One of these things is not like the others

One of the things that Mr. C likes doing is painting. Wether it is on a big sheet of paper or a block of wood. Some time ago, he told me that he wanted to try to paint some of his Matchbox cars. ‘They need a fresh coat’ he says.

Since I’m always on the lookout for something new to do I thought ‘Sure, why not, let’s paint some of your Matchbox cars’. We have a set of acrylic paints that are designed for kids, they’re water based and are great for painting on paper. For some reason crazy reason, I thought it would be a good idea to try to find paint that was made for metal. Why I thought this would be a good idea, I have no clue now, but at the time it seemed like a good idea. I guess I thought the water based acrylics would just get scratched off of the little cars since he uses them so often. I had no idea if there was even paint available that was made for metal that was also water based, but I thought it would be worth a look.

So, Mr. C and I took a trip to the local hobby store. This hobby store was one of those stores that specialize in things like radio control airplane kits, plastic car model kits, model train accessories and things like that. Not really a toy store, this is a store for people who know what they’re doing regarding this type of hobby. So I asked if they had any special paint for metal that was water based. To my surprise, the owner was happy to direct us to a large rack of hundreds of tiny bottles of paint. All water based. I picked out seven or eight and off we went. We’ve used them a few times, with great results.

We’ve had great results up until now, though we had not used all of the colors yet. Here are some of the bottles below. Can you see any difference between any of these bottles ?


Ok, so it might be obvious now, but I didn’t see it when I bought them. The bottle on the left, the bottle of red paint, has a different label, it’s a silver label instead of white. Why is it silver instead of white ? That’s because it’s oil based paint, not water based. This is the color that we had not used yet.

I realized the red paint was oil based as Mr. C was painting his ‘Lightning McQueen’ car on the kitchen table. (Yes, this one is not a Matchbox car, as anyone with a toddler will know. This is a somewhat more expensive tie in to the Disney movie ‘Cars’. Mr. C thought he could use a new coat of red paint. He even went so far as to cut out tiny pieces of masking tape to make sure the windshield would not get paint on it)

As he was putting on the finishing touches he says ‘This paint is very sticky’. ‘Ok, well we’ll just wash it off after we’re done’ I say. He’s old enough now that I trust him to be able to wash his hands by his self, so I send him off to the bathroom. After a much longer than usual time in there, he comes back into the kitchen to let me know that the red paint does not come off. He said this as he was rubbing his hands on his shirt and paints.

The bathroom is on the second floor. To get to the bathroom from the kitchen you have to go through the dining room, through the living room, up the stairs, through a hallway, and then into the bathroom. I forget exactly what I said when I suddenly pictured all the things that are on the way to the bathroom. Maybe it was “Yikes”, or “Ackk”, something like that. After he said “Crisis Sakes” a few times a few months ago, I resolved to try not to swear, so I don’t think I swore, I could be wrong though.

I managed to get the paint off his hands after about fifteen minutes of cleaning. His shirt and pants though will just have to have red smears on them.

Here’s what also had red paint spots. This was a few days ago, and we’re still finding more red spots on things.

– Kitchen table

– Kitchen chairs

– Kitchen floor

– Two coffee cups – (these might have been my fault)

– Three plates

– Stairway wall

– Three bathroom towels

– Bathroom sink

Most of the paint comes off, with a rag and some thinner, though we might still have some spots on the towels.

The car looks nice though. That’s some high quality paint, it’s never coming off that little car. You’d think that after all that work to get the car painted that I’d at least have a photo of the car, but no, it has gone missing just like the train. Maybe they’ll both turn up under a radiator some day.

Update: We found the car!


A Unique Birthday Gift

A few days ago Ms. J was explaining to Mr. C what decoupage was.  How to cut out pictures from an old magazine, spread some decoupage goo over the back, and then stick them onto something, such as a box, and then seal it up with an added layer of the decoupage goo.   She showed him a small  box she had made years ago.  It’s covered with things she had picked up during a trip to Greece, such as ticket stubs and sections of maps.  He seemed only mildly interested, but as soon as she was done with the story  he quickly went on to playing Legos.

I’ve been trying to get him excited about the upcoming birthday of Ms. J lately.  Taking him along to look for gifts, telling him how many days away it is, what the birthday plans are.   He’s been getting more and more excited about it, and today he said he wanted to decoupage something to give to her.  I was surprised that he remembered it, considering how interested he seemed.  ( I suppose anyone else would not have known that he was saying “decoupage”,  but I’m trained in translating ‘3 Year Old’, so I could figure it out.)   He was probably playing it cool the whole time, trying not to let Mommy know that he thought it would be a great idea to make something like that for her birthday.

First, we flipped through the pages of an old ‘National Geographic’ magazine.  “Old” is relative regarding National Geographics here,  since I have some boxes of issues dating back to the 1960’s.  This one was from 2010, an issue devoted to animals.  Penguins, lions, zebras, elephants, bugs, birds, plants.  Hard to decide, but he picked one out.

He cut out the photo, and picked out the thing that he wanted to decoupage it to.


Glue was applied with a large brush.  Most of it ended up on the back of the cut out photo, some ended up in my hair and on my pants, and on his nose too.  Some might have ended up on the back of one of the cats too.    It was then allowed to dry and a sealing layer was applied to the top.

And this is what we ended up with.    Yes, this is  a “Crasher Squirrel” light switch plate.  I was surprised to find that this squirrel has his own Wikipedia page.

I trimmed the edges and cut out the slot for the light switch.    So once we get it wrapped up, we will have a Crasher Squirrel light switch plate ready for the big Birthday party.

“Mommy will love this!”  he said

Maybe I should start an account for him on