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Yesterday I painted a house pretty much all day.  I took a short hiatus to attend a memorial bike ride for Glenda, but then went back and painted until dark.

I have to today to paint a house I owe in Central Topeka.  I got a code services notice about it needing to be painted and today is the court date at 1:30.  I’m pretty much done.

I had already scraped, sanded and cleaned it, so all that was left to do was paint.  I had a bunch of Home Depot gift cards, so just bought the paint there.  I don’t know shit about paint and when the guy told me there was a paint and primer, all-in-one, I just went with it.   It seemed to work okay, but now I’m second guessing my decision.

I’ve painted a few places and the key is preparation and the 2nd is a good primer.  I feel like I was skipping a step, but this place is in a bad area of town and I was in a rush.

I used a commercial paint sprayer and back brushed afterward.  It seemed to cover pretty good and looks alright.  I’m just worried about longevity.

There’s nothing like climbing up and down a ladder all day after racing the day before.  Ultimately, it will probably be good for my legs, but this morning I’m a little hurt.

Okay, this is short, because I have a couple more hours of work to do before I go “before the judge”.  This whole thing stinks.  I’m not much into the government telling me when to do something to a property I owe.  And in this area, a little paint isn’t going to solve a thing.

After scrapping and sanding.

After scrapping and sanding.

Last night.

Last night.

Riding from the art museum at Washburn to the Art's District in Topeka.

Riding from the art museum at Washburn to the Art’s District in Topeka.

Group shot at the University.

Group shot at the University.

18 thoughts on “Painting

  1. DK

    Your “govt telling you what to do on a property” strikes a chord. What makes it worse is the selective nature in them picking out what they may consider to be the easy marks. Elgin too has its number of properties that could use some maintenance. Many of them, and generally the worst violators, vacant from the housing bust so owned by banks. Those languish while my sister gets dinged $7500 upon the sale of her house for unaware and unpaid fines for a set of handrails that didn’t meet historic district standards.

    Also, notice you use year/month/day to identify your stories. Nice.

  2. Donald J Trump

    Ain’t nobody likn’ a slum lord that won’t take care of their property. Don’t forget to vote for me in 2016!

  3. the chopper

    What if when you walk in you recognize the Judge as that USAC official in Tulsa?

    The joys of property ownership

  4. channel_zero

    And in this area, a little paint isn’t going to solve a thing.

    So, you would have just left it then. That’s the reason people somewhere went to the trouble to draft the law.

    Don’t complain about admittedly symbolic efforts to keep a neighborhood maintained. Sell it to someone who might maintain it if you cannot be bothered.

    1. Steve Tilford Post author

      channel_zero- The law is bullshit. There isn’t a house in the city of Topeka that would meet all conditions of the 2012 Property Maintenance Code. You have to have screens on all entrances to house. That would be all doors. No cracks in the driveway or foundation. No unoccupied houses that “might” attract vagrants or children. On and on. This isn’t addressing the problems that Central Topeka has. The problem is crime. No one wants to live in a crime ridden neighborhood. Crime causes urban blight, not the other way around.

      1. gehry


        Had the owners of the dilapidated properties been taking care of business on their own, they wouldn’t have faced that kind of intervention from the city.

        You have previously spoken of your urban properties rather negatively, yet you continue to own them. They’re not good enough for you, but you’re OK with maintaining ownership. But what about the people that DO live down there? Perhaps some of them paint their homes and mow their lawns, wondering why the absentee owners around them won’t do the same. Perhaps if the land owners collectively kept up with their properties, the value might go up, eh?

        And “a little paint” x a lot of owners just might make it a place one would like to live in.

  5. Gordo

    Do you have a tenant in it or does it just sit empty? An unoccupied house invites disaster and steadily falls into ruin. Sad but true. It does look nice painted.

    1. Steve Tilford Post author

      Gordo-The house is awesome. Over 100 years old. Hardwood floors. Super nice inside. Just two blocks from a University. Just two blocks in the wrong direction.

  6. Rich W.

    “I’m not much into the government telling me when to do something to a property I ow[n]” x 100 = shitty neighborhood.

  7. Jay

    After scraping and sanding there was still a lot of old paint attached. Personally I never paint, but if I did (and had the time/energy) I’d probably use a heat gun or chemical stripper to remove the old paint.

    Steve’s deep love of the home really come though here–it makes me laugh.

  8. darkcloud

    “I’d probably use a heat gun or chemical stripper”
    I hear what you are saying but you are talking physical labor lasting for probably weeks on a project that big.
    No tank you…

  9. channel_zero

    And one hypothetical answer to unacceptable crime rates has been the “broken windows” police model that includes regulations to compel landlords to maintain their property. Does it work? I don’t know, I don’t care that much.

    My point is, if basic maintenance is too big a burden, sell the property.

    Don’t fault the city for making an effort to keep a neighborhood from declining further.

    1. gehry

      People who lived in Manhattan before Giulliani (and then during and after) will lkey tell you that the “broken window” model most certainly works.

      If you show the thugs and vandals that you actually care about your neighborhood, they tend to go hang in places where people don’t.

  10. Peter W. Polack

    Looks like the property needs a new roof, too.

    For all you know, if you maintain this property, you could be at the forefront of a gentrification of the neighborhood, which would make it safer and increase property values.

    If it’s truly as nice inside as you say, continue that theme on the outside and you may be the spark that lights the gentrification fire.

  11. Michael D. McCullough

    It’s unbelievable that you repaint all your house by brush masks. I remember how tired it was when painting my house. After having done one thirds of the wall, I must change to use paint sprayer to relieve my armache. The house complete perfectedly. And, what kind of sprayer gun you use?

  12. JR

    Bithcing about the govt telling you what to do it pretty comical & hypocritical coming from the guy with the Obama sticker on his van. Think Steve, think.


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