Sitting out on my fabulous, newly screened porch, I was thinking about paint. I absolutley adore paint. It's one of my Very Favorite Things, so I probably spend a lot more time thinking about it than I should. My paint chip collection is world class in its scope. I am continually amazed at what you can do with just one gallon of the stuff. It's like magic as far as I'm concerned - the good kind. Let other people redecorate or wallpaper or move around furniture, I just head for the paint store. It's the closest thing to a quick fix I have. (Short of a big cold bottle of Diet Coke with Lime, anyway).
I'm pretty sure my paint fetish started during all those years we rented in South Pas and always had to have white walls. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against white walls, I just hate not having options. Personally I'm very big on options, and if this is some latent demonstration of my inner control freak I don't want to know about it. I'm sure it also has a lot to do with hating being told what to do, but if I get any more off subject here I'm not sure how I'll recover.
Paint. We were discussing paint. (Effective segue, although lacking in finesse). I have paint on the brain partly because we just had a small episode involving our kitchen and a series of very bad moves on my part. When the kids and I were in California in January, the Film Geek painted the kitchen for me. This was a very big deal and took a lot of time, because our kitchen is pretty large and had a whole slew of stuff that needed to be prepped and taped off. Before we left I gave him the paint chip we had decided on and didn't give it another thought. The night we came home he proudly led me into the kitchen and flipped the light on so I could check out his latest production. Drumroll, please...
I hated it. Not the painting. The painting was fine. It was the color. The color that I had chosen and now made me feel like I was inside a truck full of frozen salmon filets. And the sheer size of the room made it worse. I felt like I was inside a big truck full of frozen salmon filets. I had expected a very soft kind of peachy melon color and I got this. It was not good, but I didn't want to say anything to this man who was so proudly showing me what he had done. So I put on a smiley face and told him (very honestly) how much I appreciated that he had done it for me. And I did, I really did. It wasn't his fault I hated the color.
It was time for Plan B, which in this case stands for Botched. I lived with the walls for months while I tried to figure out what to do. Every time one of our friends would walk through to check on the house redo progress I would offer the same disclaimer for the kitchen - "Okay, you can look, but it isn't DONE yet". Around Spring Break I started to really look at my options, but of course first I had to fess up to my husband just how much I really hated the kitchen. In a heroic display of restraint he simply shook his head, said "well, it's your kitchen" and walked away. One of these days I'll tell you about how this is the second time I've done this to him, but he reads this too, and I don't want to give him any more ammunition than I have to.
On to solutions. First I got the idea to take a color I had on hand and mix it with a little glaze to make a color wash to apply over the paint and mute it a little. The color was really pretty and looked good on the frozen fish walls, but no matter what I did the application was blotchy. It was so bad that I called the Film Geek and told him casually that when he got home from work late that night he might not want to look at the kitchen walls until I was awake and could explain. No matter what I did, I couldn't fix it, so now my frozen fish walls looked like they had a bad case of poison ivy. I finally threw in the towel and conceded that I needed to buy a new color and simply repaint the one big wall something totally different.
I had originally wanted a red wall in there, so I went to the paint store and came home with a bunch of red chips in my very favorite brand. I love this paint so much I could happily do my own commercial for them, never mind that it would put me in the poorhouse if it wasn't for the online coupons. Even then...it's like a bad love affair. I wish sometimes I'd never even laid eyes on this paint.
So the Film Geek and I look at colors and he picks his favorite two (which were not my favorite two) and we haggle a little and I finally agree with his number two choice. I head back to buy the paint and on the way decide to give in and go with his number one choice, because I still feel bad about painting over all his hard work. It takes a while for the paint guy to come over and help me so I drift back over to the paint chips and see a red that I had somehow missed earlier. I pick it up and look at it next to the one we've decided on, thinking that it really is quite pretty, but most likely too dark. I'm still wandering around when the paint guy comes over to see what I want to get. I give him my order and am five minutes into my wait while he mixes the paint when I look down and realize that I gave him the wrong paint chip. And this is custom mix paint - no refunds once it's mixed. I imagined my husband's face and my life flashed in front of my eyes. And for all of you pessimists out there, let's just leave Freud out of it, okay?
By the time I got home I was in the if life gives you lemons make lemonade mode, and started painting. When the Film Geek got home from work his immediate response was "Is this the color I picked??" (He said this right before he took the roller out of my hand because he didn't like the way I was painting, by the way). I babbled well no it isn't the same color and it's really kind of a funny story if you just think about it. Honey? Honey? We finished the two walls in relative silence and then looked around the room.
I absolutely loved it. The color was just drop dead gorgeous and looked great with the two frozen fish walls we had left alone. The red muted the other walls and they complemented each other really well. The Film Geek wasn't too sure, but said he trusted my judgement and that he figured the color would grow on him. He hasn't griped since, so I figure either it has or he's just given up the fight. As for me, it makes me happy every time I walk in, and that has to count for something, right?
Like he said. It's my kitchen.