COTANGENT – By Daphne Cardillo
I live in a very old house, like one of those wood and concrete structures of the earlier period; concrete flooring and walls on the first level then wooden flooring and walls on the second level. The jalousies on the ground floor is still made of wood giving a cooler atmosphere inside, while sliding glass panes let more light in on the upper floor.
So as with the passage of time, age and the elements have made their marks on this old house. That’s why reconstructions are done in between. A few years ago, I had a carpenter working for me for six days doing repair jobs. The inside gutter was replaced and so were the two front downspouts. When the side boards of the roof had to be changed, I had to paint the wood before mounting it so as to blend with the faded paint of the house exterior.
Thus started my venture in painting the house. I tinted the white enamel paint with silver aluminum to produce an off-white hue. This color I used on the wood for the side boards and also for the media agua at the front that was totally replaced. It was my first time to handle a roller which proved to be more efficient on a flat surface and the brushes which did their tricks on an uneven one.
Now with those newly painted fixtures rightly installed, I had to paint the exterior wall to even things out. I left out the upper level made of wood for it required a more tedious process, and also because it looked more rustic in its faded glory. I simply painted the concrete walls covering the first floor since reconstructions were done on a few section. A boy from the neighborhood I hired to scrape the old paint and wash the walls with soap and water.
This time, I had to mix a new color, and latex paint was needed for the concrete surface. Fortunately, I was able to get a suitable hue—a similar color to the interior walls but paler in shade so as to blend with the faded green on the upper half of the house exterior. Then I painted and painted and painted; from top to bottom, left to right, when the sun is not so hot. It took days to finish just two sides of the house.
The whole experience was so exhilarating especially that it was the first time for me to paint a wall and I found the activity enjoyable and challenging. Mixing colors can be a tricky job and it got to be more daunting when I had to mix several colors to get the right shade I wanted for a side wall protruding at the front. But the effect of a paint spread on the surface is amazing, giving it a clean look and an illusion of space.
Now house painting may not be a typical do-it-yourself job for women, but it is not really a heavy task. My Ninang who enjoyed the activity used to paint the interior walls of the house they were staying here before, doing the bedroom walls down to the living room and other areas with walls. She had a wooden ladder where she can sit on top and was assisted by her house help handing out to her the necessary tools and materials. Really, if painting walls was just right for me then perhaps you can find the right do-it-yourself job for you. Explore.