Mr. Bainter the Painter Returns

Last fall, we had the inside of our house painted — at least most of it. Since we moved into our house in 1993, we painted the kitchen three or four times. All of our bedrooms had been painted at some point. But the rest of the house was the color of dirty snow, the same color it was when we first walked into the house. Our painter — whose name is decidedly NOT Mr. Bainter — was extraordinarily competent and thorough. He arrived every morning promptly at 8, unless he had to stop at the paint store. He left every evening promptly at 4:30. He worked in our house so long I was beginning to think he would show up at our Thanksgiving dinner.

At long last — after nearly a month — he finished. Our house was beautiful. The inside of our house at any rate. Unfortunately, the outside needed paint, and we knew another paint job was inevitable.

The time arrived this past Monday, when our painter — whose name, remember, is not Mr. Bainter — arrived to begin power washing our house. This thoroughness is one of the things I like about our painter. I’m sure all professional house painters start with a power wash. Others, however, might not get up on the ladder and say things like, “Holy crap, did you know your gutters are about two-thirds full of leaves?” and immediately begin cleaning them out.

Sure, work such as this will add some to the total cost of our job. The thing is, our gutters actually were two-thirds full of honey locust leaves, preventing them from doing their job properly. Sometimes it’s nice to be told what to do, even if it’s by someone you hardly know.

Yesterday, he arrived at our door with a can of paint and a handful of paint samples. We had showed him our initial choices which Bill had painted on the back wall. I’m pretty sure he threw up a little in his mouth. What he lacks in subtlety, he makes up for in earnestness. He didn’t hesitate to tell us that the yellowish-tan we were considering would make our house look like a gigantic banana when it was finished with that color. Good to know. The color of the paint in the can he proudly carried turns out to be perfect, and it’s the color we chose. Benjamin Moore’s Monroe Bisque, in case anyone is interested. He was pushing for dark brown trim, but I think we’re going to hold firm to something in the gray range. He’s not the boss of me.

Since it’s Day 3 and he’s still working on gutters, I think he might be pushing for Thanksgiving Dinner again this year.

By the way, Mr. Bainter the Painter was on that childhood program that clearly shaped who I am — Captain Kangaroo. According to Wikipedia, the man who played Mr. Bainter the Painter also played the Dancing Bear. He must have been a good actor, because the two don’t look at all alike. I know all hearts are filled with the deserving Mr. Rogers these days, but I will tell you that I spent a considerable amount of time with the Captain and Mr. Green Jeans.

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