I wish there was a way to more adequately imply intonation to the written word. Looking at the title I just wrote, it looks like it should read like “Helpful Hints from Heloise”. In reality, it should read more like “It Came from Beyond” (cue spooky music). You see, this weekend I painted my laundry room. During the two-day adventure, I learned many things, which I will now share with you, my faithful readers.
First, let me say I love my laundry room. This is my first actual, real, live laundry room. Every house we had before had laundry closets, which is not at all the same thing! The fact that the walls are textured like stucco and haven’t been painted in at least 30 years has dampened my enthusiasm for the room only slightly.
It is because of my love of this room that I took special pains to make sure I got a great color for it. You may remember my adventure in painting my hallway darkroom. Well, I decided to abandon my original plan to use paint colors from the same paint card I used in the darkroom for fear of turning my beloved laundry room into Smurfville. This decision led me back to Lowe’s, where I spent way too long staring at paint cards, trying to choose just the right color of blue. I ended up with a lovely shade of blue that looked nothing at all like a smurf. I took the paint home and began to cover the dingy, dirty, used-to-be-white that covered the ceiling and walls. What I ended up with was, well, sort of like if Mickey Mouse bought and decorated a bungalow on Key West. In Technicolor. And Hi-Def. I kid you not. It could be used in aversion therapy to break people of their blue addictions. I think even color-blind people could see this color!
All that being said, I learned some important lessons I feel necessary to pass on to others, hoping they will be able to learn from my experiences and save themselves some trouble.
Lesson #1: “Vibrant” in a paint chip translates to “shocking” when it covers the walls. Trading out the worn-out, yellowed 50 year old light fixture with a brand new white fluorescent light fixture only makes it worse.
Lesson #2: Approaching painting a room like you do a crossword puzzle is a big mistake! Why it seemed like a good idea to do the easy parts first (no reaching over or moving appliances, no extra effort like taping and edging) is totally beyond me. Trust me; after four hours of doing the easy part, the hard parts only look harder! I realized this lesson as I lay exhausted on my side, scrunched under the utility sink twisting sideways trying to paint the wall behind and under the sink.
Lesson #3: Taping around doors and baseboards is a lot of work. Unfortunately, so is cleaning up paint bloops where you decided it was easier to skip the tape.
Lesson #4: When painting in a tight space, such as the 5″ space between a wall and utility sink, starting with the closest, easiest part of the wall is a bad idea. I guess if your arm was no wider than a paintbrush it might be ok, but I found that by the time I was trying to paint the farthest back part of the wall, my arm was removing more paint on the way in than my paint brush was adding! Fortunately, I look good in blue.
Lesson #5: Paint makes an interesting “splut” sound when large drops land in hair near ears.
Lesson #6: Appliances are heavy; husbands are strong. ‘Nuff said?
So, having learned so much from this past weekend, it’s back to Lowe’s and the paint rack, my old mantra of “Paint dries darker,” replaced with “No smurfs, no Mickey bungalow. No smurfs, no Mickey bungalow…”