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Food and drink for some painters

Listed under Blog Posted Oct 02 2008

UPDATED 5/5/2020

Real food and drink for some painters

After paint, a big topic for painters is food and drink, the comestible stuff. We have had whole blogs dedicated to pot noodles and cuppa soup. Oh the nuances of flavours, the sheer pleasure of scalding chemical liquid on cold days. Starting out in the trade, I never knew how lucky I was to be offered a hot cooked lunch. Sat down at the table with the family I was working for, I never appreciated that the older you get, the less that happens!

Then there are the freak episodes, very strange food and drink for some painters.

Food and drink for one painter was literally paint

The lecturer had told an apprentice at college to fetch a gallon of oil-based Buckingham Green gloss paint. It was on the top shelf of an 8-feet high cupboard. He over-stretched, the can tipped and it fell upside down, emptying its full contents over his head. Luckily it didn’t brain him, just drenched him from head to toe. Everyone in the workshop was laughing like drains, except the lecturer. He wanted to laugh too, but realised that it was actually quite dangerous if the green painter swallowed the paint.

The lad broke with tradition and actually kept his mouth shut for once. He survived unscathed even after concerned staff had doused him down with turps. It was one way to get off home early, I suppose.

Paint and alcohol

Maybe unfairly, but in my experience, painters in the US have a reputation for drinking on the job. This explains why it is an unfair claim! Anecdotally, if you fancy a tipple at work, I’d suggest you get a job not as a painter working at height.

In the UK,  the first time you worked drunk on site would be your last. Health and Safety innit.

Paint and milk

Back in the day, painters used to drink milk in the morning as a matter of course. This was not to line their stomach prior to a drinking binge. Before my time, they drank milk to coat their stomachs as protection against lead paint fumes. If you want a perspective on how tough life was for painters of olde, read the Ragged Trousered Philanthropist. Lead was the least of their problems.

Painters and filling food

Painters enjoy their breaks, especially if there is food involved. Bananas are good for boosting ebbing energy reserves. A contractor boasted that he’d gone in for a banana-eating competition and won. All well and good, except the sting in the tail was that he ended up off work for 3 months with potassium poisoning. Apparently 30 bananas will do that to a man, even a painter!

I was working on a site where the night watchman was suspected of eating left-over sandwiches and food. Hardly a crime, but to prove the hunch, one charming painter left him a couple of delicious beef and Polyfilla sandwiches. That flushed him out. It was very filling too.

Do you have any food or drink stories? 

Food and drink, colloquially speaking

Painting kitchen cabinets is food and drink to Traditional Painters. After 20 to 30 years’ experience, refurbishing an older pine kitchen holds no secrets.

We have members who have mastered spray painting. Food and drink is a bare MDF kitchen to prime and paint before finishing with the hand painted topcoat. Even a spray painted piano is not too much for Ron Taylor!

And give a plain surface to one of our faux painting specialists, and they will get stuck in with glee and turn it into a marbled or grained finish.

From pot noodle to primed doors, it’s all food and drink to us.

Cheers and bon appetit.

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