Vanishing Act

By , August 18, 2010

David Copperfield isn’t the only one who can make landmarks disappear!

side view of satellite dish before painting

Before . . . (Photo: Mark Zeiger)

side view of satellite dish after painting

. . . and after! (Photo: Mark Zeiger)

A neighbor recently erected a satellite Internet dish like ours. We learned this without being told, or visiting, when we saw it in the bay. A short time later, it “vanished.” He had painted it flat black, greatly reducing its visibility. When I saw that, I wanted it, too!

I talked to him, and found out what paint he had used. To be certain, I searched online for information about painting a satellite dish. The main thing I learned was that one should only use matte finish paint, no satins or gloss.

I had grand designs to paint the dish with a camouflage pattern, but Michelle didn’t like that idea. I found one matte color available, black, so that simplified things.

When I got home I washed the dish, dried it, geared up, and started to paint. Michelle was on the beach doing laundry at the time. She told me later that it looked like I was erasing the dish electronically, like removing an image in Photoshop. Looking at the before and after photos I took within 20 minutes of each other, I see the dramatic change: I didn’t change any settings on the camera, but the dish color changed the quality of light in the photos!

I’m really happy with this, but I have to ask myself what I’ve actually accomplished. I’ve removed a potential eyesore from our beach, but if we want to go incognito here, I may have to paint the solar panels, the wood piles on the beach, the boats, and who knows what else?

Seriously, though, the new, darker disk will very likely ice up less often this winter, and collect less snow. That’ll be a good thing.

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