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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Maybe we should wallpaper

Friday, November 18, 2011

Paint is promoted as an easy and inexpensive way to give a new look to a room or a piece of furniture, a facelift of sorts. That statement is made with the understanding that all of the paint ends up in its intended location. Somehow in my experience paint isn't always a simple solution. It has a way of not just solving problems but also creating them.

The carpenters were finished with their part in a remodeling project at our farm home. Now it was up to us to stain woodwork, paint walls and hang curtains. I didn't really like the drapes we had used prior to the remodel, but money was in short supply so I decided to have the old ones cleaned and continue to use them.

The day I went to pick up the cleaned draperies I was also planning to pick up paint for the living room walls. The cleaned drapes were hanging over wide-wire hangers. They hung far too long to put on the hooks on either side of the station wagon so I collapsed all the seats making a nice flat surface. Now the drapes could lay out full length for the trip back to the farm.

My next stop was at the lumber yard to get the paint. We had four gallons of Subdued Sunlight or some such fancy-named pale yellow paint ordered. The clerk used his color chart to add a squirt of one color and then another to the base, put the lid back on each can and placed them into a mechanical shaker. A few minutes later he again removed the lids so that I could check the color of paint in each can. The color met with my approval so he tapped the lids back on (not quite tight enough as it turned out) and carried my purchase out to the station wagon. He pushed the drapes over a little bit and set the cans in a row alongside them.

I was already mentally preparing the living room for the painting operation as I headed out of town. In my distracted state of mind I made a too-wide turn, didn't immediately see a truck approaching and had to give the steering wheel a violent jerk to avoid hitting the truck. The paint cans went sliding across the flat floor they shared with the curtains. Two of them tipped over and the lids popped off. I now had draperies splashed with Subdued Sunlight. The truck driver drove on blissfully unaware that my avoiding an accident with him wasn't completely without consequence.

My quest this morning is finding paint to match that on the lower half of our front entry which is painted a lovely forest green. Unfortunately, there are a few tiny spots of white on those walls. I expect something was bumped up against them or they were scratched by a fingernail. Whatever the reason, the tiny spots of white are noticeable and we couldn't find any leftover paint to use as a touchup.

My helpful husband thought he found a good match among the cans of almost-gone paint in his shop. It was late afternoon and the entry was rather dark. That was our first mistake. We should have waited until we could see the walls washed in natural light. But we didn't. He had me come to check whether I thought the cover job was working. I didn't think it looked quite right but just touching the tip of the brush on each little spot should be okay. He did more than touch the spots. He spread the paint out from each white speck. I called a stop to his activity when I saw how big an area he was correcting with the "almost" matching paint.

The next morning in the bright light of day all his corrections glared at me. As the paint dried it showed its true color - John Deere green. These machine-colored spots are horrible blemishes on my lovely forest green walls. Today I hope to remedy the problem by buying a new can of paint of the correct color. Only time will tell whether this is the start of yet another adventure or is truly a solution to our problem. And yes, I will have much more paint than I need but I'll find something or somewhere else that needs an easy and inexpensive facelift.

By Mary S. Roder
Musing With Mary


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