It’s a simple instrument. It’s a rod of steel with what looks like stubby helicopter rotors at one end. It’s used with a power drill. It stirs paint.
I tore it out of its packaging, noting the instructions on the back of the cardboard. Instructions? For this? You’ve got to be kidding!
I shooed the dog out and got busy. I gave the drill’s trigger a few experimental squeezes. The blades flashed impressively. I pulled the trigger with purpose and plunged the tool into the paint.
My wife is used to me making small messes when I engage in a household chore. This mess, however, turned out to be apocalyptic.
The instructions were at the bottom of the trash and I didn’t need to retrieve them. I can write my own. In order to save my reader a good deal of grief, here they are:
If your drill is bidirectional, make sure it’s going to spin in the correct direction. The tool is designed to force the paint toward the bottom of the can. If it’s spinning counterclockwise it will force the paint toward the top of the can. You are then faced with a volcano spewing colorful lava in every direction.
Go slow. If yours is a variable-speed drill, start at the slowest speed and gradually increase it. This method allows you to observe the effects of your actions before they become unmanageable.
Put the tool in the paint before you turn the drill on. This is most important. Otherwise you encounter spouting paint before your mind can grasp what is happening.
My first thought: I’ve got to clean this up before my wife gets home. My second thought: I won’t get this mess cleaned up until the cows come home.
I had certainly painted the kitchen walls. And the ceiling. And the floor, the cabinets, the sinks and the appliances. All in one fell swoop. A blue stripe encircled the entire room but for a small section of wall directly behind me.
I heard a sigh. I turned to see that the dog had returned to check on my progress. When she turned to walk away I swear she shook her head. Then I noticed she had been standing in a puddle of paint. Blue paw prints followed her across the living room carpet.
At least my mishaps are color coordinated.