Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Water-soluble paint

I'm not a painter. I have very little creative talent. Analytical, yes. Creative, no.

My kitchen had been painted by the previous owners. The wooden cabinets were painted with paint. Not stained to enhance the grain, but painted. I don't agree with painting wood that way, but it was their house at the time and that's what they liked. I can appreciate that. Three years ago I decided to paint over their paint. I would have like to just replace the cabinets, but it was cost prohibitive. In an effort to make the decor a bit more my taste (after 7 years), I bought a color that was different from what it was and put the baby in the backpack and painted the cabinets - right over the paint already on them. I had no idea.

I had no idea that I needed to prep the cabinets. I did wash them, but I didn't know that I needed to "rough it up" somehow to make the paint adhere to the already there paint. (I had mentioned to the hardware store guy what I was doing and he did NOT volunteer any information, which is a bit disappointing.) I painted day after day, coat over coat, sponged some of them and left others a straight coat. With the last couple cabinet doors left under the sink, I let the 2 bigger kids (6 and 3, at the time) paint. They did a great job.

Now the paint has peeled and it looks like yuck. Some of them still look nice, but the ones where food drips or where kids run into them ... well, the paint just peels right off. Sigh. I didn't know. I had NO idea that more needed to be done. I actually have no idea how to prep the surface to re-paint either.

That being said, I openly admit that I know nothing about paint. Well, almost nothing. I mean, there is this thing called water-soluble paint. They are not water-based, but clean up easily with water. So, if you are going to do a craft with the kids or do some painting indoors and want easy clean-up, this may be the paint for you. Just be sure that you are using it on something that won't be getting wet so that your project won't be ruined. Would I use this on my cabinets? No. Because food splatters, drinks spill, and the unexpected is expected to happen. I don't want the paint streaked or dissolved.

However, apparently it's cheaper than more durable paints. And apparently no one in my state's Department of Transportation audits the local municipalities' uses of paint for painting the lines in the road. You know, those lines that separate the lanes? Not only the dotted lines between lanes going the same direction, but also those of turn lanes and the single or double-yellow lines to separate the on-coming traffic. Have you ever driven on a road. in the dark. in the rain. with no lines? It is very difficult to gage where one lane ends and another begins. Especially when the drivers around you are poor at gaging the same thing and the car next to you is way too far away from the curb and that on-coming car is clearly driving down the middle of the road!

What is my point here? That my local village, which has just about no money at all right now, has roads where the lines are completely worn away. When this was brought up for discussion at a local traffic and safety commission meeting (brought up by one of the commissioners, by the way), the village representative stated that the village uses water-soluble paint because it is less expensive than the reflective paint and reflective tape that the village cannot afford. (He went on to say that the road being discussed would be resurfaced next year, so it should get reflective tape at that time, but until then it be without lines) So, what he basically said is that the lines will wash away in the rain fade because of the type of paint and safety will be compromised and nothing will be done about it at this time.

I simply could not believe that it is acceptable in any way to use water-based paint for lane designation on any road.

(I apologize for mis-use of this blog. It is supposed to be representative of the view(s) of my child(ren), while this post is clearly my own. Regardless, I had to get this off my chest.)


  1. Water based paint for road markings? Wow. That's a whole new level of dangerous...and stupid on their part. I can see using it temporarily, like for a few weeks or so until a construction project is completed, but oy.

    I'm sorry about your cabinets. You could strip them down to their natural wood and seal them. Though that is labor intensive!

  2. I wanted to stop by and say thank you for your comment on A Southern Fairytale's blog last week. I have been meaning to get over to your blog to say thank you, but life kept getting in the way. Your comment touched me and I just wanted to let you know that.. I couldn't find your email address so I am commenting (sorry- hope you don't mind)