Thursday, March 26, 2009

primed for disaster

I enjoy painting about 10 times more than the next person, but I think I’ve had my fill. First there was the bedroom nook, which thus far has been the simplest part of the process. 2 coats, wham bam, lots of TED conferences watched, NPR coma attained, minimal furniture moved.

The remainder of the room has proved to be nothing short of a nightmare. We went for a bright yellow color to offset the warm blue/green of the nook (previously the bedroom color from Atlanta, which is double bonus points because we didn't have to buy the paint). Both the Sauce and I have an aversion to mild yellows. It’s too hard to find one that doesn't remind me of either cat barf or the pastel color of my grandmother's underwear. So we went with something that should have come with an exclamation point after the name(!) . Now, I should tell you that the existing wall color was an olive/pea soup green. Think dark and almost military. My painting nickname, if such a thing were cool and actually existed, would be "she who does not prime", or "screw priming" for short. I’ve never actually been burned by my resistance to priming, but I’ve paid for all of my priming arrogance.

Oh, how I’ve paid.

The first coat of yellow(!) covered about as well as trying to smear cold cream cheese on a warm bagel. I got through the second round of cut-in (also known as edging, or painting the corners, or brushwork, or anything that doesn't involve a roller), and was dismayed at the continued streakiness. Usually by that point I can tell that the second coat will do the trick, but that olive green continued to eyeball me from underneath 2 heavy coats of yellow(!). Sensing futility, I decided to roll a patch of wall to see just how well it would cover the spotty mess I’d made. 4 coats later (in that one patch), I could still see a shadow of green.

There are times in life when shortcuts can be rather useful, but painting is one of those things that doesn't lend itself well to trickery. Back to Lowes I went. A coat of "high cover" primer later, and I was back in business. Until I ran out of yellow(!) on the opposite wall. I’d wasted so much paint that 2 gallons weren't enough to cover 2 long walls of a studio apartment.

Wait, it gets worse. The longer I stared at the yellow(!), the more it made me want to hide in the closet with the cats. The walls were yelling at me (yellow? yelling? not a coincidence my friend) I tried to like it. I really did, but every time someone came over, I felt the need to say that it wasn't exactly my first choice, which is never a good sign. (sorry charrow, I know we decided "together" but I was trying to be compromising, and I figured I was judging too quickly)

So we picked a new color. I primed (take that, yellow(!)), I painted 2 coats, and now I’m sitting on the futon staring at the fruits of my many, many days of labor. The name is dull (veridian green), but the color is so relaxing that I can't actually think of something interesting to compare it to. I may have to stop writing this post to go take a nap.

My own personal groundhog day has ended, and I’m thankful that it involved cat puke* instead of Andy McDowell. Let's hope the kitchen goes more smoothly.

*I'm hoping the high volume of cat puke over the last week is a coincidence and I'm not inadvertently causing them brain damage with the paint fumes. Petey does not need any more reasons to act challenged.


Steve said...

This is why I always, always stick with white walls. People say it's boring, but it's a heck of a lot less trouble.

Whatsa matter with Andi MacDowell??

elsabelle said...

pictures, please!