This Old Wall
As we Americans proceed with building a wall and making Mexico pay for it, I’m wondering if our wall’s accounting team has included the cost of painting the wall in the estimate we’re providing to Mexico. Needless to say, I hope so. Not only can a coat of paint improve the the look of a barrier wall, it can also help extend the wall’s life. Who wants to spend fifteen to twenty billion dollars on a wall only to see water and sun damage erode it in a couple of short decades? Not me, and certainly not any of the Mexicans whose tax dollars are paying for this wall.
Of course, I don’t know any Mexicans whose tax dollars are paying for any wall. However, I know that Mexicans are a proud people who like their walls to be well-built and colorful, lasting for years in the scorching heat of the US-Mexico border region. Therefore, it’s clear we should plan to paint the wall.
As someone who has painted many walls in my house (none of which Mexico paid a dime for!), I can tell you that the first thing we need to understand is what our wall is going to be made of. No painter in his right mind chooses paint without knowing the substrate onto which he’ll be laying his master strokes. In our case, let’s assume we’re talking about beautiful wall of concrete. Now, between the time when the first section of our 1,000-mile-long beautiful wall is built and we go back to paint it, years will have past, so it’s going to have collected dust, grime, and bullet holes, so I recommend cleaning the wall with a solution of tri-sodium phosphate and some fresh Rio Grande water. Next, concrete can be a little tough to work with, so I recommend scuffing the 1,000-mile long wall with some beautiful 80 to 100 grit sandpaper. This will allow the sealer to adhere better. Once the whole 1,000 mile-long length of beautiful concrete barrier is properly scuffed, you can go ahead and apply your sealer. I recommend sealing with two coats. It’s a lot of work, but using a roller will really help move things along!
Wait a minute, did you forget to clean and scuff up the American side of the wall too? Whether our Mexicans friends can see the American side is immaterial, they still have to pay for us to scrub it, scuff it, seal it, prime it, and paint it. Do you think when the big dig happened in Boston they just left the tunnels bereft of any kind of aesthetic visuals?
Now that you’ve cleaned, scuffed, and sealed both sides of the beautiful and happy 40-foot high barricade, it’s time to get serious and lay a coat of primer on. I recommend tinting your primer to match the main coat’s color and allow for a single overcoat to be applied.
Which brings us to the most important question of all: what color should we paint our wall? Not to open up a can of worms, but shouldn’t one of us offer Mexico some color swatches to choose from?