paint the Forth Bridge

be like painting the Forth Bridge

To be such an involved or time-consuming improvement process that it never truly ends. The phrase refers to Edinburgh's Forth Bridge, which once required constant upkeep. Primarily heard in UK. Remodeling our house was like painting the Forth Bridge—once we saw how nice one room looked, we had to redo another!
See also: bridge, forth, like, painting

paint the Forth Bridge

used to indicate that a task can never be completed.
The steel structure of the Forth Railway Bridge in Scotland has required continuous repainting: it is so long that once the painters reach one end, they have to begin again at the other.
See also: bridge, forth, paint
References in periodicals archive ?
On the night, the years rolled back and I was that daft wee lassie in a mini skirt and enough black eye shadow to paint the Forth Bridge.
He's won extra tax raising powers from Westminster, is milking the Barnett Formula for squillions more than the Scots need to spend, and even forced George Osborne to bung them an extra pounds 40m on the never-never to paint the Forth Bridge.
Technology from the oil and gas industry is being used to help paint the Forth Bridge in the hope that the work will not need to be carried out again for decades.
What he is asked to do is the equivalent of being asked to paint the Forth Bridge with a pint pot of paint.
I am sure that they could paint the Forth Bridge quicker than it is taking these workmen to complete this.
For a while, it seemed as if the Royal Mail, after hitting on the idea of golden postboxes, would have to put out an SOS to the tradesmen who were once employed to paint the Forth Bridge over and over.
Yep, she's apparently quite a big girl I understand she once wore a Malcolm XT-shirt and a helicopter tried to land on her and, while I've no idea what her tattoos actually say, I believe the contract was awarded to the two guys who paint the Forth Bridge.