Three Painted Pillars

Painting a house is redemptive.

We’re nowhere near finished, but we’ve painted the three pillars in our backyard.

We’ve sanded these pillars three times. They have cracks and gaps from faulty pine and the rain splinters every time. It splatters across the paint and leaves hard water stains. Each time we sand -- you’re thinking, each? and yes, at least three times -- we wipe the posts down and fill the crevices with putty, sometimes epoxy. It’s never an easy process. It involves kneepads and split skin on my fingertips. We use TSP (which makes my hands dry) to wipe down the posts before we paint.

Primer first, which the wood soaks up into a gauzy white. Once it dries we paint on dark gray. It goes on speckled with two rolls, covered on three.

They’re gratifying layers and we've worked hard for each. These pillars are unlike the rest the house. There will be one more coat. And then upkeep. Every time it rains.

Mom spackling the backyard pillars.

Mom spackling the backyard pillars.