Sunday, August 22, 2010

painting the town red

I am not really the domestic type.  Nor do I really get into interior decorating.  But for some reason I had the urge to repaint the house.  Perhaps it was the mildew yellow color.  Or perhaps it was the fact that it looked like chalk on a cement slab (because it is).  Whatever the case may be, Alayna* and I made the executive decision to paint the house.  Well at least the bedrooms and hallway.  Not that it was really our decision to make.  Because it is Tommy's house.  But, he is in America right now.  I still haven't told him.  He'll like it. Right?

Painting in Ghana is not like painting at home. You can't just go to Sherwin Williams and whip up a batch of fabulous paint and go home with all the accessories to paint like a pro. 

Step1: The Friday before paint day we took the 1 hr tro-tro ride into Kasoa market to find a little paint stand to buy the first oil based paint we could find.  Turns out you have to mix turpentine in with it.  Then we had to find a way to get the 4 cans back to the VOH along with our other market purchases. 

Step 2: Pull a Tom Sawyer and pretend like painting is great fun and find some recruits.  Thankfully it worked.  Shaibu, Asuo, Dana, Francis, and Sualesu joined in the "fun."
Step 3: Sandpaper the walls.  Now, what should have been step 3 is take all the furniture out of the room. Because suddenly everything in my room was CAKED in yellow chalk powder.  Including my body. 

Step 4: Without the blue painters tape, drop cloths, or anything besides a brush, paint, and a pan dominate the walls.  Turns out that beige color does not look like the sample.  Thanks a lot paint man.

Step 5: We ran out of paint.  So...while I am covered in paint splotches I have to put a skirt back on and make a three hour trip to get more paint from Kasoa.  As if they don't stare at me enough when I go into "town" I had to add some paint marks. 

Step 6: Spend all afternoon repainting the ceiling white.  Turns out those boys have never painted before and let the roller of beige paint hit the ceiling on every stroke.  Or so it seemed.  Without any ladders, my perches were precarious as I made my way around the room fixing the ceiling lines in the bedrooms.

Step 7: Repaint the bathroom.  The beige looked like puke.  So it had to be re-painted white.  Finished around 1:00am.

Step 8: Sleep out in the hall with all the doors to the rooms closed, because the turpentine was about to give us cancer with the fumes. 

Thank goodness I did this all the day before I left on vacation. Let's hope the smell is gone when I come back.  Its amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to a house.  And new curtains. Did I mention that we had new ones made? Hope Tommy doesn't mind. 

*I met Alayna in 2008 at VOH.  She is currently in Ghana implementing a new curriculum  project and is stayed with me for a couple of months.

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