Monday, February 21, 2011

Fainting from the painting

There's been a lot of this going on lately at our house. We've lived here for six years now and it was high time things were freshened up; when we moved in, the former owner had made everything all spiffy by covering it all -- chair rails, crown molding, staircase, doors, baseboards, everything made of wood or plaster he could touch with a brush or a roller -- in that shade known as Antique White. It's a buttery kind of color, very neutral and inoffensive, unless you choose that color in a very thin, flat contractor's paint which shows every finger mark, every nose print, every little bit of dirt that could possibly attach itself to a vertical surface. And it attaches in a manner that might as well have a very big sign with an arrow depicted in flashing yellow lights pointing at the dirt and screaming, "LOOK! HERE IS SOME DIRT ON THE WALL!"

It could just break your heart, especially since thin, flat paint is just about impossible to clean with Murphy's Oil Soap or Windex or water or even a little bit of spit. It all just comes off on whatever cloth you're using to wipe the dirt away, so that yes, you have managed to remove (some of) the dirt, but you also removed a splotch of your paint along with it, leaving the walls with a polka-dot appearance that I feel detracts from my home decor.

So we're painting with a lovely satin-finish taupe color (baseboards, crown molding and chair rails in a nice, crisp white) and I keep urging the dogs to press their yucky little noses against the finished walls so that I can have the pleasure of cleaning off the resultant marks.

But that, let me tell you, is the ONLY pleasure that comes from painting. The girls first showed a lot of enthusiasm for the project, an enthusiasm which flagged about an hour in on the first room.

"Painting crown molding is awful and this is just the first room!" groaned Meelyn from atop the ladder.

"At least you don't have to be all hunched over like a garden gnome painting twelve miles of baseboards," Aisling complained.

"My shoulder hurts," said Meelyn.

"My legs hurt," said Aisling.

"My legs hurt," returned Meelyn.

"My hand hurts," rejoined Aisling.

"MY EARS HURT," bellowed my husband, who was doggedly painting a very long wall attached to a very tall ceiling.

I myself was in the kitchen hallway, painting the louvered basement door, and for anyone who has ever painted a louvered door, you know that it's a good thing to start out when you're young and carefree and in the whole of your health because those louvers? With their finicky little hidden edges? Those things can BREAK YOU. Especially when they end up requiring three coats of semi-gloss paint.

We're moving along, though. This Thursday, my husband's day off, we have to start the dining room, which contains my desk, which has a hutch on top of it. And the china cabinet, another tall piece of furniture. A baker's rack, also tall although not really heavy, but loaded down with cookbooks and several bottles of wine and a number of decorative items. All those things are going to be a pain in the hindquarters to move, especially since all the china will have to be removed from the china cabinet.

But the real treat is going to be moving the three floor-to-ceiling bookcases. Fortunately, the ceiling in the dining room is only eight feet tall, compared to the ten feet in all the other rooms, but the books. Ohhhh, the books. I think there may be slightly more than seven hundred books in those bookcases, many of them wearing hard covers. I get a sinking feeling every time I see those bookcases sitting there, giving me a Mona Lisa kind of look.

Thursday may be a dreadful day. My only solace is that we can dust and re-organize everything as we're putting it back and thus accomplish an early spring cleaning. Because I am NOT moving all that stuff again. My nerves can't take it.


Amy said...

You are way more brave and industrious than I am.

Kayte said...

Time to repaint here as well...don't ask how many years and I won't have to lie to you.