new owners went in and completely repainted everything. The rubbish paint I left on the shelf was thrown out. New pristine paint was applied and now...... they have their own stash of these cans in the corner of THEIR garage.

Submission for Tuesday Challenge topic "rubbish". (end of post)

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