Two by Two, Hands of Blue

Farmer: Well lah-dee-dah, Mr. Park Avenue manicure.
Homer: I’m sorry, I believe in good grooming.

– Homer Simpson

Most paint and hardware stores sell boxes of disposable gloves. Generally, you have a choice between latex or nitrile. These are great for particularly messy jobs like painting or staining.

We have both on hand. (And in boxes in the basement! BAZINGA.) Assuming you don’t have a latex allergy, the latex versions are good for most painting and cleaning tasks. If you aren’t going to go completely nuts with a project, lined latex dish gloves are reusable AND iconic.

Incidentally, these are called “marigolds” in England (well, at least the usual ones without the faces are), which is a lot simpler than saying, “You know, those old-school yellow dish gloves.”

I’m pretty bad about wearing gloves at any time, and I’ll generally let my hands get painted up rather than use disposables. But if I’m working with stains or polyurethane, it’s harder to wash off the mess, and I will pull on a pair of blue nitrile gloves.

Why nitrile gloves?? Depending on where and when you attended high school, you may recall the health teacher emphasizing that petroleum jelly and latex are natural enemies with infant-based outcomes. Well, many stains, coatings, and solvents also contain petroleum products, and they erode latex gloves. (This is why you may see the guys at the Jiffy Lube wearing blue gloves. I can’t explain the TSA’s blue-glovedness.)

I didn’t put these data points together until I worked with a golden oak shade of gel stain in latex gloves. Which broke open at the fingertips, to the everlasting smugness of health teachers everywhere. The golden oak stain is yellow-brown in its gel state, so my open-fingered latex gloves resulted in a scrub-resistant, long-lasting, poop-colored manicure.

Learn from my d’oh! When staining, go for nitrile.

But try to avoid going all evil when you do so.

But try to avoid turning all evil whilst wearing them.


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