Monday, August 14, 2006

The "Joy" of Painting

When it comes to houses, some people dream of a log cabin in the woods, some wish for a seaside cottage. Still others aspire to a romantic villa in Tuscany or a ski lodge somewhere (probably not Rhode Island).

For my wife, it's not so much the house itself, it's that she's always dreamt of having a yellow kitchen.

We've been at it for a good 30 hours now, and we're just now approaching the point which professional painters refer to as "getting there". Professional painters say this as they work to cover vast numbers of square feet on the walls of large kitchens. If only that were the issue in our case.

Our kitchen's actually a decent size - enough room for a table that we could theoretically eat breakfast on if it weren't covered with stacks of credit card offers, "welcome to the neighborhood" letters from local dentists, and postcards from realtors excitedly noting all the homes that have gone on the market since we moved in, leading us to wonder whether there's a cause-and-effect relationship at work.

Anyway, as far as kitchens go, it's probably no trickier than most. There are plenty of cabinets to work around, appliances to move, and a built-in spice rack to enable us to hold debates over accent colors.

But there was no debate this weekend over what color to paint the kitchen. As you may recall, we were predestined to have a yellow kitchen. We'd actually purchased the paint a couple of months ago from a local paint dealer who knew a Clueless Paint-Buying Husband when he saw one ("Well, if you're going to be painting a kitchen, you're definitely going to want this paint, which resists stains, washes up nicely, wins architectural design awards, pilots a race car, etc."). We chose "Van Gogh Yellow", because nothing says "cheerful kitchen" like a color named after a painter who was so depressed that he cut off his own ear. (Okay, perhaps he wasn't so much "depressed" as he was "insane", but it still seems an oddly cheerful color for the guy.)

So we set about slathering the Van Gogh onto our kitchen walls, which up to this point were painted a color called "Imodium AD Green". It turns out that in a Celebrity Color Death Match between a crazy painter and a anti-diarrheal medication, the soothing liquid wins the first two rounds.

To make matters worse, on several walls, the previous painters had attempted what the design shows refer to as a "faux finish". The trouble is, the whole concept of faux finishing revolves around replicating some kind of textured surface. If that was the case in our kitchen, the surface the previous painters were attempting to replicate was most likely that of cuttlefish parts dipped in white paint and embedded in a green wall.

So by the end of the day yesterdaysome walls looked basically yellow, except around the edges, where the Imodium AD Green stylishly showed through, giving the wall an Anti-Diarrheal Tuscan Villa look ("Hi, I'm Diane Lane for Imodium AD..."). The other walls looked basically yellow, with the occasional cuttlefish part poking through. Then, we ran out of paint, which of course meant the paint store closed at 2:00 pm on Sundays, which of course meant that I headed out to the paint store at 8:30 this morning, which of course meant that our fabulous racecar-driving paint only comes in one gallon increments, despite the fact all we have left is the edges, the area behind the refrigerator, and any remaining cuttlefish.

So the painting continues, and as my wife notes, "This kitchen had better be damn cheerful."

I'm beginning to think Van Gogh had the right idea.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope Gretchen is enjoying your sunny, bright yellow kitchen.
Karen M-C