Anybody know a good painter?

You agree with Flannery O’Connor: a good man is hard to find.  Alas, a good house painter is nearly impossible to find.  In the early stages of the partnership, you feel so hopeful, as if you are carefully forging a friendship that may last–like in college.  And then it slowly dawns on you that such a working relationship may not be in the cards.  When you and your husband finally found painters that you could trust, who spoke your language, they seemed to literally fly by night and disappear off of the face of the earth. The company would disband, they’d fly the coop, etc., leaving us in the dust and fumes.

Typical shelf life of a painter?  About as long as a can of paint left sitting outside in dead August–it can spoil and separate.

Painters we have met thus far:

The one that howled at us in Russian when we asked  him to spray our window shutters.  Apparently they had been previously treated with oil, which proved to be a huge source of hilarity to Olaf  B.

The poor couple that aired their marital difficulties whilst trying to conjure up a navaho white for our den.

The poor dude who was dropped off each morning by his son, in a souped-up 1941 red Ford truck.  He had had a DUI or three, but was a decent faux painter back in the 90’s.

The one who you and your friends deemed, ‘the Paul Newman of Powder Springs,’ who called crying one morning to confess that he had horrible asthma, never saw his family and was quitting his job.  You wished him well and sadly bade him adieu.

During your spring renovation a few years’ back, your painting crew set up shop under a shade tree.  Everyday at noon, you would watch with awe as they would employ a small gas burner in order to whip up fresh egg migas with tortillas.  The kind of resourceful folk who’d be just fine if they happened to get stuck on a desert island.  Problem was, the old eggshells and spent limes attracted every hound in the hood.  All manner of dog fights ensued, as they tugged over the scraps left in the pyramid of saw dust from the carpenter’s saw.  In short order, your spring courtyard flower beds were soon covered not only with blue tarps, sawdust, nails, shingles, other sharp objects and debris, but also wild dogs and a hot cooktop.  At one point, when one of your tattooed pony-tailed subs stepped in the middle to break up the dog fight round five with a Red Wing boot, you felt as if you were on the edge of some sort of urban frontier.   After they completed the job, we let them go.  Forever.  Again.  Another expiration date.  Yet another startin’ all over from scratch.

Best house painter memory:  when the crew painted the family room of your old house on Peachtree Way, you left the TV on non-stop so that you all could enjoy the Braves’ winning season.

Tomorrow you will initiate yet another house painter.  Wishing everyone luck on your own house painter hunt.  And wishing the kind Paul Newman of Powder Springs all the best in his future endeavors.



A freelance writer who revels in the 1970's...and today. Thoughts on being a baby baby boomer and empty nester. Welcome to the Saturday evening porch.
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11 Responses to Anybody know a good painter?

  1. Fun post, Reeling…note for the future…crumbled up eggshells sprinkled in the garden will discourage slugs…

    We pretty much do our own painting here…


  2. Leah says:

    This is so true! Why is it so hard to find a decent painter. The only good one I’ve found is my husband.

  3. Tori Nelson says:

    Paul Newman of Powder Springs.. haha! Keeping my fingers crossed that your new painter doesn’t have asthma… or famliy issues!

  4. ryoko861 says:

    Really, it is very hard to find good help! I always have a problem with someone calling me back. I guess business is that good that they don’t need my business.

    Maybe George Clooney of Cloverhill will appear and be your knight in shining armor! And won’t have asthma, but a smile to melt your heart.

    Oh, that’s mushy!

  5. It appears I’ve missed out on some great stories by not having the house painted more often.

  6. Seriously! Fortunately, the whole dog fight thing is fairly uncommon.

  7. I think we must’ve hired the cooking crew after you! Very resourceful and messy. My experience with painters, carpenters, carpet floor installers, etc., is they are unique and special folk. Gifted at what they do but in their own timezone and universe.
    I am learning to do these things myself so I can avoid the “Twighlight Zone” moments I have experienced thus far.

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