Nevertheless, when I turned around, filled with the satisfaction of a completed project, there they were. Paint splatters. Tiny but numerous. On the back of the house and, most prominently, on the back door. My immediate response was a panicked attempt to wipe the paint off. Unsuccessful. Next, I tried an abrasive scrubbing pad. No good. What to do?
And it was vital that the paint splatters be removed before being noticed by any family members. Otherwise, I'd never hear the end of it. For the remainder of my days, every time I picked up a can of spray paint, I would have to endure a re-telling of my misfortune. A cautionary tale for the ages. This had to be avoided.
So I quietly entered the house, remembering to appear "casual" if anyone should walk in, and gathered some rags, a bucket, and a product which had been sitting under the sink and which boldly promised to clean almost any stain. Almost.
Then, in desperation, I grabbed a bottle of turpentine from the shed and tried that. Nothing. At this point, I considered the possibility of doing a commercial for this particular brand of spray paint. Because once it attached itself to something, it clearly wasn't going anywhere. I briefly wondered how much such a commercial might pay; enough to have the house professionally painted?
Then, I realized something. It was mid-October. Summer was over. I was now the only person still spending time on the deck. The cat and I. Maybe I didn't have to do anything right away. And so the paint splatters went ignored and thankfully unnoticed throughout the remaining fall and winter months. Periodically, I found myself hoping the cold might freeze them off. Or perhaps the blowing snow and freezing rain might deliver a sand-blasting effect to the back of my house. But no.
The warmth arrived and the paint splatters were still there. Any day now I might be sharing the deck with others, and while they are not the most observant group of people, they might actually notice black paint on blue and grey. The time had come to act. Luckily, my winter sand-blasting fantasies had given me an idea. The next best thing to sand-blasting: sandpaper.
It was one of the few times I've been happy that most homes on the East Coast are made of plastic. Or more accurately, vinyl. The sandpaper worked brilliantly on the vinyl siding. Sure, if you look closely, there are some scratches. But if no one noticed black paint, they're not likely to notice those. I was thrilled. Apparently, hibernating on the problem over the winter had paid off.
But not entirely. The sandpaper that had worked so well on vinyl was a total failure on a steel door. There was only one solution remaining. More paint. If you can't clean it, conceal it. Off to the basement. To the land of leftover paint.
I'm feeling quite pleased with myself. I wonder if anyone would notice if I painted jack-o-lanterns along the bottom.