Painting a house is always a huge undertaking in India. First, there is the budget, then choosing the colors and then, the most important, the search for a team of painters who come recommended by at least three different people and who actually have the time to do the work. Finding skilled labour is becoming a difficult job nowadays.
When we decided to paint one wall of our drawing room, finding a painter who would be willing to come for such a small job became a headache. They were charging too much and were wont to cancel at the last minute. So, we decided to take the bull by the horns and paint the wall ourselves.
I am sure my American friends can’t believe we would think so much about such a small job, but we never grew up doing stuff like this you know. So, we don’t have the tools at home for stuff like that. For wood work, we hire a carpenter; for painting a wall, we hire professional painters; for stitching clothes , we visit our friendly neighbourhood tailor and so on. Hell, even for putting a simple nail into the wall, we usually call a carpenter with a drill – unless you have wooden pegs and a hammer at home.
Thankfully, the wall did not need any scrapping or putty work, which would have definitely dampened the spirits at our first attempt at DIY.
We got all our supplies easily from the guy at the hardware shop, who was very happy to sell us rollers with a smirk on his face – at the over-confidence of the new generation no doubt. The telescopic pole helps you to reach high and the paper tape was to line the corners to protect the wall that we did not want to paint. With these few things it is possible to paint a wall (one that is not damp and requiring scarping and putty and primer work) all on your own.
After taping the corners and spreading some newspapers on the floor, adding some water to the thick paint I finally began. I chose the Sunny Yellow from Royale Asian Paints. Now I realize that I wanted a bit of orange in it – a little Mango perhaps, but sunny yellow is nice as well.
First coat, followed by a second one two hours later and we were done.
Not a shabby job, even if I say so myself. The hardest part was taping the molding on the ceiling and not going overboard with the roller in enthusiasm. It can be done and my paintings do pop out more on the wall now.
Next project will be to tackle a wall that needs scraping, putty and primer. Now, that would test my mettle.