Public Service Announcement on Painting Old Brick

A modern hand scraper and wire brush can strip peeling, mildewy paint from a concrete basement wall almost easily — at least, much easier than when I was a kid and had to do the same job with a pointed stick and piece of chalk. The equipment comes with warnings in big black letters. “Wear Goggles!” “Wear Gloves!” “May Sever Fingers!” And so on. You don’t want to get a flying paint chip in your eye.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a warning that says “Keep Mouth Shut.”

Describing the taste of a hundred-year-old mildewed paint chip as “Lovecraftian” would leave me without adequate vocabulary to describe the texture.

The moral is: when you need to shut up and do the job, don’t forget the “shut up” part.

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3 Replies to “Public Service Announcement on Painting Old Brick”

  1. I have, of all things, an Israeli gas mask acquired through bootleg cassette trade with a U.S. reservist. It works great for full face coverage when working on anything that sprays undigestible buts around.

    American Science and Surplus has a horrifically ugly NATO one right now at sciplus.com for $15. There’s probably other sources.

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