Thursday, August 27, 2009

What I Learned This Summer - Part Two

2. Always, always - ALWAYS - use test paint:

Every single frickin' room in my house is, or was, in the process of being painted. In two of them I first applied test paint and have ended up with exactly the color that had been floating about in my head.

You know, in my head, the place where I am Martha Stewart and my best friends are Tom Filicia and Nate Berkus. It's all kinds of fun in there...

But, in two of the other rooms I arrogantly taped a couple of paint chips to a wall, declared a winner without much thought and then painted. Only to be horrified at the end result.

In the bedrooms I wanted a nice, coffee-with-a-bit-of-cream colored brown. Not too dark. Not too light. A Goldilocks of brown, if you will. How hard could that be, right? Well, the boys that helped me paint started on one of the bedrooms while I was busy doing something else in another room and were being suspiciously quiet while they worked. After a bit they called me in to look at the color, sounding a bit concerned. And rightly so.

It was pink.

Well, eventually a mauve-ish tan. But all wet and shiny and freshly painted, it was pink. We tried to convince ourselves that it would dry darker and be fine. In reality, I think they knew I was going to hate it, but they were very sweet (and very tall - Summer Lesson Learned Part 2.5 is always get tall boys to help you paint...) and humored me and kept painting anyway. Two days later I went back to the paint store, they added green to the paint, matched it perfectly to the color in my head and I went home and sheepishly re-painted by myself.

Then the bathroom. Oh the bathroom. It needed a muted, robin's egg blue - one of those nice Martha Stewart vintagey shades of aqua. But again... I recklessly painted and then stepped back to take a look, promptly declaring "Aaaaaand now I live in a beach house!" Turquoise. Bright, blinding turquoise. Seriously. Like hang a shrimp net in the corner, find a parrot statue for the back of the toilet and a seashell cover for the box of Kleenex. Lord. Finally though I got it right and now every morning I sigh at how much I love it and how it's finally exactly the right color. Finally.

I bemoaned to Katie about all of this one afternoon and she said that for women, picking paint colors is akin to men's inability to stop and ask for directions. It's something that we believe we should be able to just inherently do without assistance and sometimes we just can't. So true.

It's almost all done now. Well, as done as it's going to get for now. And I will share photos soon.

Until then, in my head, it's happy hour and Tom and Nate and I are enjoying martinis and discussing what fabric to recover my living room chair in, if you'd like to join us.

See you tomorrow.


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I've never test painted and I've never been disappointed either. Maybe it's the brand? I've heard others complain about this...

gertrude said...

Could be the brand. I will say that the quality of the paint I've been using is excellent (Benjamin Moore Aura - low VOC and has primer included), but the color on the paint chips has not represented the end color well at all.

I'm sure a lot of it also has to do with the pesky library of color chips in my head though. I can obsess about the perfect shade of color for anything. Or a font, oh Lord don't let me get started on font choice... So, really, the problem probably all boils down to me.

Katie said...

You know, better than anyone, that I have been there. And whaaa? Primer already in the paint? Holy Jebuzalah, fo' reeeal? Where was THAT during the Fall of Much Painting?

Carrie said...

I think I purchased 5 gallons of varying shades of red when painting my bedroom only to have a friend look through the color booklet and chose the perfect red the very first time. She even picked the perfect shade of yellow for my bathroom in my new house. She has never even been to it. It is in another state.

Next time Nate is over for martinis give me a call!