Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Little Boy Blue

Editor's note: You should know that I'm seriously backed up on material so I'll be forgoing chronological order for a little while and posting stuff however I see fit and depending on my mood. 

When I tell people we recently bought and moved into a house, one of their first questions is "Did you have to do a lot of work before you moved in?" My standard response, "Well, we had to paint" is often met with a dismissive wave of the hand and a "Oh that's nothing! You're lucky."

Are we? I suppose as far as home ownership goes, we could've bought something that was missing a floor or a wall or, I don't know, indoor plumbing. But for all its outdatedness, the house was always in working order.

It just needed lots of paint. Lots of non-yellow paint.

Incidentally, one of the only rooms that was not yellow was Oscar's.

It was still a hot mess. It was painted white, with one coat, and the color underneath peeked through. That color was, say it with me, YELLOW. There were chips and scuffs a plenty. There were chunks that were completely misguided.

So before moving day, we did our best to get it up to our standard.

It began with a color scheme. I knew I wanted to do more than one color, and while blue was so obvious for a boy's room, it was also the only one I could envision for the space. We picked two shades of blue, worked out which walls would get which, and got to work.

For all of my failures as a packer and mover, I can boast that I've actually gotten the hang of painting. Devin and I both have. With our systematic approach we can get through a room at impressive speeds.

But this wouldn't be worth writing about if there weren't a couple of issues.

First of all, the room didn't have edges.

I first noticed it while I was blue-taping the perimeter. There had been so many poorly applied coats of paint over the years that there was really only the suggestion of a border.  Where did I draw the line? Literally. Was is where the wall actually meets the ceiling, or the half inch in either direction that the current paint job dictated? And what about the windows? As you'll see, the white paint was shlopped over the mark.

Now I had to paint over the white, right? The same problem affected the trim of the room's door and closet door. Except that was yellow, making for a total of 4 colors in the mix, when you count the 2 I'd introduced on purpose.

Then there was the challenge of the corners. I didn't have a plan for painting where the two colors would collide.

I'd paint dark blue, smudging paint onto the opposite wall. Then I'd cover the smudges with light blue as I painted the light blue wall. But I'd accidentally get light blue onto the dark blue. Then I'd go back and get more dark blue to cover the new light blue smudges. And then I'd get more dark blue onto the light blue. It would be an endless cycle if I didn't change my clearly failing approach.

I decided to let the light blue smudges win this round. Then I allowed several hours for the paint to dry. When it finally seemed solid enough, I covered the light blue edges with tape and went back in with the dark blue, working carefully so as not to overdo it and bleed paint under the tape. It was a simple enough plan, and I worked merrily while listening to John Hodgeman's thought-provoking interview on the You Made It Weird podcast.

I've been obsessively listening to podcasts as of late and I'm absorbing so many repeatable tidbits and anecdotes. Although, I can't seem to get comfortable starting off a statement with, "So I heard on this podcast..." If you heard me say that before launching into an a story about controversial rabies treatments, would you take me seriously? I'd really like to know.

Okay, the paint should be dry by now. Let's take a look at the finished job. (Click on the picture for a closer look.)

In real life, if you pay attention, you'd still notice sloppy edges all over the place. It's driving me only slightly crazy. But, I suppose, it IS a baby's room, so a certain degree of mess is to be expected.