The Handicraftsman’s Guide to Painting

Now, some of you might not know this, but I am a master Handicraftsman. (You know handy-mans and craftsmans? They’re below the rarely-obtained level of Handicraftsman. It’s kind of like the super-secret über black-belt in karate. In fact, we make the Freemasons look like chumps.) I rarely show people the extent of my abilities, since, if I did, I’d be out there painting and building everything people ask me to. Which would be a lot.

My last project.

If you doubt me, here is a picture of one of my constructions. You may question why the picture is in black-and-white, and my answer would be: Because in order to showcase that which is art, you must present it as art. Note the subtle use of nouveau-trash. I bet you don’t even know about that architecture style. Don’t feel bad, not many people do. It’s French. The structure – which I refer to as the Irony Heap – took four months of planning, three months to construct the frame, and an additional three months to construct the exterior. Yes, ten months may seem a long time to spend on a single construction, but I assure you: When you’re a Handicraftsman, time becomes something that’s secondary to perfection.

But I’m not coming at you today to talk about how to build something so striking as the Irony Heap. I’m here to talk to you today about the proper way to paint the exterior of a home. Or, if you need to, a car. They’re one and the same thing, and you use the same paint to cover each of them.

You see, my Mom is painting the front doors of her condo in Nashville and, as her son, I realized that it was my duty to help her. (Well, she told me this would take the place of rent, so it’s very much the same thing.) Without further ado – or, adieu, ah ha, ha – I present the Handicraftsman’s Guide to Painting.

Step 1 – Get You Some Paint

There is much debate in the Handicraftsman community about the best sort of paint to use when painting the exterior of your structure. But, basically, the debate boils down to choosing watercolors or spray paint. Now, I believe both work well. Indeed, spray paint will get the job done faster than watercolors, but I believe that, if one wants to make a statement with the exterior of your home, car, or tomb, then watercolors are the best way to go. The reasons are obvious: Vibracity of the colors. The subtle undertones of childhood. Or because water is free, and watercolors are cheap.


The preferred method

Now, it goes without saying that you should choose colors that speak to you. Unlike spray paint, watercolors come in a range of colors, usually arranged in darks, lights, or the kindergarten variety. You can’t tell it by the picture, but I’m a fan of darks.

If, however, you’ve chosen to cover the exterior of your home, hovel, shack, or hut in spray paint, well, I hope you like monochromatic dwellings.

Step 2 – Lay Down Your Base Layer

After returning from Home Depot or Wal-Mart or your local school supplies shop, depending on which method you chose, you’ll realize that you forgot to get something to cover the dwelling/car before you lay down the colored paint. Don’t feel stupid, this is one of the Laws of the Universe. (L-U-291029, if you feel like taking a trip to Alpha Centauri to look it up.) Anyway, you’ll face the realization that you do, in fact, need a base layer. We aren’t sure why, even in the Handicraftsmans Guild. It’s one of The Unsolvable Mysteries.

As with paints, there are many opinions on what to use for this base layer. The formal contingent of the Handicraftsmans’ Guild will insist that it be a sort of primer. Those in the avaunt-guard, like myself, will tell you that there are many ways to go about choosing a base layer. For instance, I prefer White-Out. White-Out is cheaper than primer, is more readily available, and much more proletariat-friendly. (After all, not everyone is a Handicraftsman, and not everyone can be asked to go out to a paint store and buy primer.) If you’re going the White-Out way, I recommend getting a metric shitton of the liquid, as you’ll need it. If you can find a place that sells White-Out by the trough, that’s probably your best bet. It should be noted that you are not limited to the brush that comes with the bottle of White-Out. I prefer to use it, because that gives me the attention to detail I prefer. Some, however, may want to use paint rollers. At no point, though, should one use a regular paint brush to apply a base layer. That is an Unforgivable Sin.

After procuring the necessary amount of White-Out, you’ll need to start laying it down. Get your paint brush, apply it to the area near the windows, since you’ll want to take care of the hard stuff first. Apply the first coat and – oh, shit.

Step 3 – Put Painter’s Tape Around Windows

You’ve just come across another Law of the Universe (L-U-27931) which states, essentially, that anyone who paints will, at some point during the process, forget to apply painter’s tape around windows. Never fear, you’ve gone ahead and gotten it out of the way, so after putting some tape around the edges of the windows, you’re good to go.

(A quick word: The purpose of painter’s tape is not, as some would have you believe, to keep paint from covering windows as you, like a home-improvement hurricane, go around smearing watercolors and spray paint everywhere, but to make your house look like a beacon of Zionism. I’m breaking one of the Protocols by telling you this, my goyisher friend, but you should probably know. Painter’s tape is blue, your base layer is white, and the combined result makes your home look like the Israeli flag. The Elders, in their six-sided space station, see this from a satellite feed and laugh.)

Now, after you’ve placed the painter’s tape around the windows, go ahead and finish off the base layer by smearing the exterior of whatever it is you’re painting with primer or White-Out.

Some avaunt-guard Handicraftsmans like to leave their projects like this.

Once that’s done, your dwelling should look something like what’s pictured to the right. “But Aaron,” you may be saying. “That’s clearly a stolen picture of a shack in a snowstorm.”

“Well, yes,” I respond. “But your house should still look like it.”

“Are you going to attribute the source?”

“Probably not. Good thing there’s a watermark in there, right?”

After your dwelling looks like it’s taken a long holiday on the planet Hoth, you should congratulate yourself. You’ve passed the point where a sane individual would have long ago given up, driven out to the local barrio, and hired a bunch of day laborers to get the project done. Or, barring that, had a nervous breakdown and asked themselves why they thought it was a good idea to buy a wood house instead of a brick house.

After taking a deep breath, passing out, and waking up from the coma that followed inhaling so much White-Out at once (it’s a character-building experience), you should now proceed to the next step.

Step 4 – Lay Down the First Layer

Wait, you’ve chosen what color to paint your house or car, haven’t you?

Oy, you nebbisher! You’re bupkes!

Step 5 – Choose a Good Color

This is one of those things for which I can’t hold your hand, guiding you like a lame dog through the dangers of kindergarten. Okay, that analogy fell flat.

Anyway, the choice is up to you. If you’d like to exude power, confidence, a general don’t-fuck-with-meness, then pink is your color.


Pictured: A man with whom you don’t start shit.

For instance: I know several bodybuilders and musical theatre actors who drive and love their pink vehicles and houses. You should dread both groups. One will crush your skull in their mighty, mighty biceps, and the other could probably lift you over their head while their bodybuilding friends laugh steroid-inflected laughs.

If, however, you want to go the more subtle route, then your only option is camouflage. Preferably with racing stripes and/or flames. And yes, that goes double for houses. The only thing better than a house is one that’s hidden.


Sadly, "Panzer IV" is not a paint option.

Step 6 – Lay Down the First Layer

This step is pretty self-explanatory. Now that your base layer is good and dry, and the painter’s tape is applied, all you have to do is paint over wherever you see white. Imagine that Whitey – represented by the base layer – has done you wrong, and your Power Pink or Cool Camo will wipe Whitey out once and for all.

NOTE:, or its affiliates, do not advocate a race war.

This step may take a long time, and for guidance in this endeavor, we turn to The Handicraftsmans’ Guide:

What you’ll want to do, as you stand in your yard/in front of your car is to kill yourself, call a contractor, or hire professional painters. Don’t do this. This is how They win. Instead, get a bottle of good Scotch and promise yourself a swig for every well-painted square foot. This will keep you motivated and, if it’s cold while you’re painting, warm.

So, with your favorite tipple in hand – mine is Glenfidditch – set to work!

Step 7 – Apply Layers 2 – 50

This may seem excessive, but you want to make sure every damn spot of base layer is covered and the surface is a uniform color. Some weak-willed individuals may try to tell you that applying fifty layers of paint is “excessive” or “stupid,” but they’re not Handicraftsmans, are they? Your goal is not to change the color of the house. Your goal is to provide another layer of insulation that happens to be a pleasing color.

Imagine, for example, a group of children are playing near your house/car/tomb/shack and they have the gall to bump, or scrape, the outside of your dwelling/vehicle. If you’d only put one layer of paint on that bastard, then chances are they’d have scraped off some paint. However, if you’d have put fifty layers down, not only would you not have heard any damage being done, but you wouldn’t have to worry about any damage showing up on the exterior. Wost case scenario, they’d only have chipped off a part of one or two layers of paint.

Step 8 – Get Drunk

After laying down fifty layers of paint, you’ll need it.


UPDATE: 10-25-10, When writing this I did not know that “handicraftsman” was an actual, legitimate term for someone. That said, we can take two lessons out of this: First, no offense meant to any handicraftsmen out there–I’m sure none of you would actually cover a houseor car in White-Out. Second, always do your research when writing something.

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