The brush moves back and forth as if under its own power after a while. Painting is a kind of hypnotic therapy driven by nothing more stimulating the porch rail becoming a little bit brighter. The Canadian Pacific grey soot slowly becomes white and shiny, new and clean. Years of weather are buried by another layer of acrylic polymer, ready to start again. It may not be sexy, fun, or even worth writing an essay about, but basic maintenance such as painting the porch every few years is absolutely required if you want to have a nice porch to enjoy the rest of the time.

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