My Cousin Is An Expert On Paint

One glance at our stairwell was all he needed. The smudged yellow finish on the plaster walls, ignored for two years by yours truly, who only ever noticed that it seemed awfully smooth and evenly coated, apparently consists of something ancient and oil-based, and fatal.

He and I ran our fingertips over the surface, each taking an interest in it for the first time, as he looked right into my eyes and gravely informed me about the high lead content and the toxic additives and so forth.

"This stuff," he said, and I believed him entirely, "...will last forever. This is from when paint was paint."

I looked back at my stairwell with a newfound fear and reverence, and nodded hard at my cousin, who was explaining about the importance of respirators when sanding and recent advances in pigmentation.

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