Pandemic Ponderings #23

Beware the simple task!Painting the decking is a simple task, it usually takes me a day of moving stuff, cleaning, painting and moving stuff back. In normal times getting supplies is a simple matter of going to the local industrial estate to click and collect.We were fooled by two half full cans of our favourite decking paint in the shed. Two of them should have rung alarm bells but it didn’t. Given the luxury of time the deck painting this year has the added glamour of a borrowed power washer, a scrub with soap and some gentle moisturising.With two of us painting this was going to be simple. We would each start at opposite ends and meet in the middle.All went well, the sunshine was fabulous and we made good progress. The paint looked a little different from what we were painting over but we were confident of drying resolving any concerns. Drying did not present us with a gorgeous dark charcoal. More like the charcoal of a barbeque, multicoloured from white to black.The decking paint possibly from two different summers had not overwintered well. On reflection our decking takes a tin and a bit to give good coverage. We had used the partial left over tins left from two previous seasons. Loads of time made us hugely tolerant. We would just consider this an undercoat.In Britain DIY businesses are running click and collect services during the lock down so buying a new supply of our regular Decking Paint shouldn’t have been a problem. Well that was a rabbit hole I hadn’t expected to disappear down for quite so long.Locating the paint was easy enough on many sites but having it in my basket and purchasing it any time before Christmas proved to be impossible. It seemed a multi grey deck would be the look for us this year. To say nothing of the stern warnings about my frivolous purchase being way down on anyone’s delivery schedule. In the face of such opposition I gave up.Our town has one of those huge, cheap outlet stores for food and many other random things you didn’t know you needed. We were in there for some essentials when Charcoal decking paint from an unknown brand grabbed our attention.So cheap we couldn’t not buy it. Two tins so we could use the same technique of both painting at the same time. Not all Charcoals are the same, this one was quite a vivid, lively grey. Not our thing at all but needs must and we finished the job, same technique. When we met in the middle we matched. Then the internet got involved. What you need with grey decking apparently is a ‘ pop’ of vivid orange. Asking an artist for vivid opens up a world of tangerine/orange/ yellow/red or in our case some old theatre prop paint in fluorescent orange. Swifter than you can say Seedless Jaffa an old fruit box that we use as a garden coffee table was turned into a fluorescing creation of truly orange vibrancy.In a heartbeat the decking was restocked with chairs for five people , the vibrating orange table and various planters. Not only that but the cheap out of town store had forced us to buy solar panel Christmas lights, so at night we twinkle,and like something from science fiction the fruit box glows.The simple job took 4 days …

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