I'm pretty sure everyone has old paint. You know the kind, the cans that have been sitting in the garage for literally forever—so long that no one really remembers where the paint came from or what it was used for (if anything). They just seem to appear and then sit there for years gathering dust and cobwebs. Someday you’re going to get your act together and haul them off…just not today. Or even this year.
The Clan has a bunch of paint cans like that, except we intentionally got ours. This probably sounds a little dumb, because why would you actually seek out more dibs and dabs of old paint to fill your garage with? Don’t we have enough already? But actually, at the time we bought thirty+ cans of old paint off of Craigslist, we didn’t have any paint lying around and we needed some.
This isn’t going to turn into some super DIY post, though, so don’t get your hopes up. We didn’t make something magically awesome and innovative with that old paint—Dad just needed it to use on his beehives. He’s constantly building new boxes and other parts for his beehives, and these last longer and hold up better if they’re painted. Free paint works just as well for this job as any other kind of paint, especially since we really don’t care what color we’re using.
And we did get quite an assortment. After Mom went through and sorted out the cans that were so empty or dried up that they wouldn’t be any good, we still had twenty or more cans of paint in a whole bunch of different colors—mostly colors that weren’t particularly attractive. I mean, brown is a nice color, but if you get just the right shade of tan, it looks a lot like puke.
Still, we’ve been gradually working through them for the past several years and have used up quite a lot of it. Thanks to our old paint, we’ve been able to paint most of Dad’s new beehives pale green.
There are also some blue boxes, and as you can see in this picture, we've even got a few lids that are light pink. Let’s just say our beehives are distinctive and leave it at that.
But besides painting beehives, Dad’s been able to use that paint for a couple of other outdoor projects. For instance, a couple years ago Cob and Pete had the ambitious idea of building a small shack in our fruit orchard. With Dad’s help they were able to finish this, and then they got to pick some colors to paint it with. As you can see in the picture below, they decided on a nice bright blue for the main building and then a vivid orange/red for the door.
|I like to think they ran out of blue paint and had to choose another |
color for the door, but apparently they just planned it this way.
Dad’s also built several wheeled chicken tractors for us to keep the chickens in over the summer and fall. These needed several coats of paint as well, so it was back to the old paint cans. Mom painted one of the tractors in a pretty neutral shade of brown, and another in a very pale blue (same as the beehives). But for the last one, she mixed up a very eye-catching flamingo pink and gave it several coats of that.
The chickens don’t seem to mind though, so I guess it’s okay. At least this way you can’t mix them up. We always know what we’re talking about when we say "Flamingo Tractor."
Today our paint status is still pretty intense: fifteen or more cans are still living in our garage. My guess is that we’ll eventually use them all up on beehives and chicken sheds and whatever else Dad decides to build. The kids might decide to expand on the shack in the orchard, or maybe Dad will build some new picnic tables or something. One way or another, I think we’ll find a use for it all eventually. After all, we don’t really care if we have green beehives and pink chicken tractors. Old paint does the job just fine, regardless of what the color happens to be.