Friday, November 19, 2010

Painting the Kitchen

This week, the Bionic Man had to go on a short business trip.  As soon as he exited the house, I decided to throw out all the other things I'd been planning this week, and paint my kitchen.  An alarming declaration, I know.  And why is it that any temporary departure of the Bionic Man inspires me to paint?

That should probably be dealt with in therapy.

Speaking of therapy, let's review the ongoing history of paint in my kitchen.

Up until last year, I had never gone solo on a room painting project.  I always partnered up with the Bionic Man, and we made a good team.  I typically handled prep: washing down trim, taping, putting plastic over the floor, etc.  I often handled the painting of any trim by myself, as well.  But when it came to the walls, the Bionic Man and I had a system that worked for us: I edged, he rolled.  It totally worked for us, until last fall.

Last fall, I had been bugging the Bionic Man about the colors of the walls in our large Great Room (family room, kitchen, and dining area, in one wide open space).  This one space was painted in a color chosen by the previous homeowners, that I like to call gacky sage.
Sage in small doses is lovely.  Sage in large doses, especially in the shade of gacky sage is.....gacky.  And really hard to decorate with.  The Bionic Man and I were over the gacky sage, and ready to move on to the nice, neutral, non-gacky antique white.
Well, I was tired of waiting, and wanted that gacky sage gone.  Trouble was, the Bionic Man had no time to help.  Not only did he have no time, he had absolutely no motivation.  I believe at some point, he said something along the lines of, "If you really want a new paint color, you are going to have to be the one who paints."

Guess what?  Soon after that, the Bionic Man went on a business trip, and I painted.  I was a little nervous about going solo on the paint project, so I started with the back hallway and two small walls of the dining area, all fairly inconspicuous.  It went well.  So well, that before I finished, I threw the last of the paint on part of one other dining room wall, thinking that I'd get right back to it.

I didn't.  My dining area--which, mind you, is at one end of the wide-open great room, remained partially painted, until last spring.  I finally finished the dining area, but there was a jagged line of antique white vs. gacky sage where the dining area ended and the kitchen began.  This time, the Bionic Man convinced me to wait, assuring me that he'd soon be adding a tile backsplash to the kitchen, so we should put off all painting until that time.

But the gacky sage has weighed heavily upon me.  Heavier since I have an oasis of antique white at one end of the great room.  Several times since the children went back to school this fall, I have said to the Bionic Man, "Let's have a painting party this weekend!  Let's get rid of the gacky sage once and for all!"  I have even said, "How about if you take Friday off, I'll get a babysitter, and we can just spend the entire weekend together...alone....PAINTING."  He didn't go for it.

So, the Bionic Man went out of town again, and no sooner had he gone than I rolled out the plastic and paintbrushes and started painting the kitchen.  I decided against trying to paint the family room part of the great room, because I do recognize my limitations.  After all, this was a short business trip.  Upon his return, the Bionic Man was more than a little impressed by my progress.  How can he complain?  He doesn't have to lift a finger or live in the mess of the project.  It's like he's married to the Paint Fairy!

Now, can I tell you all of the crazy things that happened after I began painting?

1) The skies opened and it rained like we haven't seen rain in this part of the country in months.  Little bit hard to keep the windows open when it's raining like that.
2) Water began dripping from my kitchen ceiling.  I am not kidding.  This caused me to panic, run upstairs and shut off all water to toilets, bathtubs, etc., since they were close to the leak.  Leak continued.  Bionic Man wasn't answering calls.  I bravely ventured into the attic, where I discovered the source of the leak (our roof). I plugged the leak with a dishtowel.
3) Water stopped dripping from the kitchen ceiling.  All the remains of the leak is an unsightly stain on the ceiling with three holes that I drilled to keep the water for spreading and making a bigger stain.  Looks like I've got another painting project, doesn't it?
4) Woke up after Painting Day One with a nasty cold.  Painting Day Two was slow going.  Painting Day Three involved no painting whatsoever, but did involve lots of hot chocolate and orange juice.
5) Since the kitchen painting project began, we have had three doctors' appointments (all for eyes...updating prescriptions, etc.), two piano lessons, and a cub scout meeting.  Not to mention oodles of homework, a desperately needed grocery shopping trip, a desperately needed shoe shopping trip, and a dog that needed walking.

Looking back, I am surprised that I got any painting done, this week.  Right now, in fact, I'm staring at walls of antique white and wondering, "Is this a dream?  Did the paint fairy come?"

Then, a look in the mirror jolts me back to reality.  The paint fairy came, all right.  And she's got the antique white in her hair to prove it!  On Painting Day Two, I was standing on top of a counter, reaching with my roller to paint the wall space above my upper cabinets.  Bending to refill my roller with paint, I got a little too close to the freshly painted wall beside me.....coating a fairly wide strip of my side-swiped bangs with antique white.  Fashion advice, anyone?  'Cause I'm Stacy London, now!
Um, I guess I haven't ever painted my hair before.....I had no idea that it wouldn't just come out when I washed my hair.  Much scrubbing and lots of brushing with a bristle brush have removed some of the paint, but it's still there!  Giving me that trendy, well placed streak of silver.  Huh.

Well, enough said.  I need to throw on one final layer of paint, and pull off all the blue tape and plastic.  After all, my in-laws arrive in two days for Thanksgiving.  Dun dun dun....and I still have a slipcover, a set of curtains, and some pillows to sew.

Will Ruth have her house ready in time?  Can she sew like the wind?  How will she find the time to prepare the Relief Society lesson she's supposed to teach on Sunday?  Tune in next time, when you'll hear Ruth say, "I really need a nap.  And some chocolate."


  1. My husband doesn't go for taking a day off from work to paint either...I'm thinking they want us to do it ourselves. Good Read!

  2. I am in the same boat! David and I make a great painting team, but he never wants to use his free time to paint. Hmmm..,wonder why? :) I paint in spurts-lots or nothing! Hope you enjoy your newly painted area!