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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Pots galore

Melissa has been working on replacement of the deck pots.  Turns out that clay pots down here deteriorate over the years.  To the point where they turn back into dirt.  These two are so bad that if you poke at them with your finger they just fall apart.  The remaining dozen pots are in somewhat better shape, but not much.


For weeks, Melissa has been debating over what to replace these pots with.  Condo management says that clay pots have to be maintained to keep this from happening.  Twice a year you have to sand and repaint all of them.  Even with cheap labor down here that amounts to $250/yr.  The condo management recommended fiberglass pots.  But to replace them all is $2000 USD.  Hmm.  What to do.  Research begins.

Turns out that when they do the maintenance on the pots, they just use regular paint.  Research indicates the right thing to do is to first seal the pots with a cement sealant.  That way moisture doesn’t get into the clay to deteriorate it.  Melissa decides the right thing to do is to use a 6 step process – which if luck holds out – shouldn’t have to be done every year:

  1. Clean and prep – Behr has a cement cleaning product that removes oil and dirt and etches the clay so that it will accept sealants
  2. Seal – Melissa intends to use a construction cement sealant that can be used on things that get a lot of moisture under pressure like retaining walls
  3. Prime – Behr has a paint primer intended for cement that will be applied next
  4. Paint – Debate ensued over color.  The existing pots are a classic Mexican red which Dave likes but Melissa is not crazy about.  Melissa takes pictures of the sea in full sun and snags a color off the photo – which then she has formed into a color chip and has paint made from that
  5. Stain – to get a two-tone depth, she plans to use a brown stain over the blue paint
  6. Sealant – finally to get a tough exterior that is easily cleanable, another Behr product to seal cement that can be applied over paint

Sounds like a lot of work right?  But never fear!  We have help here!  Irving will be working nights and loving the extra pay.

Meanwhile, Melissa heads out to buy the pots and the materials.  There is a landscaping/nursery store on the main highway with a ton of pots.  She decides to stop there.  There are hundreds of clay pots to choose from.  The proprietor’s wife comes out to help.  With 4 of the cutest puppies at her heels.  Ok, gotta stop and play with the puppies, right?

She follows Melissa around taking notes as to which pots and how many are needed.  No English, but Melissa’s little bit of Spanish plus a lot of pointing works fine.  Eventually the proprietor arrives – speaking perfect English.  He can deliver the pots today!  There are 16 all total.  $1000 USD.  Gulp.  More than Melissa had figured on, but would much rather pay a local like this than a fiberglass pot factory on the other side of the country.  So she forges ahead.

Onto HomeDepot to get the paint and supplies.  As she walks through the door, a gal with a handful of postcards that say “Behr sale!” on them flags her down.  So when does that ever happen?!  You walk into the store and the thing you need a ton of is on sale!  They flag down a sales rep to help Melissa.  Melissa shows her the shopping list with the pictures of all the products she needs along with the shelf locations (don’t you love HomeDepot shop before you go features?  They work here in Mexico same as back home).  The sales rep has Melissa’s shopping cart filled up within minutes.  Now to have the right color blue mixed.  We review paint chips not finding the right color until the sales rep finds one called “Ocean Blue” (kid you not).  Its exactly right!  Yes, please mix a gallon of that!

A couple of hours later two pick up trucks arrive with the pots.

After much hoisting and lifting…

All the pots are on the upper deck waiting to be processed and painted.  Melissa gets tired just thinking about it.

The proprietor is a riot.  Here he is showing off some of his properties for sale.  Later he explains that he can do our kitchen shelves that we want installed.  We are currently awaiting a quote.  But seriously, nice guy who we are feeling lucky to have found.


Now, just have to get these pots cleaned, sealed, and painted.  Will be weeks of work, no doubt about it!

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