Last year (2020), a while after the end of the first lockdown, we ventured into a discount store (Home Bargains) for some essentials – including 2 tins of white exterior gloss paint. I had plans for painting the back gate, the garage side door and my husband’s shed door.

But I never got around to it!

Fourteen months later – after re-painting a few walls, and waiting for a second heatwave so we can wash and seal our patio – with today forecast to be warm and sunny with absolutely NO rain over North Wales, I made a start.

The first thing was to wash both sides of the gate, and the outside of the side door to the garage (one of these days I’ll paint the inside). Once they were washed and dried, I could have stopped there. They’d come up really well and the white paint wasn’t discoloured. But I’d planned on painting them this year (knowing I won’t have time next year due to studying) – so I was going to do just that.

Then it stared spitting with rain and the wind got up, which meant I wasn’t going to risk painting the public side of the gate as the wind hits that first. Wet paint and flying leaves do not mix.

But the inside of the gate and the garage door are under cover; provided the gate remained closed – or just open enough for me to paint the edges without getting paint on the walls I painted a couple of weeks ago. I gathered my brush, stepladder, bucket (to stand the paint tin in), piece of cardboard (to catch any drips), and wheelie bin (to stand the bucket on when I’m up the 2-step stepladder), opened the first tin, stirred it , and . . .

. . . thought ‘This paint has a yellow tinge, but the label says brilliant white’.

But any paint was better than no paint, so I carried on!

Here, I’ve painted the top section with the new paint, and though it’s difficult to see here, that paint is NOT brilliant white. But I’d started so I was going to finish!

Then I moved on to the garage door. A panelled door that was the front door of the house, with a small glass panel, when we moved in and changed it for something that let in more light. It’s fiddly to paint. I started by painting each border around the panel, then the panel, then moving on to the next. When I’d painted two panels one above the other, I painted the bar between.

Here, I’ve painted the top three panels and the middle two and you can see that the paint is cream rather than white; with the unfortunate result that the grey walls look greyer.

When I’d finished painting, the gate still looked cream rather than white, but an hour later, it’s changing colour. Now the top and left side (the first sections painted) look white, while the right side, bottom and diagonal rails still look cream, as does the garage door.

I told you it was magic paint!