Look out for those electric paint sprayers

Technology has finally saved me so much time that I may never catch up. Lured by the promise of the time-saving wonder of an electric paint sprayer, I chose to forego painting our very large porch with a paint brush.

I knew better. Never mind that this is the method that has proven both timeless and effective for hundreds of years now. I, of course, knew better.

Proving that it’s not so much the tasks of spring cleaning that tire me out, it’s all the time I save doing them that will prove my undoing.

Bright and early and ready to roll, or spray, as the case may be. With the help of the heavily advertised sprayer my work should be done in a fraction of the time. Now, where did we leave the thing?

Advertised as having “a myriad of uses around the home,” I think we last used it to prop a door open in the barn. I enter the barn and collect parts of paint sprayer from various scattered locations.

Where is that thing? As I squint through the murky gloom something (or someone) scurries across my foot. When I finish screaming and flailing my arms, I realize I am standing right next to exact part I needed. Kismet! You just can’t get that kind of thrill with standards tools can you?

I hike back to the house triumphantly with pieces gathered together and in original box with instructions – what are the chances? Things are looking good!

I ignore the ominous rattling of loose pieces coming from the box. They always throw in extra screws right?

The paint sprayer is not assembled and instructions are written in Korean with translations that read roughly “You no use water. Dangerous use while bathing.”

Assembly required. So while I don’t have a clue as to how to put this thing together, I am well advised not to do it in the bathtub. Winging it, I begin to assemble the sprayer using the only tools I can find: a butter knife, a plastic hammer, and a dime.

Assemble sprayer so that it loosely (quite literally) resembles the picture on the box . This would be the one with the smiling lady wearing crisp white blouse and slacks, holding the sprayer in one hand while she effortlessly paints her entire neighborhood in “a fraction of the time.”

Key word here: electric. Clearly my fault for not thinking to have an outlet installed in the yard. I struggle with storm window in order to run power cord through window and into available indoor outlet. I pinch fingers in process.

Having obtained my first official paint injury, I threaten to teach storm window a lesson using curse words I didn’t know I knew. I make a mental note to wash my own mouth out with soap.

Ready, set, spray. Finally, ready. Let the time savings commence! I press the button and the unit does, as promised, dispense a gorgeous mist in a fraction of the time it would take to brush on paint. Surely this is worth the expense and hassle? The ease alone is worth it!

Unfortunately, this awe-inspiring mastery of painting prowess paints exactly 3 feet, then stops. As I peer into the spray end of the nozzle to check for obstruction, the thing musters one last burst and sprays paint generously directly at my head before the nozzle falls off entirely. Why is this never pictured on the box?

Fortunately, I can put my newly developed curse words from storm window incident to good use. There is not enough soap in the house to wash out my mouth, let alone my hair.

I call the 1-800 number for sprayer’s manufacturer. The replacement part should arrive in 6-8 weeks.

OK, where’s the brush. Awestruck at the amount of time I’ve saved already, I head back to the barn. Surely there’s a paintbrush out there somewhere? No assembly required.

(Kymberly Foster Seabolt is going to revert to squandering time the good, old-fashioned way. She welcomes comments c/o kseabolt@epohi.com or P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460.)

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

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