Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Anti-knitting Project

You know how life is supposed to be a voyage of self-discovery? Well, I’ve discovered that I hate to paint. Here’s why:

1) Spackle and blue tape. You can’t just pick up a paint brush and start swiping on color. First, you have to fill in all the nail holes from the pictures that used to hang on the walls. Then you have to put blue painter’s tape all over the window panes, and along the edge of the trim and anywhere else you don’t want the paint to go. After you’ve painted the walls, you have to take the blue tape off the trim and put more blue tape along the edge of the walls. If you have two colors of wall paint (which of course my daughter chose to do), you have to tape one wall, paint the other, then tape the first wall and paint the second. Are you following me? That doesn’t include hinges, doorknobs, wall switches, electrical outlets, light fixtures, etc.

2) Plastic drop cloths. These are great until you drop paint on them. The paint you drip on plastic doesn’t dry so you end up stepping in it and tracking it all through your house. Or the drop cloth gets folded under somehow and the paint goes on the hardwood floor you were trying to protect from it in the first place.

3) Two coats. You have to paint the same darned wall twice—at least. I hate doing anything twice. It’s boring.

4) Clean up. You can’t just leave everything where it is when you quit for the day (like you can with knitting or writing). You have to seal up paint cans, clean out paint trays, wash rollers and brushes and yourself and your clothes. Fortunately, a painter friend clued me into one very useful secret: wrap your brushes in tin foil and put them in the freezer overnight. The paint doesn’t dry and you don’t have to clean them every day. That saved my sanity during this project.

In the end my daughter’s room came out looking like a wonderfully cozy robin’s egg. Feast your eyes on the photo because the room will never, ever look this pristine ever again.

One handy side effect of finishing the project (other than getting to go back to knitting and writing), is that the moment Darling Daughter saw the painted room, she started packing up her old room, something I’d been trying to get her to do for weeks.


Blogger Wendy said...

Wow! I wanna move into that room!

7:12 AM  
Blogger LauraP said...

Very pretty! If the daughter gets tired of it, you could turn it into a cheery studio. ;>

8:35 AM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Thanks, guys! I think it would take dynamite to get my daughter out of it. She's even got her own (slightly antique) bathroom. It's kind of fun because she's now just across the hall from my "garret" where I write so I can bother her a lot more easily. :-)

8:48 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

I even liked it with the painter's tape on the window! (And I swear I see a view, Nancy: a view of gorgeous trees.) That is a fabulous room!!

9:13 AM  
Blogger Cindi Myers said...

I love the room, Nancy!
But I'm with you -- I hate, hate, hate to paint. My office needs repainting, but the thought of unhooking all the computer equipment and moving the heavy bookcases, desk, etc, is enough to keep me from doing it. Maybe one day.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Dallas Schulze said...

The room looks fabulous and I agree with Barbara - it looked pretty good with the painter's tape, too. When I saw those pretty blue lines, I thought it was a really interesting way to detail the trim.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Now you can definitely see the view, Barbara, and it is indeed trees. The room's on the third floor and looks out into the top of a birch tree and then on to our tree-lined street.

Cindi, I laughed when I read your reaction to painting your office. Mine is a disaster and my husband has even offered to hire someone to paint it but, like you, I can't bear the thought of taking it apart or being without it, even for a few days.

Dallas, LOL on the painter's tape being window detailing. If only it were that much fun!

Thanks to everyone for the lovely compliments on the room. I have to admit that I take a certain amount of satisfaction from standing in the middle of it and saying, "I did that." (Well, it was mostly me anyway.)

11:50 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Very pretty! I am hoping to switch my office office into the boy's room and move them into my office (which is a larger space and since they aren't babies anymore, the little room isn't cutting it!) But your painting inspired me, because when I make the switch (which will most likely happen at Christmas) I will need to paint both rooms. ASAP.

But I love the colors and the use of two colors! Inspiring!

12:47 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Very nice! And yet, it's a reminder why I prefer painting for the theatre. We get to use the 20-foot rule: if you can't see the mistakes from 20 feet away, the audience will never know they're there. Can't do that with a bedroom, unfortunately.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Elizabeth, let me warn you about using two colors--it requires twice as much painter's tape and a very steady hand (which, by the way, I don't have).

That brings me to Nicole's 20-foot rule. I'm green with envy; I'd probably even enjoy painting if I could live by that maxim. No wonder I'm drawn to the theatre! :-)

10:19 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Elizabeth, did you say you were going to paint rooms at Christmas!?!?!? That strikes me as piling things on your own shoulders. But perhaps you're a far more organized person than I am and have all your gifts purchased and wrapped before Thanksgiving. Don't tell me if that's true because I really don't want to know someone who does that. :-)

10:22 PM  

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