Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cali Explains Painting...Or: If You're Wearing Honest-to-Goodness Carhart Painting Overalls, You Must Be an Expert.

So, no more than a month ago, I had a brilliant idea: turn the little-used guest room into my very own craft room.  I have been poring over the IKEA catalog, drawing plans, and dreaming about it since then. I know what I want in the way of furniture and what I am going to put in each drawer and on each shelf.

As OCD as that might sound, I think I have a good reason: I am currently crammed into a little space in our home office, having commandeered several shelves of the bookcases.  I know what I use to scrapbook and where/how I would like to store it.  By drawing the furniture and assigning my scrapbooking supplies to each space, I was able to determine how much (or how little, if you prefer) furniture I would need.

Somewhere along the way, in the last week or so, I decided that I HAD to paint the room.  And why not?  It’s completely empty right now, as the thrift store people hauled off all the furniture a week ago…  Perhaps it’s because the room looks dirty and disheveled without furniture.  Or, perhaps, the furniture was hiding a litany of sins…

Several years ago, I painstakingly scraped all the wallpaper off the walls in my soon-to-be craft room.  Then I painted the walls in a faux denim finish that I liked for a couple of years…. No more.  Time for a change….

And so, after countless hours of prep (which I HATE to do), I was able to put some “Cotton Grey” paint on the walls.  As I started, it looked beige, not gray, but after the blue was all covered, it was the color I had hoped for….

This room was my brothers’ room when they were growing up.  Boys are hard on furniture and walls.  Thanks to years of putty repairs and millions of coats of paint, the walls are uneven and difficult to paint.  The roller rolls right over some of the deeper recesses, and going back over the wall with a brush is a necessity….

Okay, okay, you know how to paint, enough of the details.  But do you know all of the little nuances of painting?  I know I didn’t…..until now.

For instance, did you know that no matter how many times you paint gray over blue, you will still see blue wherever you look?  Some of it I really did see, and I hit it with a brush-full of gray paint….

Did you know that, after sanding the baseboard a hundred times, you STILL won’t see all the remaining carpet fur until you have given it a coat of paint?  So you sand it again.  And again.  No, the carpet is long gone, but not the fur, apparently….

Did you know that you can go from excited to get started to ready to be done with it in a matter of moments?  And boy, have I had my moments…..you should see the floor…

No longer my entree into "High Society", my Crocs are now
relegated to my "paintin' shoes"...

I also think, but I could be wrong, that the doorway has shrunk due to the 15+ coats of paint that it has had in the past 62 years.   I know that I have given it three coats this week myself, and I’m wondering if the new furniture will fit through the door…

I’m down to the last chore: the touch-up detail.   It’s really quite simple: you have a small paint brush with the wall color on it and another one with the trim color on it.  You touch up the trim where you got the wall paint on it and then you touch up the wall where you just got trim paint on it.  It can go on for hours.  And hours…

And then it suddenly hits you:  “it looks great” you tell yourself.  Does it really?  Doesn’t really matter, in your mind, you’re DONE!

And, if you are unfortunate enough to be asked by the painter:  “how does it look?”  do NOT blurt out that it looks perfect!  We both know it isn’t perfect and painters don’t appreciate being patronized.

To a point…. 

When asked that loaded question, take your time answering it.  Look up curiously at the freshly-painted walls and trim.  Squint one or both eyes to denote that you are really working at this, then sigh softly and prepare your answer. 

The answer HAS to be positive.  I have worked much too hard to have someone, anyone, point out what is wrong with the work that I did.  So be charitable.  Use a word that doesn’t tell me that you’re lying through your teeth.  If you’re a gusher, tell me it looks “fabulous!”  If you’re not, just say it looks “great” and pat me on the back…..but not too hard because I’m sore all over…

I may not be the best painter, but I DO make the best messes!


1 comment:

  1. I love it! Haven't painted in too many years over here but with a house built in 1934 I know just what you are talking about. Enjoy the room!